Overpaid, uncertain and less ethical: survey reveals City concerns

By agency reporter
November 8, 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 professional polling organisation ComRes on behalf of the St Paul's Institute in London.

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 two in three (64 per cent) of participants. 'Enjoyment of the work' comes a distant second.

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

· Only 14 per cent 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'.

· One in three disagree that the financial markets were deregulated.

· More than two-thirds (69 per cent) 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, and the Institute's Value and Values: Perceptions of Ethics in the City Today', the Rev 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."

Views expressed in the St Paul's 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, the Institute's news release emphasised.

It adds: "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."

The Institute says: "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."

* The full report can be read (*.PDF format) at: http://www.stpaulsinstitute.org.uk/files/dialogueimages/Value_and_Values...

* Occupy London: http://occupylondon.org.uk/


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