Ethics may destroy career growth in financial services: Economist Intelligence Unit

Nov 26 2013, 19:54 IST
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Financial services industry recognises the importance of ethics at work but a majority of the executives feel that strict adherence to ethical standards hampers their career. Reuters Financial services industry recognises the importance of ethics at work but a majority of the executives feel that strict adherence to ethical standards hampers their career. Reuters
SummaryThere is widespread belief in the importance of ethics among financial services employees.

Financial services industry recognises the importance of ethics at work but a majority of the executives feel that strict adherence to ethical standards hampers their career progression, claims a global survey.

The Economist Intelligence Unit's survey, released today, also found that 91 per cent of the executives feel that aspiring to a globally recognised set of ethical standards would make the financial services industry more resilient.

As many as 53 per cent of the financial services executives, who participated in the survey, felt that strictly adhering to ethical standards inhibits career progression at their firm.

"While executives champion ethical conduct, they struggle to see the benefits of greater adherence to ethical standards, reporting that, in reality, it can hamper career progression in the industry as well as the firm's competitiveness," it said.

The survey covered 382 financial services executives and 50 officials from firms that support the financial services. Sponsored by CFA Institute, it was conducted in September and there are also respondents from India.

According to the findings, there is widespread belief in the importance of ethics among financial services employees.

"Respondents would also prefer to work for a firm that has a good reputation for ethical conduct than for a bigger or more profitable firm with questionable ethical standards," the survey report said.

Another finding is that majority of the respondents admitted that their colleagues know very little about what goes on in departments beyond their own.

"This shows that a silo culture is pervasive in the industry, with departments acting unilaterally rather than viewing themselves as part of the wider business, suggesting integrated functional and management approaches to risk-proof organisations remains weak," the survey report said.

Highlights:

Ethics†††††††††††††††††††

91% of financial executives support the notion that aspiring to a globally recognised set of ethical standards would make the financial services industry more resilient

67% of firms have raised awareness of the importance of ethical conduct by all employees

53% of financial services executives say strictly adhering to ethical standards inhibits career progression at their firm

Financial Knowledge

62% of financial executives donít know what is going on outside their department

61% of financial executives highlight gaps in employeesí knowledge as a significant risk for their firm

59% of financial executives agree improving knowledge of the industry as a whole would help make their firm more resilient

12% say they are confident in their knowledge of the global regulatory environment

Read report: CFA Institute/Economist Intelligence Unit

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