Photo: LexnGer via flickr
According to a report released today by Labaton Sucharow, a shocking 24 per cent of financial executives from the US and UK believe that it is necessary “to engage in unethical or illegal conduct in order to be successful.”Perhaps more surprising, 26 per cent of the 500 senior executives polled said they actually knew about immoral behaviour going on in the work place.
The study doesn’t stop at ethics but looks at legality as well. Sixteen per cent of those polled said they would actually be willing to commit insider trading if they knew they were not going to get caught.
Finally, 30 per cent of financial executives said that bonuses and compensation plans put pressure on them to violate the law.
This report comes just a few months after an executive at Goldman Sachs quit after alleging that the firm put concerns over profits before its clients.
Jordan Thomas, chair of the Whistleblower Representation Practice at Labaton Sucharow, said that the numbers just showed that increased effort must be put into encouraging better financial ethics:
“When misconduct is common and accepted by financial services professionals, the integrity of our entire financial system is at risk. In this era of corporate scandals, we must refocus our energies on corporate ethics and encourage individuals to report wrongdoing—internally or externally.”