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UK Bankers’ Unhealthy Working Environments


Bankers in the UK say their job is bad for their health. According to a survey, more than a quarter of the bankers believe that their job is bad for their wellbeing. A similar proportion is scared of the negative outcomes if they voice their views. The discovery came about during the third annual review by the Banking Standards Board. The board began three years ago to help banks recover trust from the public after several scandals. Last years’ publish, which came out on Thursday shows more than 36,000 employees and 25 banks got reviewed.

According to the survey, progress on improving standards of behaviour was noted during the past year. It received more than three-quarters definite answers than the previous year. All the same, there seems to be a culture of fear and futility inculcated in many banks when it comes to calling out their offensive behaviour. 27% staff say they would not talk about their work issues for fear of negative consequences. The chair of BSB Dame Colette says they fear getting into trouble and it would serve no purpose. Respondents of the survey report that working in the banks is unhealthy for them. Some of the factors required for good wellbeing among bankers are fairness and organizational justice. This was according to Qamar Zaman, head of analytics at the BSB. Female bankers were positive about their workplace environment except in one area. More women said that they had seen the organization turn a blind eye to inappropriate behaviour. The gender gap was most extensive in banking.

There were also concerns about pressure to bankers. 44% say that they often feel under unnecessary pressure. These findings had prompted some banks to boost their care of staff. James Bardrick, the BSB board member, said that they now have a mental health nurse involved as well as a traditional physical care nurse. Johnathan Davidson, executive director of supervision for retail and authorizations at the Financial Conduct, emphasized that culture is the leading cause of significant conduct failings in recent history. It causes harm to both consumers and markets.

Banks that underwent the survey include Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, Bank of Ireland, Standard Chartered, Nationwide, and Handelsbanken. The BSB is making attempts to grow its remit globally rather than just in the UK. Expansion in other sectors such as asset management, insurance, healthcare was also achievable. BSB was formed in 2015 by the seven most prominent UK moneylenders due to call made for behavioural improvements. It followed scandals over banks misusing foreign exchange markets and Labour interest rates.