Code of Business Ethics
1. GENERAL PROVISIONS
1.1 Code of Business Conduct and Ethics of “Agrarkredit” Joint-stock Credit Organization (hereinafter referred to as “Credit Organization”) has been developed for the formation of the system of ethical and moral values defining norms of conduct at the Credit Organization and protecting the Credit Organization’s image. The Code of Business Conduct and Ethics of the Credit Organization is one of the principles of the Credit Organization’s philosophy.
1.2 This Code consists of two parts: the 1st part containing the Business Ethics, i.e. sections such as “Confidentiality”, “Relations with customers and other organizations” etc., and the 2nd section containing the rules of conduct such as rules of “Corporative Conduct”, i.e. general ethic norms of the Credit Organization.
1.3 This Code has been developed in accordance with the Labour Code of the Republic of Azerbaijan and other laws, the policy of the Credit Organization on managing human resources of the Credit Organization, as well as corporate values.
1.4 All employees, regardless of their role and position, are expected to learn provisions of this Code.
1.5 Primary objective of this Code is to shape the Organization’s human resources, one of its valuable assets, united as a single disciplined, professional and skilful team, which is key to secure compatibility of the Credit Organization, and to support the current and future achievements of the Credit Organization, having worked in high spirit.
1.6 This Code should be a basis to ensure that human resources of the company work based on the mission, organizational principles and business values of the Organization that are part and parcel of the Credit Organization human resources’ daily management practice.
1.7 Employees of the Credit Organization shall undertake responsibility for maintaining ethic norms at a required level and following them.
1.8 The Management Board of the Credit Organization is be responsible for creating an atmosphere of transparency and responsibility. All the team of the Credit Organization should abstain from any acts associated with transactions and contracts that are illegal and suspicious from ethical standpoint, at the same time, should react to them promptly.
1.9 Heads of the Credit Organization of all levels are responsible both for the efficiency of the business transactions and their compliance with the ethical norms of the Credit Organization.
1.1.1 All employees of the Credit Organization are obliged, while working at the Credit Organization, to keep confidentiality of the classified information, and shall bear responsibility for the dissemination of such information.
1.1.2 All employees of the Credit Organization should, upon taking on the job, sign the obligations concerning the commercial secret, be warned of the responsibility for the dissemination of the Organization’s commercial secret as provided in the current legislation of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and shall follow the procedures and rules prescribed by the Credit Organization.
1.2 Gifts and other types of rewards
1.2.1 Employees of the Credit Organization shall have no right, except for small presents such as flowers and sweets, to accept any gifts, other presents or assistance, directly or indirectly, from other parties in connection with their job responsibilities, or demand or receive the aforementioned.
1.2.2 Employees of the Credit Organization should turn down any present that would not correctly affect official or business employees or individuals.
1.3 Relations with customers, business employees, competitors and other organizations.
1.3.1 Any relations with customers, banks, state companies and other outside organizations shall base on compliance with the legislation of the Republic of Azerbaijan, best interests of the Credit Organization and the principle of justice.
1.3.2 All the employees of the Credit Organization should work in a close collaboration, as a single team, providing high-level service to customers relying on such bank values as reliability, transparency and integrity, supporting their development and continuously developing relations with business partners. Moreover, in relations with every new customer (i.e. organizations, entities etc.), they have to try to install these values in them.
1.3.3 Decisions made in relation to potential customers should base on business relations only.
1.3.4 An employer of the Credit Organization directly working with customers is obliged to read the principles of the section “business relations ethics of a front-office employee” and follow them.
1.3.5 All employees of the Credit Organization should act within the framework of the Policy on prevention of “money-laundering”, honest competition, struggling against corruption and other such legal and standard acts.
1.3.6 Employees of the Credit Organization should not participate in any suspicious or criminal transactions.
1.4 Just and respected attitude to the management of the Credit Organization and that of other organizations
1.4.1 The philosophy of the Credit Organization is based on the principles of harmony, justice, political indifference, confidence, development and logic. All employees of the Credit Organization should, in their relations with current and future customers, as well as between themselves, follow the philosophy of the Credit Organization, without showing any sign of discrimination in terms of nationality, religion, sex, age, citizenship, family, status and physical and mental activity, as well as other kind of discrimination. The management of the Credit Organization should create a working environment and conditions excluding aggression, discrimination and intimidation. Any employee of the Credit Organization facing such a case shall have the right to inform the person responsible for solution of such disputes, or directly the manager.
1.5 Money laundering
1.6.1 Money laundering means legalization of money derived from criminal activities by means of legal business turnover. The Credit Organization should campaign against money laundering and prevent it. Every employee shall be required to approach with much care business processes that make possible or create condition for money laundering.
2 ETHICAL NORMS
In every sphere, including the field of banking, success is built, along with economic grounds, also on the norms of ethical conduct. In one word, compliance with the rules of “Corporate conduct” shall be one of the key elements of the Credit Organization’s professionalism. Relations within the organization’s team, i.e. relations between the employees, between manager and employee, customer etc. affect the employees’ mood, working capacity and general activity of the Credit Organization. Therefore, in order to create an advantageous working environment at the Credit Organization and maintain it always at a high level, employees should observe the following rules and regulations:
- treat each other respectfully;
- always be friendly and kind;
- not to show aggression and impatience;
- watch the tone of the voice and spelling of words while in contact with customers and colleagues;
- not to use slang and humiliating words during the intercourse;
- listen to an interlocutor carefully, let him/her express his/her opinion in full;
- not to sleep during the working hours;
- not to yawn, talk and laugh loudly;
- not to hold private talks on the phone in the presence of visitors and customers, not to use cosmetics.
Both management and the employees should observe the above-mentioned rules, along with having the following qualities:
- the management should, first of all, show high level of conduct;
- while keeping an intercourse, manager should be sincere, fluent and make a pleasant impression on the other side;
- manager, in order for the employees under his supervision treat him respectfully, should himself show equal care for everyone;
- manager should be loyal to his job, but share his success with other and be able to accept his failures;
- manager should be able to take risks, provided that he considers everything beforehand;
- manager should be as good as his words, but listen to advice;
- manager should be serious, yet with a sense of humour;
- manager should be kind, yet to know the limits in the relations with his employee;
- manager should not criticize an employee in the presence of colleagues;
- newly recruited employee should be shown a special approach - different from others - by the manager until he is accustomed to the new workplace;
- manager should be able to listen to the employee under his command;
- both manager and employee should be able to control their emotions;
- manager should be able to acknowledge his mistake and not chase the employee under his command for constructive criticism;
- manager’s criticism should be of recommendation character for the employee;
- every employee should knock on the door before entering manager’s room;
- Manager criticizing the employee under his direct command for his failure should also praise him for high achievement reached in the work. This act of the manager is a kind of incentive for the employee’s good work;
- manager may not insult an employee under his direct command;
- manager should not criticize an employee under his command for the same or similar mistakes, if this is the case, it would form negative opinion among the employees against the manager, i.e., a feeling of indifference to the manager’s instruction;
- manager should always maintain high-level relations within the team he manages, that is to say he should:
- be guided by the principle of “No high achievements are possible without an organized team”;
- take part in various sports and entertainment actions in a command form;
- avail himself of various types of incentives in order to ensure that employees are in high mood, having benefited from every result;
- secure mutual confidence and trust within the team;
- Individual approach should be shown towards every employee, being guided by the principle “one for all, all for one” in order to achieve the common goal.
In relations between each other, employees should follow the following rules:
- treat each other respectfully;
- support colleagues, share their knowledge and experience with others;
- be kind to each other and not to argue;
- in spite of being closely seated, to contact colleagues through a telephone when talking to them.
Standards required from a Front Office employee with regard to providing high-level service to every customer, being guided by the principle “Growing with a customer”, are as follows
2.1 Working hours and workplace
2.1.1 All employees should be at the work place at 09:00 in the morning.
2.1.2.The workplace of an employee should be comfortable and appropriate to perform his duties.
2.1.3 The following should be paid attention to at the work desk:
- keep papers, files, stationery etc. on the table accurately;
- employees should not have foodstuff on the desk while serving customers;
- records on files should be printed with letters of the same size;
- after the working hours are over, all documents and stamps should be put in cupboards or drawers accordingly;
- all employees should keep their workplace tidy and make sure that the cupboard given for his own use is maintained
2.1 4 No lunch may be eaten at the workplace.
2.1.5 The employees of the front office may, by following the schedule of order as opposed to other employees, be in the kitchen during the working hours.
2.1.6 Rest days are Saturdays and Sundays, however, in case of arising jobs not planned beforehand, or necessity works, employees may be asked to work on rest days.
2.1.7 Upon arising the necessity to leave the workplace during the working hours, an employee may leave the workplace temporarily, by filling out a “One Day Permission Sheet” and having it signed by the direct supervisor or a member of the Management Board supervising that structure, division, and managing employees can do it by filling out such a sheet and having it signed by a member of the Management Board and the chairperson and submitted to HR, affairs and public relations department,.
2.1.8 Employees should inform their direct supervisor in good time that they would not be able to come to work on a justified reason.
2.1.9 Disciplinary actions may be taken in relation to an employee who misses work repeatedly during a month (3 or more times) as specified in the Labour Legislation.
2.1.10 Smoking in the administrative building of the Credit Organization is strongly banned:
- Employees may smoke only in specially designated areas, if they do not disturb the work process and delay the customer.
2.2 Electronic and technical equipment:
2.2 1 As a rule, employees shall be obliged to follow the rules concerning the information technologies and information security.
2.2 2 Technical equipment of the Credit Organization (copy machine, fax machine etc.) should not be used by outsiders and for businesses not related to the bank.
2.3 Use of inventory
2.3.1 An employee shall bear responsibility for maintaining the inventory assigned to him/her in a working condition.
2.4 Intercourse through the phone
2.4.1 Each bank worker, along with following the following ethical rules and norms, should be able to talk fluently and correctly:
- answer phone calls as quick as possible;
- not to talk loudly on the phone;
- not to adjust a mobile phone’s sound to high level;
- use the phone for private purpose only when there is a necessity.
2.4.1 Heads of structural divisions should not turn off their phones even when outside the workplace.
2.5 Serving customers included in the Credit Organization
- A customer included in the Credit Organization should first be received by an employee of the information service and directed to the section where such customer should be served;
- In case the specialists to serve the customer are busy with other customers, he/she should be suggested to have a seat in the waiting room and wait for his/her turn;
- And during this time, a customer sitting in the waiting room should be offered water, tea etc
2.6 Employee’s service uniform and appearance
2.6.1 An employee of the Credit Organization should pay special attention to his/her dress and appearance, i.e., to the hair and personal hygiene.
2.6.2 On business days, employees should follow the following rules of dressing while inside the Credit Organization:
- They should refrain from taking on dresses made of jeans; sport style dresses, beach footwear, as well as clothes with large words written on.
- wear a tie;
- have accurate hair;
- be shaved;
- not use irritating cosmetics richly.
- not wear short trousers above ankle in the form of a service uniform, dresses with open back and shoulders, and too short skirts;
- not wear transparent dresses revealing parts of the body;
- refrain from wearing colourful clothes (t-shirts, trousers etc.);
- not wear high boots above knee;
- not apply very bright and colourful make-up;
- not wear big and too noticeable, bright costume jewellery and accessories (wristband, earrings, necklace, hear pin, waistband etc.)
- not use irritating cosmetics richly;
- women directly working with customers (front-office) should wear a service uniform with white top and dark lower part, and have tidy hear form.
2.7 Cleaning service at the Credit Organization
2.7.1 Doing cleaning work during the business hours should not be allowed.
2.7.2 Cleaning works by the service personnel should be done before the business hours starts, during the lunchtime or after the business hours are over.
3. FINAL PROVISIONS
3.1 Employees of the Credit Organization that violate these rules shall be applied disciplinary measures and, in cases provided by the legislation, other types of responsibility will apply.
3.2 The primary objective of this document is to explain the employees that it is their obligation to account for any nontechnical, dishonest, insincere and illegal conduct or violation of the banks’ rules and regulations, as well as requirements of the Labour Code.