Ethics and Compliance

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CHAPTER 6

Ethics & Compliance

2 min read June 17, 2020
Ethics and Compliance

Ethics and integrity are the foundation of our employees’ roles at MetLife.

We have worked to create a culture where every employee takes responsibility for their actions and adopts an ownership mindset. MetLife’s Code of Business Ethics (Code) supports our commitment to building an ethical culture and upholding the highest standards of business conduct, honesty, and integrity. The Code is available in 21 languages and applies to all employees worldwide. Our Code defines MetLife’s expectations for appropriate business conduct and ethical decision-making by employees. Each year, all employees must pledge that they commit to and comply with the Code.

In 2019, we updated the Code to better enable employees to understand and integrate the principles into everyday decision-making and provided easier access to the underlying policies within the Code. The Code was restructured to a more user-friendly interactive design to align with industry standards. We updated descriptions of our global policies to clarify expectations, provided links to the policies, created “what if” scenarios to drive ethical behavior, and developed specific guidance for people managers.

To supplement our Code, we maintain several codes for targeted audiences including the Financial Management Code of Business Ethics and the MetLife Investments Code of Ethics. Additionally, we maintain a Board of Directors’ Code of Business Ethics, which requires each Director to annually review and subsequently sign an acknowledgment of understanding and compliance.

In 2019, we released a People Managers’ Ethics toolkit globally to guide managers to support an ethical culture, encourage and properly respond to employee reports of misconduct, and identify and handle conflicts of interest.

Conflict of Interest Disclosure Program

We require MetLife employees to disclose outside business activities and personal relationships that could cause a conflict through our annual Conflict of Interest (COI) Disclosure Program. Our objective is that employees do not put personal gain or benefit ahead of the interests of MetLife, our customers, or our shareholders. In December 2019, we launched a new COI Disclosure program with user guides in 21 languages, which enhances our assessment and mitigation of COI risk and complies with local COI legal requirements.

Global Ethics program strategic initiatives
  • Tone at the Top
  • Direct Manager Leadership
  • Risk Management
  • Comfort Speaking Up
  • Trust in Colleagues
  • Clarity of Expectations

Speak Up

For ethical behavior to be embedded in our culture, our leaders must set the right tone and lead by example. When employees see ethical leadership and understand what is expected of them, they are more likely to speak up and report misconduct without fear of retaliation. With this in mind, we launched a new Speak Up platform and user guide for all MetLife employees in November 2019. Accessible via a desktop icon, the platform provides employees with a safe and easy way to raise a concern or report a potential violation of our Code, policies, or laws and regulations. With built-in assistance, examples, and resources, Speak Up is available to all MetLife employees and enables anonymous reporting, where permissible by law, through the Ethics and Fraud Helpline.

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