The Asian Banker is committed to the highest level of integrity in the conduct of all its awards programmes. At no time, would we conduct ourselves in a manner that can give the industry any reasons to doubt the impartiality of the decision making process involved. We make a clear distinction between the commercial aspects of running an awards programme which go towards underwriting the costs of the researchers and the time involved, and the neutrality with which we make our decisions.
We wish that the industry takes the awards presented by the Asian Banker as representing the most prestigious recognition of their work as well as professional careers. We have examined many different forms of funding the awards programmes and find that the model that we have currently is the most effective. A well run awards programme must have several working elements that define it.
- The Asian Banker awards programmes are run with the intention to discover emerging best practices and benchmarks that can set high standards for the industry to meet, exceed and shape the future.
- It must enquire of all possible candidates whether they make a submission or not. We found that fee-paying participation does not work as a model because candidates may "self-censor" their participation in any one year based on their performance while we insist on examining all players.
- The community element is extremely important so that the awards programme is used to inspire future progress in the industry. As such the conference and awards dinners are an important component of the programmes. We insist that all winners attend these programmes in order to ensure that the community element is not lost. For this reason, winners can forfeit their recognition if they do not attend the designated awards ceremonies.
We work and adhere to the following guidelines.
- The entire enquiry process in the awards programmes is thorough and non-discriminatory. In this manner, we have even discovered best practices in institutionsthat we never had any forms of interactions with in the past. We then initiate an enquiry process to discover new winners who may not even be aware of the programmes. The process is run on a neutral basis, we make no distinction between institutions with which we have a commercial relationship and those that we do not. We conduct our research to discover the best possible candidates for the respective awards programmes.
- In the conduct of our research, we do not accept any forms of gratuity, including transport, food, or conveniences and allowances of any kind from any institutions that we are making an enquiry on. We undertake our own cost in travelling or communicating with all the different players in the process.
- The sales team in the Asian Banker has no influence in the selection process whatsoever. Although we have many instances of institutions making representation to the sales team ahead of the award process, there are strict “Chinese walls” with the research and editorial teams where none of these information is communicated and least of all influence the decisions.
- The sales team only becomes aware of the winnersafter the list is approved by the Councils of Advisors and published to the winning institutions. The list is final and no amendments are made based on any commercial arrangements that arise thereafter.
- Winning institutions are encouraged by the sales team to participate in commercial activities, most of which goes to underwrite the costs involved in conducting the research. The research process often takes up between four and six months of senior research staff time and work. During which time they are not paid by any of the institutions being covered. We also do not accept sponsorships that can unduly influence the type of winners being selected.
- The commercial arrangements are designed to add value to the winning institutions’ own marketing efforts as a result of winning the awards. They are also designed to create and sustain the community element that is required to bring the entire industry together which in turn adds to the prestige and the recognition of these awards.
- Any allegations of impropriety or lack of impartiality are taken seriously and brought to the attention of the Council of Advisors for their decision.