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Jan 01 2015
Ethics & Standards Help Make Good Decisions
Lisa Keller, CBA, Peterson Plumbing Supply

For many of us January is a time of reflection and resolution both personally and professionally. It's a time when we take stock of what is working and what isn't, where we are and where we would like to be. As professionals, we should all strive to be the best that we can be. Luckily, we have been provided with national Ethics & Standards that can help us be just that every day.


The function of the credit department may vary from company to company, but the overall goal remains the same - to protect the assets of our company while promoting sales and growth. This is not always an easy task! We all have customers, both internal and external, that for whatever reason we simply don't click with, and situations that seem almost impossible to turn into a win-win for all parties. When these occur, refer to those Ethics & Standards and our path becomes more clear.

Credit professionals pledge to:

  • Adhere to the highest standards of integrity, trust, fairness, personal and professional behavior in all business dealings.
  • Negotiate verbal or written credit agreements, contracts, assignments, and/or transfers with honesty, fairness, and due diligence to and for the  
  • benefit of all parties.
  • Render reasonable assistance, cooperating with impartiality and without bias or prejudice, to debtors, third parties, and other credit professionals.
  • Exchange appropriate, historical and current factual information to support the process of independent credit decisions.
  • Exercise due diligence as required to prevent unlawful or improper disclosure to third parties.
  • Disclose any potential conflict in all business dealings.

When we act with integrity, it becomes apparent to those around us that we will do what is best for all parties. It is easy in the heat of a moment to forget that the person sitting across the desk from us has their own unique perspective. At those times it is human nature to want to "win" and that can lead to actions that we may regret. When we remind ourselves of the Ethics & Standards of the credit professional, we are much less likely to act inappropriately and much more likely to resolve conflicts in a way that satisfies all parties. The same is true of our relationships within the credit community. When we attend industry group meetings, seminars and ICEL, we forge relationships and trust and adhere to the high standards that have been set.