Isn’t it so disappointing that some people we trust rip us off!

We are hearing a lot about unethical bankers these days:

  • Laundering money for criminals
  • Rigging the Libor rate (interest rates)
  • Rigging the foreign exchange markets
  • Manipulating the prices of gold and silver
  • Selling their banks’ products even when people don’t need them,

The examples above are clear cut. But there is more subtle unethical banking practices. Surely, using your customers’ money to speculate is unethical. Not only that, banks are speculating and expecting taxpayers to bail them out when things go wrong.

What is going on why are some bankers so unethical. For a few it could be simply the thrill of winning and achieving success. Of course, there is nothing wrong in making commission, as long as it is transparent and it is to the benefit of the customer. Sure, there is nothing wrong with making big profits as long as that does not damage people. However, unethical bankers seem to want to keep things secret and their actions do hurt others. Why sell someone something they don’t need? Why manipulate the interest rates which affect people loans and mortgages?

We know the answer greed and a lack of empathy for others. A few bankers just do not care about others. There is evidence of this in some emails unethical bankers send to each other, calling customers rude names and admitting that they are selling rubbish or ripping people off. This includes senior managers in banks who know these unethical practices  are ongoing and do nothing, and may even subtly encourage them.

The massive fines running into BILLIONS of dollars and pounds, in proof of unethical banker practices. Fines and jail sentences are one measure to encourage ethical behaviour, but ethics education is the longer term solution.