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Survey reveals murky ethical compass on Wall Street

23 percent of those surveyed had first-hand knowledge of misconduct in the workplace

A new survey confirms the obvious: Wall Street’s ethics are on the fritz.

Labaton Sucharow’s second annual financial services survey, dramatically titled “Wall Street in Crisis: A Perfect Storm Looming,” was a confidential poll of financial professionals on issues such as regulators, ethics and workplace wrongdoing. The results were… somewhat less than encouraging. Some key statistics below:

  • 52% of respondents thought their competitors behaved unethically or illegally
  • 24% of respondents thought people within their own company behaved unethically or illegally
  • 28% said they believed the industry doesn’t put its clients’ interests first
  • 24% said they would engage in insider trading if they wouldn’t get in trouble for it
  • 29% said they thought finance professionals needed to behave unethically to succeed
  • 23% said they personally had first-hand knowledge or had observed misconduct

"Our survey suggests there is a big disconnect between what the financial services industry preaches and what it actually does," said Chris Keller, partner and head of case development at Labaton Sucharow, in a press release. "Until a culture of integrity and stewardship is established, investors will be at risk."

 

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