Remember, earlier this summer, when a whole bunch of banks were sued over allegations their employees manipulated Libor? And Bob Diamond, CEO of the first, and so far only, bank to settle with regulators, lost his job, as did a bunch of his colleagues? And it was suggested that Barclays's offenses were but a drop in the bucket compared with those of UBS? And experts projected that this whole thing could cost the banks being investigated (of which there are many) tens of billions of dollars to make go away? And Nellie Diamondstopped Tweeting? As much fun as that's all been, a lot of firms would like to avoid going through it again, and to that end, have asked their compliance teams to run some workshops teaching employees how to keep things on the straight and narrow.
For instance, while you might think that people would have mastered email by this point on the evolutionary chart-- specifically, that it never goes away and might be read again-- you would think wrong! So the point is being hammered home in remedial electronic correspondence classes, particularly to those who'd previously not seen an issue with writing stuff like, "Anything for you, Big Boy" as a response to the request "Can you manipulate Libor for me today when you've a sec?" Also on the schedule-- mock happy hours for members of the staff who can never seem to remember the appropriate answer when they're out at Punch Tavern and are asked about "Holly with the cans-- you know, the one who did me a solid by shaving 45 basis points off our submission?"
"Everyone is more paranoid, that's for sure," said one department head at a European investment bank, where the trading floor is festooned with posters reminding staff to report any suspicious behaviour. At his bank and at least one other European firm, executives said they were being asked to take part in an increasing number of behavioural coaching sessions, including simulations of pub outings. These were mainly done via webcasts, where participants act out conversations with colleagues where the talk turns to clients or office gossip, two bankers said. "You have to turn around and say, 'No, let's not talk about that'," said one.
Culture Clean Up Follows Bankers To Bar [Reuters]