Ethical rot in financial services industry, says survey

By Staff | July 18, 2013 | Last updated on July 18, 2013
1 min read

There’s been much talk recently about the need to do something – and fast – to improve the financial services industry’s reputation.

But perceptions of systemic ethical shortcomings aren’t limited to the investing public. Industry players have a less-than-flattering view of their own ability to meet a higher standard, according to New York-based Labaton Sucharow LLP’s second annual survey of the U.S. financial services industry.

Read: Key to Wall Street success? Bad ethics

Here are the highlights – or lowlights – of the survey:

  • A majority of respondents (52%) think their competitors have done something unethical or illegal to gain an edge. Almost a quarter (24%) think people in their own firm have done the same.
  • 23% said they had either observed or had firsthand knowledge of wrongdoing, down 3% from last year’s poll.
  • Almost a third (29%) said success in the financial services industry may require unethical or illegal activity, up 5% from last year.
  • 28% say the industry doesn’t put client interests first.
  • Almost one in four (24%) said they would engage in insider trading to make $10 million if they knew they could get away with it, up from 16% last year.

Also read:

Raise advisor standards

CFA releases global sentiment survey

CFAs question advisor ethics

Ethics have gone down a rat hole: Grantham staff


The staff of have been covering news for financial advisors since 1998.