Study: Banking industry culture fosters cheating

Nov 19, 2014 12:30 PM by News Staff

WASHINGTON (AP) - A new study suggests that something about the banking industry seems to bring out dishonesty in people.

A team of Swiss economists tested the honesty of employees at a bank in a lab game that would pay off in cash if they cheated. When they were asked about their home life, they were about as honest as the general public. But employees who had just been asked about work at the bank cheated 16 percent more.

Study author Ernst Fehr of the University of Zurich said that means that bankers aren't personally more dishonest, but the culture of the industry pushes people toward cheating.

Fehr said recent scandals convinced him to test scientifically public perceptions about bankers' honesty.

The study was published Wednesday by the journal Nature.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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