Allianz Global Investors global chief executive Elizabeth Corley has lashed out at investment bankers claiming that too many do not care about unscrupulous behaviour, The Telegraph reports.
Corley, who also heads the new Fixed Income Market Standards Board, which was set up by the Bank of England in a bid to get the City to behave in a more responsible way, made the statement at TheCityUK’s annual conference.
She said a big drive was required to ensure investment bankers take any wrongdoing more seriously.
“One of the things we found in talking to management, legal and compliance, and audit, is that very often, people were confused about what right and wrong was,” urged Corley.
She added: “Most people in this room would say, that is ridiculous, it is obvious. But In complex, fast moving and innovating markets, and we’re talking about fixed income, currency and commodity, wholesale markets, sometimes it is not obvious.”
Corley said bad behaviour needed to become unacceptable. She said: “The way I describe it is, everyone in this room who passed their driving test knows that you don’t break the speed limits. How many people have been tempted with a clear empty road ahead of them and a 30 mile an hour speed limit to think that they know better than the limit and to ease their foot down a little bit? Most people would do that.”
At the event Financial Services Consumer Panel chair Sue Lewis added: “There is not much evidence that mega-fines for misbehaving banks change behaviour for the better.”
Standard Life chief executive David Nish noted that while fines draw attention to a problem, “just beating people up doesn’t change behaviour for the long-term.