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Dutch bankers required to take oath

Employees of Dutch banks are required to take an oath as part of the government’s efforts to rein in an industry with assets more than four times the size of the country’s economy. The oath is as follows: ‘I swear that I will do my utmost to preserve and enhance confidence in the financial-services industry. So help me God.’ All 90,000 Dutch bank employees must take the pledge, or a non-religious affirmation, from the second half of this year. They will be punished should they break new ethical rules, said Banking Association chairman Chris Buijink. Dutch bankers who fail to abide by the new rules may be black-listed, face fines or suspensions, he added. The revised code will be completed within months and disciplinary sanctions will be applied at the start of next year. Bankers across the globe are trying to convince the public that they are stamping out unethical behaviour that contributed to a 2008 financial crisis, costing taxpayers hundreds of billions in bail-outs. The Netherlands is demanding bankers enforce stricter codes of conduct after spending more than €95bn in capital and guarantees in six years to bail out banks. However, many aspects of the new disciplinary system are unclear. Dutch banks have almost a year to set it up. There would be a disciplinary commission or tribunal similar to those policing brokers, investment advisers and the medical profession. The system would apply to all bank employees taking the oath.

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