Research Handbook on Law and Ethics in Banking and Finance
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Research Handbook on Law and Ethics in Banking and Finance

Edited by Costanza A. Russo, Rosa M. Lastra and William Blair

The global financial crisis evidenced the corrosive effects of unethical behaviour upon the banking industry. The recurrence of misbehaviour in the financial sector, including fraud and manipulations of market indices, suggests the need to establish a banking culture that conforms to the highest standards of ethical and professional behaviour. This Research Handbook on Law and Ethics in Banking and Finance focuses on the role that law should play and the effectiveness of newly introduced regulations and supervisory actions as a driver for ethical conduct so as to reconnect the interests of bankers and financiers with the interests of society.
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Chapter 12: Developing the senior managers regime

Alan Brener

Abstract

The final aims of the Senior Managers Regime are: to change behaviour in financial services firms by clearly setting out regulatory expectations; making individuals personally accountable; and helping to assuage public anger by taking regulatory actions against those individuals who fail. However, the efficacy of the regime may be hampered by the existence of individual psychological limitations and institutional structures. Financial regulation will never be fully effective if there is no substantial change in the culture of financial services with individuals gaining an ethical insight into their own actions. This requires leadership and action by both the regulators and more importantly the firms themselves. Equally important is the need for professionalism, which is both an aid to improving competence and to developing and sustaining ethical behaviour. All these aspects can be buttressed by the regulators but require firms in the industry to act themselves. Unethical behaviour does not happen somewhere else. It can permeate all firms and spread like a contagion. The remedy rests with the industry.

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