Business culture and dishonesty in the banking industry. (2014)
“…in a game designed to reveal dishonest behaviour, employees of a large international bank behaved as honestly as the rest of us. But in tests mimicking the competitive nature of banking, many of them began to act dishonestly.”
Alain Cohn, Ernst Fehr & Michel André Maréchal, University of Zurich, Switzerland
Nature 516, 86–89 (04 December 2014)
“Popular opinion has it that unethical business practices are prevalent in the culture of the financial sector. The researchers sought scientific evidence to support this claim.
“They find that in a laboratory game designed to reveal dishonest behaviour, employees of a large international bank behaved by-and-large as honestly as the rest of us. But in tests designed to mimic the competitive nature of their profession, many of the bankers began to act dishonestly.
“Those from other industries and student volunteers did not show this effect.
“The authors conclude that if financial institutions are to regain our trust, they need to encourage honest behaviour by changing the norms associated with their workers’ professional identity.”
Download the full paper here: Business culture and dishonesty in banking