Banking culture breeds dishonesty, scientific study finds


A banking culture that puts financial gain above all other considerations fuels greed and dishonesty and makes bankers more likely to cheat, according a study appearing in the November 19 issue of Nature.

Researchers studied bank workers in experiments in which they won more money if they cheated, and found that there were more dishonest when they were made aware of their professional role.

The article from Nature can be found here.


Nonsense! An industry doesn’t corrupt. Moral values determine what we do. A lively conscience that has been nurtured will work just fine in any industry.:slight_smile:


Did you read the article? It really just says the when you offer bankers prize money if they report more heads than tails in a series of coin tosses, they report more heads than statistically should happen. I suppose one could quibble that 128 people tossing a coin ten times is not a good sample. But I agree, the title “Banking culture breeds dishonesty, scientific study finds” seems a bit misleading.


Can working in the sex industry corrupt someone?


The question is: Is it that dishonest people are attracted to banking, or does banking make people dishonest?


. . . and does the culture of the industry work to corrupt those who are honest at the outset?


People in banking are oriented to money, and money is the root of all evil. “For the desire of money is the root of all evils; which some coveting have erred from the faith, and have entangled themselves in many sorrows.” 1 Tim 6:10


Well, I worked in a small bank for awhile at the beginning of my working life. I don’t recall that the tellers, loan officers, and managers were dishonest or that working at a bank made them dishonest. What discouraged me from continuing in banking was the requirements to keep taking continuing education courses with the ABA–American Bankers Association–after hours in order to get ahead.

Does working in the tech industry make one prone to dishonesty? That’s where all the hackers originate.


That about sums up the financial crisis.


To me it seems to follow that an honest person would have more difficulty remaining honest if surrounded by a culture where dishonesty is not only acceptable, but rewarded. Not sure that banking is necessarily the only industry where such a culture exists; I’m not terribly impressed with the honestly level in most of the places I’ve worked - particularly at the top.

Seems to me that when people have more responsibility for the success of an enterprise (perhaps any enterprise) they are more susceptible to be pressured (by circumstances or by people) to fudge the facts in order to avoid problems and keep things running smoothly.


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