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To Restore Trust in Banks, Build Ethics Into Business Decisions

American Banker

Jeremiah S. Buckley, Thomas A. Sporkin

Trust is the bedrock upon which the banking business is built. However, revelations of unethical conduct at some banks have put that trust at risk. Senior officers of the Federal Reserve and other financial regulators recently met with management at leading banks to emphasize the need for a stronger ethical culture in the wake of activities like Libor manipulation, front running in high-frequency trading and money laundering cover-ups. William Dudley, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, said in a recent speech that there should be a "consistent application of 'should we' versus 'could we' in business decisions." The Financial Conduct Authority in the United Kingdom has expressed similar concerns.

Bank leaders understand the importance of trust and the need to demonstrate their commitment to maintaining an ethical infrastructure at their institutions. In this regard, bankers can take personnel and policy initiatives to put ethics front-and-center and show they "get it."

Originally published by American Banker; reprinted with permission. 

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