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UBS Chief: People Should Let The Occasional Legal Or Ethical Slip Slide, Because Nobody’s Perfect

“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. Because I don’t think there are many people who are perfect,” Mr. Ermotti said in an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “We are far from being perfect…but it’s not going to be very helpful to be constantly bashing banks.” […] Mr. Ermotti, a Swiss native who has spent his entire career in the banking industry, said he is growing frustrated with what he sees as some regulators, politicians, shareholders, clients, journalists and rival banks holding UBS to a higher standard than they hold themselves. “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. Speaking of a broader group of industry “stakeholders,” including regulators and politicians, Mr. Ermotti said: “None of them can be overly critical.” [WSJ]

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29 Responses to “UBS Chief: People Should Let The Occasional Legal Or Ethical Slip Slide, Because Nobody’s Perfect”

  1. Reverse Commuter says:

    "he is growing frustrated with what he sees as some regulators, politicians, shareholders, clients, journalists and rival banks holding UBS to a higher standard than they hold themselves."

    Higher standards? When did this happen?

    -UBS Standards Quant

  2. guest says:

    hell yes!

    -Kweku Adoboli

  3. UBS HR says:

    Perfect? There are barely any UBS employees that are qualified to work at a Jiffy Lube let alone perfect and then Honda Stamford just cherry picks the top performers.

  4. KingCo says:

    TL;DR: We all suck, cut us some slack.

  5. SAC PM says:

    Exactly. No one can watch everything in this era of the mega data.

    Guy who's MD used to routinely say, " I don't want to hear this Jim" as a que to stop the conversation.

  6. Guest says:

    Definitely want a CEO who starts ANY response with "Life is hard enough"…

  7. Guest says:

    I want to have this man's baby.

    -Shazar

  8. Alt_EST says:

    'Good enough' is absolutely the attitude I would expect from UBS.

  9. Guest Compliance says:

    You not US, UBS

  10. HSBC Guest says:

    We like to bash our customers instead:
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2546622/H

    HSBC accused of treating customers like criminals after banning them from withdrawing large sums of cash if they won't explain what it's for
    Bank brought in secret policy last November, which has led to complaints
    Customers say withdrawals were refused or they were forced to barter
    HSBC says policy is 'responsible' and allows them to tackle financial crime

  11. Guest says:

    "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"

    Oh, I think if you looked around, you'd find an example of a bank that did no wrong for the last twenty years, where every step was exactly the correct one, and where everything that went horribly wrong was definitely someone else's fault and the result of circumstances that no one, and we mean no one, could have seen coming.

    – Alan G., Benjamin B., Janet Y.

  12. gnome says:

    He is right. UBS is not perfect. Just like all financial institutions, they have had their missteps. But if you take the past decade in context, are they as bad as others? I mean they are no Bear of Lehman. Lets see . . .
    – collapse/closing of Dillon Read Capital Management
    – massive losses on MBS leading to government bailout
    – sued/settlement for auction rate securities
    – sued/settlement for student loan securities
    – settlement around facilitating client tax evasion
    – LIBOR scandal
    – Mass employee defections
    – firing/hiring/firing strategies around the ibank
    – likely others

    The Swiss don't generally like to focus on history. But all iz goot now. ya?

  13. Rommel says:

    UBS whistler blower case being over turned shows that the companies strategy of firing
    Employees who report firm front running is working. Just tell management what you see going on and we'll fire you

    Dodd Frank is weak and UBS is strong. The firm was built on the back of Erwin Rommel
    Long live the swiss

  14. Rommel says:

    UBS gets favorable Dodd Frank ruling from Judge Failla. Well she was appointed by Obama who's biggest fund raiser is UBS ex CEO Robert"32 advisors"Wolf. You gotta love the Swiss

  15. A-Side says:

    "Leave Britney Alone"