From the marble trading floors of Wall Street to the dirt floor of a microfinance lender in rural Sumatra, finance touches everybody’s lives. From small personal loans to collateralised debt obligations, it promises solutions for a better, more prosperous future. But not much in life is guaranteed, and financial outcomes may not match consumer expectations. When trust between practitioners and their clients is undermined it threatens the very fabric of our financial system. The result can be personal disappointment, but the financial crisis of 2007-08 highlighted how we can all be affected when economies are jeopardised by financial mismanagement.

Clare Payne shares how the finance sector can stand as a true profession and she provides a practical guide to make everyday business decisions in an ethically sound way.


Clare Payne is a leading voice on ethics in society. She tracks trends and writes about their implications in her monthly ‘Ethical Lens column in The Australian Financial Review BOSS Magazine. 

She is the author of two books, ‘A Matter of Trust – The Practice of Ethics in Finance’ and ‘One – Valuing the Single Life’, Melbourne University Publishing and distributed by Penguin.

Her insights and experience into the power a single person has to make a difference in changing the status quo is nothing short of remarkable. Currently, Clare works with Dr. Bronwyn King, founder of Tobacco Free Portfolios. Clare sees tobacco-free investment as the ultimate ethical case study for the finance sector. 

She's a globally recognised leader for her work in ethics in finance and her personal commitment to social issues. She was recognised as a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader in 2014 and as an Australian ‘100 Women of Influence’ in 2016. 

In 2007, prior to the global financial crisis, Clare’s paper ‘Ethics or Bust’ was awarded the inaugural Ethics & Trust in Finance Prize by the Observatoire de la Finance, Geneva. In 2010 Clare led the establishment of The Banking and Finance Oath (The BFO), a Hippocratic oath for those working in banking and finance. The BFO has been positively received by industry leaders with the list of signatories growing daily. 

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