☰ Menu eFinancialCareers

UBS chief tells banking critics that enough is enough

Sergio

Every year since the crisis, one of Wall Street’s top executives tells the world to quit it with all the banker-bashing. And every year, like clockwork, they get publicly roasted for their comments. UBS chief executive Sergio Ermotti needed just a few weeks into 2014 to earn his place on the mantle.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Ermotti said that all the vitriol aimed at the industry is counter-productive to moving beyond years of scandal. “Life is hard enough, and I think this constant lecturing on ethics and on integrity by many stakeholders is probably the most frustrating part of the equation,” he told the Wall Street Journal. “We are far from being perfect…but it’s not going to be very helpful to be constantly bashing banks.”

Ermotti then boldly stepped beyond banking as an industry and talked specifically about what he feels is an unfair standard being held against UBS. “When I look around, I don’t think there are many banks that can come to us and say they are the example that should be followed,” he said.

Bold indeed. Others before him – namely Jamie Dimon and Bob Diamond – took heat for calling out critics of banking, but others fell short of isolating “stakeholders” and pointing to the faults of other firms. Ermotti seems to be calling out friends and foes alike.

The backlash, at least from those who cover banking, has been swift, and rather sarcastic. “Cue the tiny violins” was the lede in MarketWatch. “Sniff. Sniff,” said the Consumerist.

Whether he’s right or not – and he may be – Ermotti is stepping out on a shaky limb. You may remember Bob Diamond’s infamous words, uttered a year before Libor: “There was a period of remorse and apology for banks. That period needs to be over.” Diamond heard those words on playback during the aftermath of the rate-fixing scandal.

Answering Tough Interview Questions (eFinancialCareers)

While banking and finance interviews are typically littered with technical industry questions, it’s the more generic inquiries that tend to trip people up. Here are six common interview questions along with strategies on how to respond to them.

Gaming Your Way Into a Job (eFinancialCareers)

Having trouble finding a banking job the old-fashioned way? Here are seven finance-related competitions that may help open the door just a crack.

Waiting Around (Financial News)

An interesting phenomenon is happening in Europe as banks look to introduce allowance payments to make up for the effects of impending bonus caps. Bankers are waiting around for the allowances before jumping to rival firms. Talent poaching has slowed as a result.

Winston Opening U.S. Shop (FIN Alternatives)

Winton Capital Management plans to open its first U.S. office in New York later this year. The quant firm will start the new office with marketing hires.

Employment Suit Settled (WSJ)

J.P. Morgan has settled a lawsuit with a former right-hand man of CEO Jamie Dimon. Frank Bisignano left the bank for KKR-owned payment processor First Data, then quickly hired away two J.P. Morgan executives. Bisignano’s contract said he wasn’t allowed to poach former co-workers for a full year.

RIP (Bloomberg)

H. Frederick Krimendahl II, who spent more than three decades as a Goldman Sachs exec, died last week. Krimendahl had a range of duties over the years, including finding the firm’s London office. He was 85.

Front-Running Probe (Reuters)

Bank of America is being investigated for potentially illegal trading practices. Investigators are looking into whether swaps traders were front-running their own trades ahead of executing other large orders for clients.

Buzz Around the Office

Priorities (ABC)

A Kansas man whose house caught on fire heroically ran back into the burning building to save his…Xbox. Sadly, it’s a better story than the Georgia man who helped his family escape a house fire only to run back in to grab his Bud Light.

Quote of the Day: “If you precluded yourself from hiring any kid that was affiliated with somebody or whose parent was an important official or important industrialist or executive, you wouldn’t have very many people left.” – Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, commenting on potential conflicts of interest in hiring.

Comments (0)

Comments

The comment is under moderation. It will appear shortly.

React

Screen Name

Email

Consult our community guidelines here