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The program that ABC TV aired on CommInsure scandal (link below) will provide

you an overview of the case.

This assessment is in two parts.

The first part requires students to work collaboratively to:

  • Identify espoused levels of behavior by the CBA (from its Corporate Responsibility Report) and actual behavior demonstrated by CommInsure that breaches aspects of the CRR report.
  • Identify sections of the relevant Code of Conductwithin the CBA that have been breached by CommInsure.

The second part require you to:

  • complete a based on the findings in Part A.

Part A


Groups (max 5) will generate a table that identifies differences between what:

  • the CRR Report suggests shouldhappen and CommInsure breaches and
  • the CBA Code of Conductand CommInsure breaches.

The table will need to be comprehensive as it forms the basis individual assignments and should have a column that identifies key references for individuals to use in their individual reports.

Identification of CommInsure breaches will require additional research by group members.

Evaluate financial management policies and practices with respect to their social responsibility and social outcomes of their actions.

Did CommInsure consider the ramifications of their financial decisions on sustainability and social responsibility?

Ensure that your analysis is carried out with reference to corporate social responsibility principles, the corporation’s objectives, code of ethics and ethical principles and theories. Specifically answer the following questions:

  1. Describe CommInsure’s practices and financial decisions
  1. Briefly describe the coverage of CBA’s Corporate Responsibility Report (CRR).
  • Evaluate the CommInsure practices relative to the CBA’s CRR Report.
  1. Explain whether sustainability and socially responsible outcomes really matter to the CBA. If they do not matter, should they?

  2. Identify ethical principles breached by CommInsure in comparison to the CBA’s Code of Ethics.

  3. Discuss those ethical violations with reference to a stakeholder of your choosing.
Part 1

There is a significant relationship existing between the financial performance of a bank and its corporate social responsibility. The relation is bidirectional, implying that financial management practices impact CSR and on the other hand, efficient CSR practices lead to better financial management practices. Areas such as stewardship, stakeholder management theories, and dependency resources and as well as agency theory are critical in financial management. However, the most essential contribution to the financial performance of any organization, in particular, a financial institution is its social behavior index. The social behavior index is formed by four main elements including Don Jones sustainability index, Global compact signee, Global Reporting Initiative, and Good Corporate Governance Recommendations.

What CRR Report suggests should happen and what CommInsure breaches

CBA Code of Conduct and CommInsure breaches

CommInsure’s Practices are majorly based upon the ultimate satisfaction of its customers. According to the report given by the bank, the critical financial practices are built upon the feedback received from the clients, especially with the help of different analysis tools including the digital tracking. From the feedback received, it is evident that the bank is making progress towards satisfying its client (Commonwealth Bank of Australia, 2018).

The bank offers personal advice to its clients in core areas of financial management. Most clients often feel more secure with a bank that is concerned with their money management policies and practices. For instance, the bank offers counsel on the trust management, investment venture capital trust, loans, and tax mitigations among others. According to the bank, its principal concern is the wellbeing of the customers (Commonwealth Bank of Australia, 2018) (Munusamy, et al., 2010).

Commonwealth Bank of Australia puts in place all the four elements. The bank majors on social capital (Soana, 2011). That is, the company ensures that in its interactions with its clients, it makes profits, and at the same time, the profit made by the company is in itself social. As such, the bank creates a virtuous circle ensuring the flow of capital through the company at all times. Investors and customers feel safe with the bank.

In addition to having best practices in the industry, Commonwealth Bank of Australia also makes financial decisions which keep it going. For instance, the bank in its bid to continue to help people finances some of the needs of its clients. According to the bank report, CBA finances its clients’ financial obligations such as weddings, buying a home, paying for a trip to another country as well as buying a car or other expensive stuff. All that a customer is required to do is to make a budget and start saving with the bank. A well-drawn budget in most cases presents the bank with the ability to check the eligibility of the person whose payments are made by the bank. This in itself makes the company continue to have more clients who are satisfied with the services (Worthington, 2016) ( CommonwealthBank of Australia, 2018).

CBA’s corporate responsibility is guided by the vision of seeing that all the people, communities and business are financially stable. As such, the company continues to strengthen the relationship it has with the various stakeholders. It continues to improve the customer remediation, implementing multiple reforms including working with Bankers Association, appointment of customer advocate, approach to whistleblowers and background check protocol for the employees who are potential for the bank and the economy at large. The company has mainly built on education (Commonwealth Bank of Australia, 2018).

Coverage of CBA's Corporate Responsibility Report

The bank has also launched the Financial Inclusion Action Plan which works in close association with the Domestic Violence NSW. The association releases Addressing Financial Abuse to help those who suffer domestic violence to be financially independent (Chibba, 2009). Moreover, the also has several initiatives to address climate change through assisting the growth of the renewable energy sector and basing critical decisions on Environmental, Social and Governance. In particular, the bank offers $15 billion to help in lowering carbon by 2025.     

Comminsure Practices are based upon a progressive development of the society. The bank focuses on practices that ensure that all individuals are covered and that no one in the society is left vulnerable. The bank focus on three main sectors:

  1. Education
  2. Innovation

iii. Good business practices

The company has a corporate responsibility to ensure that children are educated. As such, the value of money is created as an investment in the education of the children. Moreover, through education, the children are prepared to be the future task force. As such, the bank looks ahead of time. Secondly, the bank improves its innovative skills by developing innovative products which support the bank's initiatives to manage the money as well as financial inclusion better. The firm continues to invest in programs that support businesses to be innovative.

The bank views education as one of the main initiatives in achieving the national goals. All the steps that the company makes, such as innovation and technological improvement are all anchored upon quality education. Business expansion and other techniques also depend upon the extent to which the country is educated. The company also focuses on financing as an alternative means of ending social inequality which still affects the country.  In financing the education of the children as corporate responsibility, the bank makes an excellent impact upon the people, hence improving the way the business performs.  

CBA is also bridging the gap in employment in both the males and the females. The bank tries as much as possible to train its workers in the best work practices which may not affect the family ties. This ensures that family violence is significantly reduced. Family violence is still a social problem which affects most families in Australia, but the major causes often include insufficient income or the time spent at work relative to caring for the family members (Aizer, 2010). The bank practices its employee engagement in the best ways that give the family the priority. These are achieved through offering timeouts, compulsory holidays and strict time spent in the offices (Postmus, et al., 2009).

CBA is concerned with the sustainability and social outcomes of the country. This is evident from various action plans and the existing initiatives that the firm puts in place. For instance, the bank builds both initiatives to enhance its financial performance as well as its corporate responsibility needs. For the bank to be able to sustain its operations, both the internal and the external needs are to be met simultaneously.

Sustainability of the bank is achieved through the initiatives that the bank makes towards achieving its customer base, which primarily is strengthened by its building on social capital. The good report that the company has in the nation makes it have ready customers who are willing to bank with the financial institution and at the same time, find other stakeholders such as investors who are prepared to finance the bank to meet its financial objectives. The bank also banks on long-term projects such as education and environmental concerns, like financing reduction of carbon and hence managing climate change. Furthermore, the bank provides an annual sustainability report, which to a greater extent makes it strategically placed to make adjust appropriately to meet its critical financial requirements (Pullman, et al., 2009).

Comminsure Practices Relative to the CBA's CRR Report

CBA is socially responsible in quite a number of ways, including the focusing on the value to its customers, such as in ensuring the financial well-being of the people. To meet this, the bank continues to improve the avenues that build on the customer satisfaction, such offering financial advice and financing key elements that matter to people such as education, acquiring property and meeting lifetime events (Mulgan, 2010).

There are a set of ethical principles that financial institutions have to put in place for them to comply with the international standards of operations. These principles, however, are based upon macro-elements. For instance, the principles are based on the ethical considerations, which applies to both the company and its workers. The policies that the bank makes must consider the customers as well as the employee and at the same time comply with the law of the country and the international law. Secondly, the principles are based on the governance. CBA provides a clear view of the governance of its operations. The third principle is based on the execution of its operations. The bank may be sued for failure of meeting these principles set by the company. Others include information sharing, risk compliance and confirmation, and settlement. All these principles build the foundation upon which the policies of CBA are based. However, at the same time, the bank may comply with them in different ways that may not reach the expectation of the customer (Howell, 2015).

CBA is expected to comply with the ethical principles which guide the operations of the firm. For instance, it is required that CBA must achieve the highest standards of ethics in its dealing with the customers. For example, customers are not to be subjected to embarrassment resulting from insufficient information. The bank has to ensure that the customers are aware of everything that the bank transacts with them. Secondly, the bank must ensure that its professional base is the best. With this, it means that errors arising from different operations will be reduced significantly. The bank may face a problem in case it fails to comply with the professional needs of the bank. Moreover, there is the need for the bank to address the major areas of conflicts between the customers and the bank and address the same most appropriately, and which takes care of the interests of the firm and those of the customers (Pearson, 2009).

In case there are allegations that the customers have against violations of these ethical principles, the bank allows for the customers to have a lawyer to verify the claims and sue the bank in accordance with the international code of conduct of financial institutions and the constitution of the country as well as the terms and conditions that the bank defines.


Financial performance of a bank and its corporate social responsibility is bidirectional properties which make a bank successful. Commonwealth Bank of Australia puts these considerations in place and tries to ensure that there is a perfect relationship between the business and its customers. The bank operates in harmony with the internal codes of conduct of financial institutions. However, there may be issues that the stakeholders may find to be breaching their mutual interaction. The bank offers assistance to the clients to ensure that they can find a personal lawyer who can help them to interpret the law in the best way possible and consequently solve the issues. Moreover, the bank is continuously improving its services especially with regard to an area that may be controversial, hence continuously improving its social behavior index.


CommonwealthBank of Australia, 2018. The Better Banking Book: CommonwealthBank of Australia. s.l.: CommonwealthBank of Australia.

Aizer, A., 2010. The gender wage gap and domestic violence. American Economic Review, 100(4), pp. 1847-1859..

Chibba, M., 2009. Financial inclusion, poverty reduction and the millennium development goals. The European Journal of Development Research, 21(2), pp. 213-230.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia, 2018. Commonwealth Bank of Australia Corporate Responsibility Report 2017, s.l.: s.n.

Howell, N. J., 2015. Revisiting the Australian code of banking practice: is self-regulation still relevant for improving consumer protection standards. UNSWLJ, 38(1), p. 544.

Mulgan, G., 2010. Measuring social value. Stanford Soc Innov Rev, 8(3), pp. 38-43..

Munusamy, J., Chelliah, S. & Mun, H. W., 2010. Service quality delivery and its impact on customer satisfaction in the banking sector in Malaysia. International Journal of Innovation. Management and Technology, 1(4), p. 398.

Pearson, G., 2009. Financial Services Law and Compliance in Australia. s.l.:Cambridge University Press.

Postmus, J. L., Severson, M., Berry, M. & Yoo, J., 2009. Women's experiences of violence and seeking help. Violence against women, 15(7), pp. 852-868.

Pullman, M., Maloni, M. J. & Carter, C. R., 2009. Food for thought: social versus environmental sustainability practices and performance outcomes. Journal of Supply Chain Management, 45(4), pp. 38-54.

Soana, M., 2011. The relationship between corporate social performance and corporate financial performance in the banking sector. Journal of business ethics, 104(1), p. 133.

Worthington, A. C., 2016. Financial literacy and financial literacy programmes in Australia. Financial Literacy and the Limits of Financial Decision-Making, pp. 281-301.

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