Nigeria: CIBN Outgoing President Advocates Ethical Leadership in Banks

25 May 2020

The outgoing President/Chairman of Council of The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, CIBN, Dr. Uche Olowu, has called on stakeholders in the banking industry to leverage on emotional intelligence to build ethical leadership in the industry.

Olowu made the call on Friday while delivering his presidential valedictory address via a webinar at the 20th outgoing President/Chairman of Council of the Institute on the theme 'Ethical Leadership in Banks and Emotional Intelligence'.

In his address, the outgoing Olowu maintained that leadership will succeed if people are emotionally engaged by priming good feelings in those they lead. He told over one thousand participants who connected to the programme through Zoom and YouTube that ethical leadership influences people to exhibit right behaviour that could maximize values such as integrity, honesty, consistency and so on, adding that emotional intelligence aligns with ethics to achieve organizational success.

Speaking further, he said that emotions in interpersonal relationships, service delivery and intrapersonal relationship influence the major parameters in service-oriented firms like banking profession, which are amplified by the digital landscape in which banks operate as pressure are exerted on these parameters.

According to him, because little attention has been paid to emotional intelligence in the banking industry as cognitive processes are adopted for performance assessment, recruitments, and selections, this has encouraged wrong performance, wrong interpretations of human actions and erroneous reflection of organizations' values in the characteristics of top management as stated in underlying theories of emotional intelligence'.

Olowu held that 'it is generally perceived that numerous scandals in the banking industry create the impression that corporate culture in banks tolerates unethical behaviour, apart from the fact that banking is a business premised on the capitalist ideal of profit at all cost." This, he said has damaged customers trust.

He explained that, "the four domains of emotional intelligence that predict success are self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management.

"These domains are strengthened by emotional competencies which comprised individual thoughts, feelings, and behaviours, and it is divided into personal and social competencies".

Consequently, he recommended that: "Ethical leadership behaviour should be encouraged in banks to facilitate success through leadership commitment to ethical values, prudence, and exercise of fair judgement.

"Emotional capabilities should be developed to create an atmosphere of trust, cooperation, and ethical leadership.

"The banking industry should shun pressure of the moment which leads to unethical behaviour. Training for emotional intelligence across the broad spectrum should be executed to arrest discomfort and provide reassurances in time of turbulence and threatening change."

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