The recent Barclays rate-fixing scandal has pushed the financial services industry into serious scrutiny for illegal and untrustworthy practices. However, a recent survey found that both American and British financial services professionals find lying and cheating to be a daily norm.
According to the survey conducted by Labaton Sucharow, a New York-based law firm, 24 percent of respondents believed that financial services professionals may need to engage in unethical or illegal conduct in order to be successful. In addition, 26 percent said they had observed or had firsthand knowledge of wrongdoing in the workplace.
"When misconduct is common and accepted by financial services professionals, the integrity of our entire financial system is at risk," Jordan Thomas, partner and chairman of Labaton Sucharow’s whistleblower representation practice, said in an AdvisorOne article.
Simon Johnson, author and MIT professor wrote a piece for the New York Times that commented on how the situation has cast a severe shadow on the entire industry. Specifically, he said that Barclays and other large banks have completely destroyed the legitimacy on which sensible financial intermediation needs to be based.
Overall, Johnson said, the collateral damage is disastrous, as fewer individuals will be willing to trust bankers at this point and asked the question, "Who in their right mind would buy a complex derivative product from Barclays or anyone else implicated in this growing scandal?"
Customers need to trust the companies that they invest their time and money into, and as such, those organizations that are partnered with a 24/7 answering service will never have to worry about unsavory practices taking place. These professionals will treat each individual consumer with respect and courtesy, taking the time to solve problems in a true and honest way, regardless of how big or small the issue may be.