Bankers are better behaved at home than in the office
Bankers are better behaved when they work from home and engage in an astonishing amount of financial misconduct when they work from the office. That's the message from a new paper examining misconduct reports at a top-5 UK bank.
By the numbers: The researchers looked at misconduct reports filed on 162 traders working during lockdown, between March 2020 and March 2021.
- The traders who worked from home had an annualized 7.3% chance of triggering a misconduct alert.
- For the traders who worked from the office, that probability soared to an eye-popping 37.6%.
What they're saying: "Traders subject to work-from-home treatment exhibit substantially fewer securities violations and the economic significance of the treatment effect is large," write the authors.
The bottom line: The researchers put forward a few reasons why working from home might reduce misconduct, including less access to inside information and market rumors.
- The main one is that unethical conduct seems to be contagious. Take a trader away from unethical traders, and she's less likely to behave unethically herself.