Bank scandals suggest cultural problems are industry-wide

Libor-rigging and similar misconduct across multiple firms may be the result of 'macro-cultures'

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Pat McConnell is a visiting fellow at Macquarie University’s Applied Finance Centre in Sydney

Much of the discussion concerning banking cultures following the financial crisis has taken place at the level of individual firms, and only recently has debate been considered at an inter-bank or industry level – the banking ‘macro-culture’ existing among financial professionals across firms. 

Culture consists of three components:

Shared assumptions: the pattern of basic assumptions, invented, dis