Ethics and Business Practices
All employees of Allied Bank Limited, hereafter called ABL, are required to follow a Code of Ethics and Business Practices in all areas of professional conduct. They must abide by the following:
Laws and Rules
- All the employees are required to comply with all the laws, rules and regulations governing ABL, including the Bank’s policies, procedures and standards, the State Bank of Pakistan and the Security and Exchange Commission of Pakistan’s regulations applicable to the Bank.
- All employees must function with integrity within the scope of their authorities and follow directives given by the person(s) under whose jurisdiction they are deputed with complete honesty.
- Core value of ‘Integrity’ must be promoted by upholding fairness, equality and respect for all team members. Discrimination, harassment of all types, intimidation and other negative practices are strictly prohibited.
- Harassment includes any unwanted, immoral act or attitude, including abuse of authority, creating a hostile environment and retaliation to non compliance with unethical demands, which is demeaning or detrimental to work performance or the career of any employee in any capacity.
- Adherence to designated time schedules is imperative. The Bank is entitled to take disciplinary action in case of unauthorised absences.
- Employees in workmen cadre (clerical/non-clerical) are not authorized to indulge into unfair labour practices.
- Employees are not authorized to use Bank’s facilities to promote trade union or officer’s association activities, or carry weapons into Bank premises unless so authorized. They must not carry on above mentioned activities during office hours.
- No employee shall indulge in any political activity, including forming or joining a political, ethnic or linguistic association; get elected to a legislative body, in Pakistan or elsewhere, or indulge in any activity detrimental to the ideology of Pakistan.
- All full-time employees must devote their entire business day to their work; avoid any outside activity that interferes with their judgement in the best interest of the Bank and its clients. The Human Resource Group must be informed in case an employee:
- Holds an outside directorship; carries on business activity outside; holds majority shares/interest in a public or private business; takes direct advantage of securities of a public listed company, or serves as a client’s personal representative.
- No employee shall bring political or other outside pressure/ influence to bear on the authorities/superior officers or use the media with intent to induce them to act in a manner inconsistent with rules in any matter relating to the Bank.
- Employees are prohibited from any engagement outside the Bank without prior approval from the Human Resource Group. Employees with financial or other interest in any family business, must declare in advance by writing and seek no objection.
- Employees shall not borrow from or lend personal funds or property to any Client or Vendor who has a relationship with the Bank except on market terms and conditions from financial institutions. Borrowing or lending in personal capacity within the Bank is prohibited.
- Employees shall be alert and vigilant with respect to frauds, thefts or significant illegal activity committed within the office, reporting them immediately in writing to higher authority for appropriate action to be taken. Employment or Internship Certificates can only be issued by the Human Resource Group. Receipts of funds can only be issued on prescribed forms.
- Disciplinary action may be taken in case of misconduct or unsatisfactory performance including
- Breach of above mentioned rules; wilful insubordination; breach of confidential material; use of drugs or alcohol; falsification of documents; violation of safety/health rules; insider trading; parallel banking; money laundering and any act detrimental to the Bank’s business.
- The Bank is committed to creating and maintaining a working, learning and customer care environment, which is free from violence and has zero tolerance for violence against any employee or its property.
- Employees are not allowed to play practical jokes or pranks on each other, indulge in horseplay, or share immoral jokes with other employees, or the outside world, through Allied Bank email server or computer, or cell phones.
- Employees are prohibited to use, exchange, or sell intoxicants or drugs in the work place or come to work under their influence. Smoking is allowed only in designated areas.
- Employees are required to maintain proper dress code, appear well groomed and presentable at all the time. Livery staff should be in their proper uniform. High standards of behaviour and tidy work areas are to be maintained at all times.
Responsibilities Towards Employer (ABL)
- Employees must raise concerns and suspicions, in confidence, about any actual or potential illegal activity or misconduct according to the process in Whistle Blowing Policy and the Anti Harassment Policy. Failure to do so will result in employee being deemed a party to the irregularity.
- Guidance must be sought from relevant Group in case any employee receives any demand or request for information from outside party including law enforcement agencies.
- Every employee must protect the Bank’s assets, physical and intellectual, and adhere to its Email and Internet Usage Policy and Acceptable Use Policy.
- Employees must maintain all records accurately and are prohibited from making any false or misleading entries, forging or tampering with signatures to compromise integrity of Bank’s record.
- Employees are required to identify all conflicts of interest and declare them immediately, including all matters expected to interfere with their duty to the Bank or ability to make unbiased and objective recommendations.
- All employees shall regard as strictly confidential any information concerning the business of the Bank which is not intended to be made public unless required to do so under the law, consulting the Human Resource Group in case of ambiguity about a required disclosure. Confidential information must only be shared with employees on a need to know basis consistent with their job assignments as set out in Information Security and Governance Policies.
- All customers’ related information should be kept secret, used for intended purpose only and any further use should be allowed only after prior consent of the concerned customer.
- Employees should protect the privacy and confidentiality of personnel records, not sharing them inside or outside the Bank except after approval by Human Resource Group.
- Employees should not use Bank’s facilities to access, download or distribute personal or social information, including any material that may pose reputational risk to the Bank. Secrecy of passwords must be maintained to prevent unauthorized access to Bank’s systems. Personal use of internet and email is deemed inappropriate in the workplace. Private telephone conversations must be kept at a minimum during office hours.
- Only officially designated spokesperson, as provided under the Bank’s Media Policy, may provide comments about the Bank to the media.
Relationship with and Responsibilities to Customers, Prospects and other External Constituencies
- Employees must always act fairly, equitably and objectively with all customers, prospects, suppliers and other external constituencies. Highest degree of integrity, honesty, proprietary and loyalty, towards the interest of the Bank, its customers and regulators is a must.
- Employees are not authorized to accept or agree to accept any gifts or conveyance of anything of value from any current or prospective Allied Bank customers or vendors or any person who has a business relationship with the Bank with exception of the following
- Gifts that relate to commonly recognized events or occasions such as a promotion, new job, wedding, retirement etc. provided those gifts are of reasonable value.
- Gifts from a person who has a business relationship with the Bank, provided the acceptance is based on relationship existing independent of the business of the Bank and reported to the Human Resource Group.
- Benefits available to the general public e.g. advertising or promotional materials, and discount or rebates on merchandise or services
- Civic, charitable, educational or religious organizational awards for recognition of service or accomplishment.
Other Key Legal/Compliance Rules and Issues
- Employees are strictly prohibited to engage in insider trading, buying or selling Bank’s common stocks or otherwise benefitting from sharing inside information, whether obtained through workplace or outside sources.
- ABL fully supports the intended drive against serious crime and is committed to assisting the authorities to identify money laundering transactions and where appropriate to confiscate the proceeds of crime. Employees must follow the Anti Money Laundering Policy and Procedures.
- Violation of any of the clauses of this ‘Code of Ethics’ by any employee, may lead to disciplinary proceedings culminating in punishment as per merits of the case.