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Our role in Ethics Board & Committee

Our role in Ethics Board & Committee

  • 10 September 2019
  • By Loretta Yuen
  • 5 mins read

Our role in Ethics Board & Committee

As a member of the new Culture and Conduct Management Committee (CCMC) and Culture and Conduct Review Committee (CCRC), Head of Group Legal and Compliance (GLC), Loretta Yuen, and her division plays an integral role in guarding the reputation of the Bank, ensuring we operate within an ethical framework. See what Loretta has to say.

Q: You’ve been with the Bank since 2001. How has the Legal and Compliance division evolved since?

Prior to 2012, legal and compliance were separate units. The division has evolved from an initial team of 30-40 people, to over 300 Group-wide now. The size of our operations has grown, so have industry regulations and scrutiny across the globe, which have made our jobs more complex, crucial and all the more exciting.

Q: OCBC set up the Ethics and Conduct Board Committee, headed by Chairman Ooi Sang Kuang, and the CCMC and CCRC in 2019. How did this initiative come about?

Banks and financial institutions have been under the spotlight in the recent years, with increasing reports of misbehaviour, unethical hard-sell tactics and business conduct in the news. With regulators globally and its Singapore equivalent, Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), taking a strong look at conduct risk, our board members recognised the need in putting in place an ethical framework and committee, looking into conduct issues across the Group. The CCMC and CCRC were set up as a result of this foresight, something we did ahead of MAS’s guidelines.

Q: What is GLC’s role in this?

At the crux of what we do is guarding the reputation of the Bank, protecting it against regulatory risk, and ensuring we operate within an ethical framework. Leveraging strongly on our recently refreshed corporate values, LIFRR (Lasting-value, Integrity, Forward-looking, and Respect Responsibility), we are devising an ethics and conduct risk framework, with the support from external consultants. We have completed Phase One, having conducted surveys and focus group interviews with selected groups of employees on their perception of our culture.

The next step (Phase Two) is really to identify the gaps and put together recommendations for improvement. We are also looking into metrics, for example, number of complaints and number of regulatory breaches, as key success indicators. The goal is to roll out these recommendations in Singapore by 2020, and to OCBC subsidiaries in Malaysia, Hong Kong SAR and China thereafter.

Q: You mentioned our LIFRR values. How do these values play a part in the CCMC strategy?

Integrity, Respect and Responsibility are the big pieces which we factor into the CCMC strategy. It can be summed up in one sentence – to do everything the right way. The goal is to embed this mindset and culture in our people, the importance of taking ownership of our actions and not have these values take a backseat in the chase for profits.

Q: Where do you foresee GLC going moving forward?

The goal is for the division to sit right alongside the business as a trusted advisor, and to automate and reengineer the way the division is doing things. We are in the midst of a workforce transformation journey, looking at how we could transform to be more agile while adopting a continuous learning mindset. It is key for our people to adopt an open mindset to change, and to marry deep industry and functional expertise with an innovative mind.

Besides strong legal and technical expertise, digital and soft skills such as influencing and communication skills are areas we are developing in our people.