Wed, 3rd Jul 2019
Andrew Hauser, senior official at the Bank of England has said that the “bro-culture” at the banks has encouraged crimes and bad behaviour which has led to issues in the foreign exchange markets.
Mr Hauser said that there were wearyingly familiar examples of toxicity which had led to issues including attempts to pervert the markets in the last few years. Speaking at an event which had been put on to promote careers in the foreign exchange markets to women, Hauser noted that better gender balance could potentially help to reduce financial crime.
Hauser believes that the industry is full of hyper-competitive ‘alpha males’ and that this is something that led to attempts at market manipulation. He told stories of groups such as the Semi-Grumpy Old-Men, the A-Team and the Three Musketeers, which used online chat rooms to try to manipulate the markets.
Banks have been fined billions over the years for issues relating to market fraud, and Hauser notes that while the culture is changing, there are still vast bonuses on offer, which can encourage people to behave inappropriately in a bid to boost profits. Hauser noted, however, that while diversity can help to improve performance and to act as a check on risky trades, there is still a lack of women at the higher levels of finance and banking. He fears that cliques in parts of the market have been self-perpetuating, and that this is what has led to a lack of diversity at the upper levels.