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Critical Evaluation of Practices of CBA and Financial Decisions

Discuss about the Accounting and Finance for Commonwealth Bank.

The current study elucidates in detail about ethics and corporate social responsibility that refer to accountability of a corporation for the impacts of its decisions on society with reference to the operations of the firm CommInsue. CommInsue is the insurance arm of the firm Commonwealth Bank of Australia that was involved in diverse deceitful exercises namely misusing of medical reports counting deleting files and compelling doctors to later their opinions so that the claims of the clients can be rejected, altering definition of disease, delaying payouts and many others. In this regard, the study at hand thereby intends to examine ethical principles and financial decisions of the firm Commonwealth Bank (CBA). In addition to this, this study also has the intent to assess whether sustainability as well as socially responsible outcomes matter for the firm CBA and identify violations of CBA. Moving further, the study also intends to discuss elaborately ethical violations with orientation to particular theories.

As regards CSR practice of the firm Commonwealth Bank (CBA), the group declared new vision developed for excelling at securing and augmenting the overall financial well being of individuals, businesses as well as communities.  Essentially, the new vision also develops customer centric culture and intends to get better and persistently improve in all the operations undertaken. Corporate Social Principle of the company CBA is outlined in the pecuniary report of the firm as a group strategy as well as sustainability approach. The sustainability strategic framework concentrates on five different areas, upholds the vision and generation of enduring value for the customers, individuals, shareholders along with wider community (Schwartz 2017).

 The sustainable framework includes the following:

Sustainable business practices take in exercises of strong governance, instituted management systems, accountable procurement along with transparent reporting (Tai and Chuang 2014)

Accountable Financial Services of CBA undertakes a responsible tactic for the provision of various financial products as well as services.

Engaged as well as Talented People of CBA lure develop and retain different, engaged as well as talented workforce.      

Community Contribution as well as Action carries out impactful contributions to the societies by means of mutually beneficial partnerships (Carroll 2015)

Policy of Environmental Stewardship helps CBA to become more proactive in enumerating and lessening overall environmental footprint and deliver smart and effective solution to aid the customers as well as employees lessen their own (Bhattacharya et al. 2017)

Discussion whether Sustainability and Socially Responsible Outcomes Matter for CBA

Analysis of pecuniary reports published by the company Commonwealth Bank (CBA) reveals the fact that the Group delivers funds to over and above 2 million owners of home. Particularly, disburses interest payments to over and above 11 million retail saving as well as transaction account holders (Tran 2018).

With approximately 52000 individuals, the annual payroll expends of the group is more than $5 billion. Essentially, the group necessarily returns around 75% of the earned profits to in excess of 800000 Australians who necessarily hold the shares directly together with millions more who essentially hold these by means of superannuation funds (Tran 2018).

In essence, the group also disbursed in excess of $3 billion in taxes in the financial year, thereby making the company CBA the fourth largest payer of tax. In addition to this, the group also directly aids over 200 grassroots community corporations. This exerts a positive influence on overall health as well as wellbeing of the youths of Australia (Vertigans and Idowu 2017). Furthermore, the group also presented a wide array of programs on development of financial literacy to over and above 280000 students across the nation.

Sustainability along with social responsibility is said to really matters for the company CBA. This is evident from the new vision of the company that is extremely customer centric and has the intention to continually get better in everything the company does. The management of the firm intends to evolve particularly the corporate strategy and continue to embrace the significance of Environmental, Social as well as Governance (ESG) contemplations in a swiftly transforming operating environment (Cheng et al. 2014). In addition to this, it is evident from initiatives of the firm that sustainability as well as socially responsible results really matter for the firm. For instance, the company has achieved the target of 20% reduction in carbon; company has ranked 1 in customer satisfaction in different areas of business, participated in around 3520 primary school banking programs and many others. In addition to this, it can be observed that

The ethical violations of the firm Commonwealth Bank (CBA) can be analysed from the latest scandals that engulfed the bank particularly the insurance business of the corporation. In addition to this, the insurance arm of the company that is the CommInsue primarily entered into unethical practices of undertaking deceitful exercises. This included misusing of medical reports, deleting several files and compelling doctors to change their opinions for rejecting the claims of the clients. The management of the firm in this way intended to reduce the payouts in terms of claims of the client although the clients diligently paid the premiums. Essentially, there are extraordinary substantiations that are identified and uncovered in this regard that can help in supporting the unethical treatment by the business unit (Saeidi et al. 2015). In itself, there are also allegations of different claim managers who necessarily were cherry picking various doctors for getting prognoses they want. In this way, doctors were persuaded to alter their opinions. Fundamentally, these unethical practices added to the trauma of the sick as well as suffering customers.

Identification of Ethical Principles Breached by CBA

The ethical principles that are necessarily breached at the firm include the following:

Beneficence:  This ethical principle essentially guides various decision makers to do what is correct as well as good. In this case, to do good necessarily makes ethical perspective and probable solutions to an ethical dilemma (Korschun et al. 2014). In particular, this principle is also associated to principle of utility and this talk about the need to generate largest ratio of good over evil in the entire world. The management of the firm CBA have failed to do good to the claimants who have diligently paid premiums for years. Therefore, this principle is said to have been violated.

Least Harm: This ethical principle mentions that least harm handles situations in which no option appears beneficial. However, in this regard, decision makers intend to select to undertake activities that would do the least harm and things that mete out harm to the fewest people (Dias et al. 2018). As such, this ethical principle is also violated in this regard as the insurance unit of CBA have meted out tremendous harm to the insurance claimants by obtaining fraudulent ways.

Respect and reverence for autonomy: This specific principle mentions that decision making have the need to concentrate on permitting people to be autonomous and to be able to make decisions that are applicable to their lives (Wang et al. 2016). Therefore, individuals have the need to maintain control their lives as much as possible as they are the only people who entirely understand their own lifestyle.

Justice: The ethical principle of justice talks about the need to concentrate on activities that are to some extent fair to the ones engaged. This refers to the fact that ethical decisions have the need to be consistent with the specific ethical themes (Wang et al. 2016). In case of CBA, this principle has also been breached as the insurance wing of the firm have failed to remain fair. By ways of unfair means, management of the corporation has rejected claims in order to avert huge payouts.

The deontological themes of ethics that are applied for decision making stresses on ethical dilemmas that are significant and directs towards most ethically appropriate resolution.

Ethical concerns in insurance corporations include utilitarianism and deontology. The former perspective concentrates on greater good or collective, whilst the latter concentrates on personal duties. Basically, insurance businesses of the Commonwealth Bank have breached the ethical principle of utilitarianism as they have failed to do good and deceitfully violate the rights of claimants. Again, individual customer alternatively is to some extent deontological. They necessarily take into account needs as the first as well as foremost concern with no pertinent interest outside the policy of insurance. There are several concerns that take place when providers of insurance fail to comprehend these areas of concern, undertaking practices that ignore personal objections (Carroll and Buchholtz 2014). Therefore, this is an area where rules/principles are violated for the corporation. Even for legal, personal or else humanitarian causes, ethics cannot be ignored.   In ethical themes founded on rights, the specific rights instituted by a community can be protected and given highest priority. In this case rights are necessarily considered ethically appropriate and valid as large population endorses the same. This theory is also violated in the case of CBA.

Conclusion

The ethical violations with orientation to ethical themes relevant to the current case are explained in this study. In conclusion, it can be said that the current study helps in understanding the practices of CBA and financial decisions bearing in mind the ethical principles of the firm. Also, the study also aids in comprehending whether sustainability and socially responsible outcomes really matter for CBA and identifies ethical principles that are breached by CBA. Moving further, the study at hand also explicates in detail about ethical violations with reference to relevant ethical theories.

References

Bhattacharya, C.B., Korschun, D., Sen, S. and Routledge, H., 2017. Corporate social responsibility. Journal of International Law, 26(2).

Carroll, A. and Buchholtz, A., 2014. Business and society: Ethics, sustainability, and stakeholder management. Nelson Education.

Carroll, A.B., 2015. Corporate social responsibility. Organizational dynamics, 44(2), pp.87-96. 

Cheng, B., Ioannou, I. and Serafeim, G., 2014. Corporate social responsibility and access to finance. Strategic Management Journal, 35(1), pp.1-23.

Dias, A., Rodrigues, L.L., Craig, R. and Neves, M.E., 2018. Corporate social responsibility disclosure in small and medium-sized entities and large companies. Social Responsibility Journal.

Korschun, D., Bhattacharya, C.B. and Swain, S.D., 2014. Corporate social responsibility, customer orientation, and the job performance of frontline employees. Journal of Marketing, 78(3), pp.20-37.

Saeidi, S.P., Sofian, S., Saeidi, P., Saeidi, S.P. and Saaeidi, S.A., 2015. How does corporate social responsibility contribute to firm financial performance? The mediating role of competitive advantage, reputation, and customer satisfaction. Journal of Business Research, 68(2), pp.341-350.

Schwartz, M.S., 2017. Corporate social responsibility. Routledge.

Tai, F.M. and Chuang, S.H., 2014. Corporate social responsibility. Ibusiness, 6(03), p.117.

Tran, B., 2018. Corporate social responsibility. In Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, Fourth Edition (pp. 671-681). IGI Global.

Vertigans, S. and Idowu, S.O., 2017. Corporate Social Responsibility. Springer International Publishing:.

Wang, H., Tong, L., Takeuchi, R. and George, G., 2016. Corporate social responsibility: An overview and new research directions thematic issue on corporate social responsibility. Academy of Management Journal, 59(2), pp.534-544.

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