To the Editor:
In his commentary on June 17, "Strong Ethical Standards Crucial for Banks to Survive," Keith Darcy correctly concluded that ethical management and strong organizational values are crucial in the 1990s.
While we most certainly agree, we cannot go along with some of the assumptions on which the article seems to be based.
By his tone, Mr. Darcy apparently assumes that the majority of bankers are naturally unethical and, if left alone, would defraud and destroy just like the highly publicized S&L looters.
While there have certainly been some shady operators, most bankers, including many thrift leaders we have met, are solid and community-sensitive professionals.
It is a tremendous mistake to feel that one must dangle financial carrots in bankers' faces to make them ethical.
Our assumption is that bankers, in general decent people, often are unknowingly given conflicting messages within the organization.
Add community pressures, regulations, shareholder expectations, and differing cultural and regional expectations, and we often have a recipe for disaster.
Training programs can help bankers recognize ethical problems and dilemmas and can teach useful, principled problem-solving techniques.
Yes, ethical banking is crucial in a purely bottom-line sense, but the many intangible benefits - better decisions that incorporate personal and social concerns - are just as important.