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Value and Values: Perceptions of Ethics in the City Today

by St Pauls Institute

Posted: 7 Nov 2011

Professionals in the Financial Services sector believe that City bond traders, FTSE Chief Executives and stock brokers are paid too much, teachers are paid too little and that there is too great a gap between rich and poor in the UK, according to a survey carried out by ComRes on behalf of St Paul's Institute.

Marking the 25th anniversary of the financial 'Big Bang', the survey also indicates that the majority of Financial Services professionals do not know that the London Stock Exchange's motto is 'My Word is My Bond' and many think that deregulation of financial markets results in less ethical behaviour.

The survey of 515 professionals working in the Financial Services sector in London carried out online by ComRes between 30th August and 12th September 2011 also found that:

· The majority of FS professional think that bankers, stock brokers, FTSE 100 chief executives, lawyers and city bond traders are paid too much.

· 'Salary and bonuses' are the most important motivation for professionals working in the FS sector in London for 2 in 3 (64%) participants. 'Enjoyment of the work' comes a distant second.

· 75% agree that there is too great a gap between rich and poor.

· Only 14% of respondents correctly indicated the motto of the London Stock Exchange ("My Word is My Bond").

· Many are not familiar with what happened after the financial 'Big Bang':

       1 in 3 disagree that the financial markets were deregulated

       More than two-thirds (69%) did not know that the financial Big Bang happened in 1986.

· The majority of respondents feel that their companies maintain high ethical standards that are broadly in line with their personal moral standards.

Commenting on the survey Revd Michael Hampel, Canon Precentor of St Paul's Cathedral, said:

"Action is a crucial goal of the protest camp outside St Paul's Cathedral. We hope that the telling findings of this report can provide a solid foundation for future engagement and highlight issues where action might be of mutual concern for all sides of the debate."

This report can be downloaded in full here


Views expressed in the Institute's publications are those of the authors, not those of the Institute (which has no corporate view and exists to provide a forum for constructive debate), its staff or its Council of Reference.

Because the report was completed preceding the Occupy London encampment outside the cathedral it makes no mention of it and contains contributions from both the former Dean and Canon Chancellor of St Paul's Cathedral.  We are releasing the report in its original and unaltered form. The report was always intended to help develop a context for serious engagement that moves beyond colloquialisms about the financial sector and towards an understanding of true opinion and the culture of ethics in the City today.


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St Paul's Institute seeks to foster an informed Christian response to the most urgent ethical and spiritual issues of our times: equality, stewardship, and the meaning of the common good.

William - Posted: 7 Nov 2011

Congratulations on your decision to publish this report.

A step in the right direction for the church.

Andria - Posted: 7 Nov 2011

A step in the right direction....full-stop!

James Sherry - Posted: 7 Nov 2011

Exactly as William said.

When I was a child growing up 'Christian' was an adjective that indicated that a person was a positive influence on society; they were beyond corruption and could be relied on to protect the vulnerable from tyranny (accidental, by proxy, or otherwise). I hope that by standing up for those in need it will start to be seen this way again... VMT.

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The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views of St Paul's Institute or St Paul's Cathedral.