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Quarter of Germans think bankers are criminal

The Local · 13 Jul 2012, 10:54

Published: 13 Jul 2012 10:54 GMT+02:00

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The Handelsblatt business daily newspaper said on Friday that the poll it commissioned showed 24.2 percent of those asked considered bankers “extremely criminal” while just one percent said they were “generally innocent”.

On a scale from zero (extremely criminal) to ten (innocent), the average rating given to bankers was 3.3.

Deutsche Bank and West LB are two German institutions among 16 large banks involved in the Libor scandal - in which banks are accused of having manipulated the interest rates at which they lend to each other.

This Libor index is based on information from the banks themselves, and serves as a reference rate for loans worth a total of $360 billion to companies, private individuals and others.

The top managers of British giant Barclays Bank have resigned in disgrace after admitting manipulating the rate by issuing false information – and 15 other banks are under investigation. The supervisory organizations in the UK and US are also under scrutiny as they failed to notice what was happening for years.

More than half (55.4 percent) of those asked said their trust in their own banks had been damaged as a direct result of the Libor scandal.

Just over half (51.2 percent) said the main priority should be to compensate those who lost money as a result, while just over 38 percent said those responsible should go to prison.

The poor reputation of bankers illustrated by the Handelsblatt survey and conducted by polling firm Mafo, fits with results from another survey – of bankers in the US and UK, which showed many of them consider breaking the law necessary for success.

Story continues below…

Of the 500 managers asked, 16 percent said they would commit a crime if they knew they could get away with it. More than a quarter bank legal advisors said they knew of laws being broken in their companies.

The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

11:41 July 13, 2012 by C Robert
How correct they are. Banker are thieve club!
11:56 July 13, 2012 by William Thirteen
i doubt if bankers are any more criminal than the non-banker population. However, incentives for short term profit, performance based compensation, lax oversight and sluggish regulation of complex financial products combine to create an environment where opportunities for illegal behaviour abound and are well rewarded.
12:00 July 13, 2012 by wood artist
It would be interesting to see this same poll data for other countries. I suspect the numbers would be even worse in the US, but that's just a gut feeling. Between corruption and a complete lack of ethics, bankers have no one to blame but themselves.

12:15 July 13, 2012 by Sastry.M
Corruption is initiated in mind with uncontrolled desires and criminal actions ensue to gain shortcut benefits.All Judicial Law is a leviathan which can easily be outwitted by those banking professionals using expert methods of manipulation which the learned men of jurisprudence know not, and yet endeavor to dispense justice with their Godess Judicia holding balance scales blindfolded.
13:39 July 13, 2012 by C Robert
"Quarter of Germans think bankers are criminal".... how correct they are when Mr. Julius has been warned us. These corrupt banker lure innocent. Once hooked then slowly but surely start ripping for hard earned wealth.
13:47 July 13, 2012 by Leo Strauss
Brecht said something like `What`s robbing a bank compared to owning one?` :)
14:00 July 13, 2012 by whiteriver
the bank system has a big defect which is that if the banks loose money, they share their lost (bail out). But if they have profit, it's all theirs.
15:20 July 13, 2012 by Kennneth Ingle
Having lost a large part of my savings in an investment, recommended by a well known German bank, I could not agree more. They have lost my money, while charging me for doing so!

In my opinion however, it is not only many bankers, but also a large number of politicians and top managers within the health insurances and other government near organisations, who do not respect the difference between ­ yours and mine ­ and have great abilities in not practising what they preach. Most annoying is, that it is the lower income groups which are forced to have such compelled insurance, without any real choice of alternatives. The lobbyists in Germany certainly do their job very efficiently.
16:13 July 13, 2012 by mrcontinental
Only a quarter of Germans? I would have thought it was a higher percentage.
16:35 July 13, 2012 by IchBinKönig
This is the same 1/4 that is so adamant on bailing everybody out. Obama would love a more Anti-Banker stance. But it sounds funny while you are recommending sending them more money. Which is what Obama is doing.

They feel the Pinch, because they are where the much needed cuts are hitting first.
19:40 July 13, 2012 by Englishted

What are you on about ?.

Only 38% said they should go to prison ,why not 100% if they have committed a crime that does affect the victim which this greed inspired crisis does.
08:31 July 14, 2012 by soros
Bankers have always been crooks. A friend of mine had a German bank stock trading account a few years back and although he is not a German citizen, ended up paying 30% on gains: all kinds of taxes he could never recoup, 1% of stock purchase price; 1% of stock selling price; fees and more fees... it was endless. The bankers are not there to serve, they are there to milk the public and as such are parasites. They do not add to the public good, to advancement of society, but exist to enrich themselves and their cronies. Why would any of this come as a surprise.

They need to be investigated and stuck in jail where many of them belong.
13:24 July 14, 2012 by smart2012
Well done deutch bank (was its CEO who just retired with lots of appraisal??) hope I German taxpayer will not have to cover for this crap
18:58 July 14, 2012 by Sastry.M
The banking system operates on the principle that not all customers withdraw their deposits at once and the Life Insurance ensures that not all insurers die catastrophically at once. Investment bankers kindle hope for future in mediocre middle class and Health Insurance companies guarantee their health with bold letter registrations and micro letter conditions that apply for monitory compensation. Anyway, that is the way the World turns around (Sanskrit "Jagat"= Ja- or gene= that which is born and gat- Ger: gehn = go or go about) from minutes to centuries.
02:29 July 16, 2012 by wenddiver
Only a quarter? Then three-fourths of them are gullible.
03:56 July 16, 2012 by wood artist

In the US the term is "we privatize profits and socialize failures." Not sure how that translates in the German system, but your ideas sound similar.

18:15 July 16, 2012 by zeddriver
Here's the biggest part of the rip off in the USA. The gov. cannot create and issue money. It must be done by private banks. So when the gov. needs money it prints it and sells it to the federal reserve (a private bank despite it's name) This bank pays on a per 100 note basis regardless of the face amount. which comes to $20 for a sheet of 100 notes. The private bank then blesses this money and hands it back to the government as a loan for face value plus interest. So the banks pays $20 for 100 $50 dollar bills. Then sells it back to us for $5000 plus interest. The biggest fraud is that the law that allows this was voted on and passed by our government in 1913.
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