FIN370/Finance for Business
November 19, 2012
Wal-Mart: Ethics and Compliance
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc, known as WMT on the flow of the New York Stock Exchange, has become the number one retailer in the world, a far stretch from what founder Sam Walton ever imagined, when he opened the first Wal-Mart ever in 1962 with its first 25 employees. Walton’s retailer foundation of offering the lowest price anytime anywhere would prove itself extremely successful. Today Wal-Mart Stores Inc, operates more than 10,500 stores in 27 countries and it employs about 2.2 Million employees. With much financial success, Wal-Mart prides its ...view middle of the document...
Insider trading is prohibited and examples of such actions are listed and provided for the knowledge of their reader’s. Over all, Wal-Mart holds itself, its associates and all related parties to a standard that upholds all financial obligations set by law to ensure a more healthy and prosperous business.
Wal-Mart’s plan to ensure ethical behavior (financially and otherwise) is detailed in their code of ethics. In an attempt to uphold financial integrity Wal-Mart emphasizes the importance of honest and accurate recording and reporting of all financial information correctly. Intentional dishonesty not only can result in immediate termination from the company, but the violator can also face legal action being taken against them. Also, Wal-Mart takes a stand against insider trading which is what occurs when an insider with information not available to the public or others is used to make a financial trade. Even using such information to encourage outsiders to purchase stock is not allowed as this is considered “tipping” – either instance is unethical and illegal. In addition, Wal-Mart does not allow restrictive trade practices in which someone were to purposefully attempt to refuse to conduct business with customers, members, or suppliers when this could be in violation of a law. Anyone who notices any conduct of this type going on is expected to report it immediately.
The basic structure of the financial markets within the United States includes three sets of people that interact with each other throughout the markets. These people include the borrowers who need money, the savers who are investing money and the financial institutions which bring both of those people together; an example of which would be a bank such as Wells Fargo or PNC (Titman, Keown, & Martin, 2011). Financial markets helps move the money from savers looking to invest to borrowers who need money invested in them for things such as startup businesses or new product releases. The stock market is an example of a financial market in which investors can buy shares of ownership to corporations which provides the companies the money they need to keep running.
A company as large as Wal-Mart has a major responsibility to insure the highest ethics is maintained throughout all confines of the institution. Ethics violations can have a major impact not only on the business itself but the many investors, shareholders, and employees associated with the company. Wal-Mart works hard to secure confidence within its people on ethical principles by establishing policies to ensure compliance with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Wal-Mart established an internal Statement of Ethics policy. This Statement of Ethics, Wal-Mart states applies to all associates worldwide, all members of the board of directors of Wal-Mart Stores, and to the associates and directors of all Walmart-controlled subsidiaries (Wal-Mart, n.d.). The company has a separate and more stringent code of ethics policy...