A survey of financial services professionals has found that almost a quarter believe that they need to break the rules in order to succeed. What does this say about the reputation of the finance industry?
The survey, which was carried out by Labaton Sucharow LLP, gained the opinions of 500 senior financial services professionals in the US and UK.
In addition to the 24% of respondents who believed that financial services professionals may need to engage in unethical or illegal conduct in order to be successful, 26% indicated that they had observed or had firsthand knowledge of wrongdoing in the workplace.
Worryingly, 16% of respondents said that they would commit a crime themselves in the form of insider trading – if they thought they could get away with it.
"When misconduct is common and accepted by financial services professionals, the integrity of our entire financial system is at risk," said Jordan Thomas, partner and chair of the whistleblower representation practice at Labaton Sucharow.
Other survey findings included:
39% of respondents reported that their competitors are likely to have engaged in illegal or unethical activity in order to be successful;
30% of respondents reported their compensation or bonus plan created pressure to compromise ethical standards or violate the law; and
23% of respondents reported other pressures that may lead to unethical or illegal conduct.
"It is shocking that four years after the global economic crisis began there continues to be a fundamental lack of integrity in the financial services industry, “said Chris Keller, partner and head of case development at Labaton Sucharow.