Banks Are Trying To Teach Their Bankers How To Behave In Public

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Photo: Flickr / Old Shoe Woman

This summer has been brutal for Wall Street. The hits just keep on coming — from Standard Chartered’s dealings with Iran to LIBOR manipulation at Barclay’s — bankers just keep looking bad in the public eye.So, according to Reuters, banks all over the Street are trying to teach their employees how to straighten up and fly right when they’re out in public. This isn’t just about embarrassing work related e-mails either. It’s about conspicuous public consumption, work-related gossip, and more.

From Reuters:

At his bank and at least one other European firm, executives said they were being asked to take part in an increasing number of behavioural coaching sessions, including simulations of pub outings.

These were mainly done via webcasts, where participants act out conversations with colleagues where the talk turns to clients or office gossip, two bankers said.

“You have to turn around and say, ‘No, let’s not talk about that’,” said one.

Such simulations and extensive compliance checks, including regular sweeps of emails and phone calls, are part of the new reality since the 2008 financial crisis, as watchdogs like Britain’s Financial Services Authority replace their now pilloried light-touch supervision with a more active and intrusive stance.

It kind of sounds like something you would do in your middle school health class. Except you’re an adult, and at least you get paid for it.


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