Three quarters of bankers in Bangladesh believe a lack of corporate ethics is the main cause of financial crimes in the country’s banking sector, a Bangladesh Institute of Bank Management (BIBM) survey said on Thursday.
A five-member team led by BIBM Director Dr Shah Md Ahsan Habib presented the survey findings at a workshop on “Corporate Ethics and Financial Crime in Banks: Bangladesh Perspective” at the BIBM auditorium in Dhaka.
The survey found 73% of bankers blamed poor business ethics for financial crime, followed by a lack of exemplary punishment, low awareness of crime, insufficient motivation, poor compensation and governance, and a lack of transparency and accountability.
Other reasons cited for financial crimes in the sector were political pressure, poor IT education and IT security, unhealthy competition among banks, and a misuse of power.
In the accompanying presentation, the BIBM survey team recommended promoting corporate ethics and motivating employees to refrain from crime.
They also suggested ensuring transparent and fair employee recruitment, enhancing training on ethical values and regulatory compliance, creating provisions for exemplary punishment for the perpetrators, and treating any undue administrative, political and other interference as crime.
Speakers addressing the workshop observed that people are losing their confidence in banks mainly because of the prevalence of corruption and nepotism in the sector.
They also alleged that impunity for the financial scams is also contributing to anomalies in the banking sector.
“Banking is totally dependent on reliability and it would be tough to conduct banking business once the depositors lose their confidence on the sector,” said Bangladesh Bank Deputy Governor Abu Hena Mohd Razee Hassan.
“The central bank is totally aware of financial crimes and we are taking actions against the ones involved.”
BIBM Director General Dr Toufic Ahmad Choudhury presided over the event.