We all know that there is trouble in paradise. Nothing new I hear you say. Even Adam and Eve got themselves into trouble and they had all the facilities for an easy life. However, this problem involves one of paradise’s major banks and it’s personnel. There have been two cases bought before justice and highlighted in the local press.
In both cases it is alleged that personnel made decisions or actions contrary to regulations but also work ethics. In the first and oldest case an employee with many years experience and in a highly responsible post looking after pension funds. This employee was accused of allegedly using a few million from the pension fund to finance someone’s private U.K. business. The allegation is that of embezzlement of over Rs. 881 million (about Euro 22 million or USD 29 million) from a National Pension Fund. This case is still ongoing due to an unfair trial being pronounced by Privy Council. Anyone familiar with administration or banking work knows that in such sensitive positions there is a hierarchy overseeing and supervising actions taken. We can therefore surmise that more than one person is involved or responsible and that the lowly employee is probably a scapegoat in the affair.
The other recent case again involves the same bank and employee relation. Two experienced bank employees held joint accounts in this bank. I should mention here that, strangely, the employer, the bank, obliges its employees by condition, to bank with no other financial institutions other than the bank which employs them. That condition alone can make you wonder about ethics. But back to the ongoing case; the two bank employees having joint accounts. One friend dies and the account being “joint” with particularity of “either or survivor” the survivor should have had continued access to the account. Well no, the bank steps in and decides that the survivor should not have access to the remaining cash, a sum of about Rs. 4 million (under Euro 100,000 or USD 133,000). The surviving employee has made a court case about access and all the more so that this person is also executor of the late friend’s will.
Apart from the intricacies or motivations in both cases, we are left pondering a weird sense of work ethics. The courts and the public will be faced with stories of abuse of authority and abuse of trust. Could this be a sign of our times where neither the traditional institution nor its high-ranking employees can be trusted? Our elders always said “honesty is the best policy” but this is enough for any small saver to want to transfer their overdraft elsewhere.