Code of Ethics:
The Banking system in Jordan has a positive and active role in developing the national economy. And there exists no doubt as to the inevitable continuity of this role in light of solid, well-established traditions and prestigious methods earned throughout the history of the said system.
The existence of multiple units of the banking system in recent years and the variety of their goals had a huge effect on the development of the banking market. At the same time, however, this multiplicity imposes professional responsibilities as to the adherence to the banking work’s traditions and conduct, so that good standards prevail in the market which allows the continuity of the economic development of our country.
There is no doubt that this diversity and variety of working banks also impose the necessity of cementing many concepts that govern such variety, most important of which is the moral commitment, the sense of belonging to the work of banking among bank employees, and cooperation between units of the banking system so that it can provide a sophisticated standard of banking services for customers, and keep up with the banking industry’s latest technological achievements, and to insure the application of comprehensive quality standards and concepts, in addition to regulating and controlling the constructive competition between the units of the banking system to reach the same goal.
Based on the aforementioned, working banks in Jordan held a meeting on August 7th, 2002, where the following covenant was endorsed and declared as the comprehensive framework for the conduct and behaviour of banking work to abide by as a professional and a national obligation.
First: The Oath
1. Everyone who is to start working in banks must perform the oath provided in this section before performing his/her duties before bank’s Chairman or his delegate
2. The oath shall read as follows:
“I solemnly swear by God to perform my duties at the bank with honesty, integrity and devotion; to honor the profession, bank and customers’ secrets during and after my work; and to respect all laws, decisions and customs of the work of banking, and to work in accordance with the banking ethics in word and spirit, subject to the best interests of the national economy.”
Second: The Honor of the Banking Profession
3. The success of any bank in achieving its goals depends primarily on the trust of its customers. The banker –by virtue of his duty- is the backbone of this trust, therefore he/she must do his utmost in the job to provide excellent banking services and to keep his/her objectivity and fairness whilst dealing with customers, and to keep their secrets in integrity, truthfulness and honor.
4. The banking profession relies on certain norms and customs, which are at the same time an integral part of public morality and traditions. Therefore, as a member of society, a banker must be a role model for good ethics and trustworthiness, and his public and private relationships should ensure these qualities, and he should distant himself/herself from all suspicious situations, financial disturbance and job exploitation.
5. Honourable competition and constructive cooperation between banks are vital for reaching a proper and safe banking environment. The banker must practice everything consistently with the word “Honor”. At the same time, the banker must differentiate between constructive cooperation and honorable competition that revolve around the standards of banking services on the one hand, and the unlawful competition that harms the units of the banking system on the other hand. In all cases, banks should not be drawn into competition that might jeopardize safety factors or that might lead to a breach of their commitments to fellow banks, or to help, intentionally, banks’ customers to breach their obligations with them.
6. A banker deals with a fundamental commodity which is money. This commodity, in all its features and temptations, requires the highest level of honor and candor. The banker shall not utilize his/her job for personal gains nor shall he charge the customers for any activity that falls within the jurisdiction of his/her job in the bank.
7. Decisions related to banking activities do not bear any delay. They require accuracy and determination; therefore the banker shall have the flexibility the banking work requires without overstepping the respect for laws, decisions and customs regulating the banking work and the provisions of this covenant.
8. The responsibility of the banker shall come in line with his authority; therefore he shall use his discretionary authority in addition to his expertise and practical experience in making decisions. Having that that, the evaluation of the banking decision must take into account all available information, circumstances and situations that were there at the time it was made.
Third: Employees in the Banking Profession
9. Skilled and trained labor is the fundamental and first component for the success of the bank; hence, interest in training and the transfer of experience shall be a basic obligation on the shoulders of the present generation toward the coming generations.
10. Training skilled labor requires investment expenditures and long term effort, thus, the transition of the said labor to another bank shall be governed in a way that does not breach the basics of lawful competition.
11. Reaching a harmonious framework for wages and salaries for bank employees is desirable; therefore, the banks shall cooperate in conducting a survey in this regard.
12. Cooperation between the banks and the Central Bank in making the Institute for Banking Studies successful is an important matter and a must for progressing the banking studies and the creation of personnel that will take over the banking system in the future. Also, the banks shall cooperate with the Institute by sending trainees and providing it with training capabilities so that it can provide the required specialties.
13. The responsibilities and burdens bourn by the workers at the banking system, and what they face from the risks of judgment and prediction and any other professional sensitivity require that they shall be given guarantees that empower them to make decisions promptly without abstention or hesitation, and allow them at the same time to take initiatives. Hence, the correct remedy for employees’ mistakes and their contraventions shall be through the banking system and its own framework in the first place. Judicial or monitoring authorities shall be resorted to only if evidence is found as to the occurrence of deviation elements through a banking investigation that clarifies the bases of such claim to accountability. Should any of these employees request the help of experts for a banking technical opinion at the relevant authorities in the state or any other entity, locally or internationally, the Association of Banks in Jordan shall choose the requisite experts to give such technical opinion to achieve the best for the public interest.
Fourth: Banking Services, Operations and their Marketing
14. Interest to produce and develop banking services requires the exerted efforts of banks to achieve.
15. If the cooperation of the Banks in developing banking services is a must, their legitimate competition will be desirable, hoping that such competition will lead to more services and development.
16. Expansion in banking services, raising banking awareness amongst the classes of the society, growing bank deposits in all its types and volumes and developing savings systems is the road to mobilizing society’s savings to employ them in different fields and to fund investments that serve economic growth.
17. Adherence to fiscal, credit and banking policies and their regulating decisions shall be deemed a national obligation, until the desired goals in the interest of the national economy is reached. Also, the adherence to the decisions of the Association of Banks in Jordan and its recommendations in the different aspects of banking work shall be deemed necessary to maintain the good relationships between banks and to guarantee the regularity of banking transactions.Given that the credit decision shall be based on an appropriate basis of information to minimize risks, the exchange of correct information between the units of the banking system about credit customers shall be deemed vital for the benefit of banks and national economy as well. To facilitate the flow of information about people requesting to get credits from fellow banks, two fundamental rules must be kept: confidentiality and accuracy, as well as the anonymity of the inquirer or the giver of information without the explicit approval of them both. The usage of information obtained from a fellow bank shall not breach the legitimate competition between banks. Care shall be given to answer the inquirer bank or the inquirer person as promptly as possible.
18. The banks shall lay down regulations that insure the honesty of advertisements and that the advertisement message reached the public without exaggeration and without promises that cannot be fulfilled or that can prejudice fellow banks.
19. Adherence to the customs of banking requires the resolution of conflicts that might arise between banks in an amicable, just and prompt way through arbitration, consisting of choosing arbitrators from the banking system or outside when necessary.
20. The bank desiring to resort to arbitration must notify the Association of Banks of his request, detailing his point of view; all documents supporting its claim should be attached to the request. Association shall undertake to notify the other party of the arbitration request and shall request it to submit, within a month, a memo detailing ITS counter claim supported by documents. If the said respite ends without the memo being submitted, the said party shall be deemed refusing the arbitration request.
21. In case both parties accept to resolve the conflict through arbitration, the Association shall choose an arbitrator or more who are not connected to the parties of conflict, in consultation with the parties.
22. The arbitrator or arbitrators shall offer to end the conflict amicably. In case the parties accept, the approval shall be incorporated in a record signed by the arbitrator/s and each party. If the arbitrator or the arbitrators were not able to resolve the conflict, it shall be resolved through legal channels.
23. Arbitration costs shall be agreed upon in advance, and the bearer of such costs shall be agreed upon, too.
Sixth: Final Provisions
24. Banks must cooperate among themselves to face possibilities of forgery, money laundering, embezzlement and breach of trust and to insure against the risks of banking work.