NBFIRA launches Ethics Hotline platform

The Non-Bank Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority (NBFIRA) has launched the Ethics Hotline platform for all the stakeholders. The platform allows for the reporting of suspected or confirmed unethical activities occurring within the Regulatory Authority or the regulated entities within the Non-Bank Financial Institutions (NBFI) sector. Stakeholders are encouraged to report tip-offs in good faith, without malicious intent and with no fear of reprisals. 

In his welcome remarks Oduetse Motshidisi the Chief Executive Officer highlighted that the Regulatory Authority fosters an environment in which the entities can adhere to high standards of business conduct and operate in a fair, efficient and orderly manner. It is in light of this important objective, that the Regulatory Authority continues to strengthen corporate governance structures. 

He reiterated that good business ethics improves the sector’s market conduct and contributes handsomely to the bottom line of regulated entities.

In her remarks Motlalepula Kabomo, NBFIRA Board Chairperson focused on the Authority’s commitment to governance through upholding Ethical Conduct. She highlighted the adoption and implementation of the NBFIRA Ethics Policy as demonstration of the Regulatory Authority’s commitment to fostering good ethical conduct within its own operations as well as within the NBFI sector. 

She emphasised that the whistleblowing platform assists the Regulatory Authority to detect and deter unethical behaviour and violations, allowing for them to be reported and addressed appropriately and in a timely manner. Ultimately, it then allows for the Regulatory Authority or affected entity to strengthen the internal processes. 

Guest Speaker, Tymon Katlholo, Director General of the Directorate on Crime and Economic Corruption (DCEC) focused his remarks on the importance of combating corruption. He informed the meeting that the betrayal of public trust through corruption will no longer be tolerated as it is an insidious plague whose detrimental effects on our economy include discouraging foreign investment, undermining Government’s ability to provide products and services and exacerbating inequality and injustice. 

For his part, Newton Jazire, Chairman of the Botswana Short-Term Insurance Underwriters Association (BSTIUA) talked about the role of leadership in cultivating good business ethics. He stated that good products are not a substitute for good business ethics and that in fact, poor business ethics can be the undoing of an organisation, despite it having good products. Mr. Jazire called upon the Board of Directors of entities to ensure that they lead ethically and effectively as they are responsible for setting the tone for an ethical organisational culture.

In order to enhance the efficacy and confidentiality of the system, the Regulatory Authority has outsourced the management of the Ethics Hotline platform to an independent service provider, Deloitte’s Tip-Offs Anonymous. Accordingly, Brian Watts, Senior Manager, Deloitte Consulting took the audience through how the platform operates and the measures in place that ensure confidentiality of information disclosed as well as of those who lodge tip-offs. 

Keletsositse Olebile, NBFIRA board member reiterated that the platform is for reporting reasonable suspicions of unethical conduct or behaviour that is likely to undermine the integrity of the people engaged in the sector. He thanked all present for their participation and declared the Ethics Hotline Platform open to all stakeholders.