Some 20 analysts from Goldman Sachs and 10 from JP Morgan have been dismissed after it emerged that they were cheating during some mandatory tests during their analyst training program.
As the article says, it is not unusual for bankers to assist each other when it comes to tests in mandatory training and compliance, since they are seen as being time consuming and repetitive.
In that sense, that these guys copied or helped each other is not news. What matters, though, is that they got caught in the process. And that is unacceptable for a banker.
If you look at how investment banking has been shaped over the last decade or so, there have apparently been several people who have fudged stuff – from financial results to key rates to benchmarks, and gotten away with it because they haven’t got caught. And they continue to remain successful bankers.
So in the banking culture, fudging is okay, but getting caught isn’t. By getting caught fudging in tests during their training program, these analysts have betrayed the one skill that is necessary for being a successful banker, and for this reason they have been rightly weeded out.
It’s like the Darwin awards, except that for these guys it is only the end of their careers in banking.