With limited financial resources and few service options, microfinance clients are particularly vulnerable to corruption and unscrupulous business practices. The principle of ethical staff behavior aims to ensure that financial service providers maintain high ethical standards in their interactions with microfinance clients. Adequate safeguards must be in place to detect and correct corruption from staff or mistreatment of clients.
Developing and maintaining an ethical corporate culture requires that an organization clearly state its values and ethical standards through a Code of Conduct. Management and staff at all institutional levels must be trained on ethical behavior and receive appropriate rewards and sanctions for their ability or failure to comply.
Alalay Sa Kaunlaran, Inc. (ASKI), a microfinance institution in the Philippines, believes that ethical staff behavior is a critical component of both good customer service and human resources management. ASKI implements their written Code of Conduct and Discipline through staff training, staff performance reviews,client satisfaction surveys, and the ASKI Values Protocol—an established process for addressing staff violations of the Code.