The Business Times

Removing the corrupt culture in banking

Bankers will lie at the toss of a coin - but only when at work, finds a new study. Lenders would do well to address this fundamental issue.

Published Fri, Nov 21, 2014 · 09:50 PM

THERE is something in the culture of banking that lends itself toward making otherwise fairly good people do bad things. That's the finding of a new study published in the journal Nature. And it may simply confirm the suspicions of many following endless news of bankers being outed for bad behaviour.

The list is almost too endless to mention (but here goes anyway): manipulating the foreign exchange market, Libor and the gold market; mis-selling interest-rate swaps, mortgage-backed securities and payment protection insurance; aiding money laundering; disregarding sanctions on a country; tax avoidance; providing compromised investment advice; trading scandals - the list could go on.

In total, these fines have directly cost banks more than US$100 billion in the United States alone. Some have suggested this could soon bring the total bill for fines since 2008 to more than US$…

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