Working in a Bank

Article / Produced by TOW Project
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Faith & Co.: Banking on Hope

How does the gospel change a bank’s view of people and how they should be treated, especially those of modest means? Inspired by faith that sees the infinite worth of each person, Guardian Bank takes a different, more humane and hopeful view that also provides hope for everyday households and commercial customers.

Bank workers are at the front lines of financial services. Their first step in acting as means of redemption is to work out how their particular function within a financial intermediary is connected to justice and love for savers or borrowers, and then focus their efforts at being especially good at that kind of justice and love.

For example, a member of a bank loan resolution department could advocate for paying attention to the particular situations of borrowers. The uproar over “robo-signers” in the U.S. mortgage crisis shows that too many borrowers felt that the relational aspect of finance had been lost, and that their needs were not being taken into account. This does not necessarily mean a bank worker should oppose all foreclosures. But, it does suggest advocating for personal attention to distressed borrowers.

A human resource professional at a bank could give special attention to a job applicant’s passion for justice and love as a factor in hiring. If finance workers cannot, over time, figure out how their work promotes justice and love for savers and borrowers or cannot transform the organization in that direction, perhaps they are not a good fit for the organization.

Finance professionals need to pay attention to their own practice of two of the biblical foundations of finance. First, finance professionals are usually acting as their customers’ agents or stewards. This gives them an obligation to put customers’ good ahead of personal gain. Second, finance professionals are frequently negotiating and entering into contracts, or promises. This gives them an obligation to assess carefully their organizations’ ability and willingness to perform what they are agreeing to. Stewardship and promise keeping are literally the sacred foundations of finance and finance professionals must thus act before God.