An overview of IPF’s view on
Business Ethics

We believe that it is important to ensure that we are acting ethically at all times. 

We provide a clear template to employees through our Code of Ethics and place a great emphasis on communicating with, and training, employees through the use of real-life ethical dilemmas. We are committed to human rights and make an annual communication on progress through our membership of the United Nations Global Compact. 

The IPF Code of Ethics sets out our ethical standards in relation to our key stakeholders including our people, agents, customers, investors, communities and wider society, business partners and the natural environment. The code represents our standard across the business regardless of employment level, geographical position or local culture. 

We have established a number of supporting mechanisms and processes throughout the business to ensure that ethics plays a part in both our strategic and day-to-day decision making. We maintain internal mechanisms to expose any deviations from the code as well as a third party, confidential whistleblowing service.

We are committed to conducting our affairs so as to combat bribery and corruption. Our trading activities are conducted with honesty and integrity and in accordance with the law, ensuring that we are compliant with anti-bribery and/or anti-corruption legislation in all applicable jurisdictions. We operate controls and procedures to ensure that no one acting on our behalf:

  • offers, promises or gives a bribe;
  • requests, agrees to accept or receives a bribe; nor
  • bribes a public official to obtain or retain business or an advantage

Our ethics programme focusses not just on integrating ethical considerations in policies and processes but also on empowering our people to make ethical decisions through training and communications. We understand that it is difficult to legislate for every scenario so we place an emphasis on giving employees the tools and guides they need to make ethical decisions in line with our values on being responsible, respectful and straightforward.

Training

  • From 2014 we hold annual training on Ethics for our employees, from 2015 we extended this training to our agents
  • Ethics e-learning covers all key areas of our code of ethics including anti-bribery and corruption, responsible lending processes, supplier relations, health and safety and human resources processes. The training contains a test of understanding based on typical dilemmas employees may face in the business and employees must obtain a minimum pass mark in order to complete the training.
  • Our values and code of ethics are included within induction processes for employees and agents 
  • We are members of the Institute of Business Ethics to share best practice and continue our development in this area
  • Senior management throughout the business periodically receives training on the importance of ethics in leadership areas 

Ethics training completion in 2016  
Employees  99%
Agents  85%

Culture and communications 

  • The board and Reputation and Regulation Committee receive regular updates on the ethics programme
  • We maintain ethics as a communications priority both as a stand-alone message and integrated into other business communications
  • We hold an annual ethics week throughout the business with a number of communications initiatives including group discussions, external speakers, games, quizzes and social media updates

Annual Ethics webcast

Communicating with employees is a huge priority in our business ethics programme. We want to generate employee conversation about how ethics relates to our day-to-day professional lives and the dilemmas we face. Creating an ethical culture is about a genuine tone from the top coupled with a genuine employee interest and our ethics programme aims to achieve this. 

Main feature of our ethics week is the international ethics webcast. Each year different market hosts the event which is broadcast live to all our markets. Our CEO together with representatives of local boards answer questions on ethical issues from our employees. 

International Personal Finance is committed to human rights and works to ensure that we do not infringe on any human rights through our operations or business relationships.

We are a signatory of the United Nations Global Compact and these principles are enshrined in our values and Code of Ethics which is communicated to employees, built into our training programmes and integrated into our policies. Human rights forms part of our sustainability and Ethics programme and we provide employees with access to a confidential whistle-blowing hotline to ensure that any concerns can be escalated appropriately. These processes and mechanisms are monitored at our quarterly Reputation and Regulation Committee as well as through our risk management processes.

We publish an annual Communication on Progress as part of our membership of the United Nations Global Compact which can be found here. 

We are committed to opposing slavery and human trafficking in our direct operations and in the indirect operations of our supply chain. Our statement on the Modern Slavery Act 2015 can be found here. 

Our employees and agents have the possibility to contact an independent, third-party operated, confidential SpeakUp service to report any cases of misbehaviour, breaches of our Code of Ethics or suspicions of financial wrongdoing. We encourage openness and will support anyone who raises genuine concerns in good faith even if they turn out to be mistaken. We are committed to ensuring no one suffers any detrimental treatment as a result of reporting in good faith. 

In most of our markets employees and agents have a further possibility to contact an internal Ethics line to raise their concerns in good faith. These can include concerns over resourcing, remuneration, dismissal, management practices or any reports of breaches or potential breaches of the Code of Ethics or any other misconduct. These concerns and reports are dealt with and are investigated objectively and no person will suffer detrimental treatment or discrimination as a result of contacting the Ethics line. 

Fully-fledged customer service and complaints departments operate in all our markets to deal with our customers concerns and complaints. We are committed to resolving any issue raised to the best possible satisfaction of our customers and in the shortest possible period of time.