Bankers must uphold oath of integrity, says finance minister

Bankers must uphold oath of integrity, says finance minister

7th March 2016, Comments 0 comments

Finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem has criticized bankers who fail to uphold the bankers’ oath of integrity, saying they could face disciplinary proceedings or lose their job in the financial sector.

‘I am extremely keen that people who swear an oath of integrity keep to it,’ RTL quoted the minister as saying. ‘If they don’t, we have disciplinary proceedings and they can go an look for another job.’

His comments follow a report by Dutch researchers who found that two thirds of financial sector staff who swear the oath do not feel bound by it.

Since the beginning of 2013 all senior executives and supervisory board members at financial institutions have to take the oath, as part of efforts to improve confidence in the financial sector. That was later extended to all staff who have contact with clients, and to those whose job could affect the institution’s risk profile, such as brokers.

‘The banker has no idea what he is getting involved in. Swearing an oath involves obligations,’ VU University professor Tom Loonen told BNR radio.

Loonen and Amsterdam University professor Mark Rutgers interviewed 800 bankers as part of their research.

‘The results show that trust in the banker’s oath does not seem to be very high,’ the researchers say in the Journal of Banking Regulation. In particular, bank employees are opposed to the oath and don’t know much about it.

‘The results make it doubtful whether a banker’s oath can meet expectations’ or whether it will promote integrity and restore confidence in the financial sector, the researchers conclude.



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