The reputation of bankers has suffered quite a lot in recent years. And this comes as no surprise. After all, we have seen a disturbing number of scandals: LIBOR rigging, forex manipulation, tax evasion and money laundering, to name just a few.
The result is an obvious loss of trust, and that is a problem. I don’t have to tell you that the business of banking is founded on trust – imagine trying to collect money from people who don’t trust you. And given that banking is a core element of any modern economy, this is a problem that reaches beyond the banks. It affects all of us.
So the first thing to ask is this: is the bad reputation of bankers justified, and if so, why? Is there a selection bias in the sense that the business of banking attracts less ethical people than other professions? Or is it the nature of the job? Does banking turn reasonably good people into crooks?
The answer to these questions will help us find an answer to another one: what can be done to foster more ethical behaviour?
Read the speech by Danièle Nouy, Chair of the Supervisory Board of the European Central Bank HERE.