Banking unions call for G-20 vigilance
The finance world still has a lot of lessons to learn from the global financial crash of 7 years ago. This was the consensus of hundreds of leaders of finance unions attending the UNI Finance Global Union Conference in Antalya, who warned that the industry must break its bad habits once and for all.
Too many financial leaders want business as usual as they launch a global effort to turn back the regulations put in place to prevent the next crash. The G-20 that meets in Antalya next month should be on their guard, and reinforce the message that never again should ordinary tax payers foot the bill for reckless bankers’ behaviour.
In his address UNI General Secretary Philip Jennings said, “We are not convinced that the age of irresponsibility is over in the finance sector.”
UNI Finance President Edgardo Iozia commented, “We see indescribable greed and an obsession to win fast, short-term profits whilst the real economy suffers. There are 30 million more people unemployed as a result of the crash of 2007-08.”
“Where we need innovation is a finance industry that invests in saving our planet by keeping our economies, energy and businesses green.”
President of Basisen Metin Tiryakioglu thanked the unions for sharing their sorrow at the deaths and injuries suffered in the Ankara atrocity of October 10. He said, “Your presence here in Turkey helps us in our efforts to come to terms with this tragedy.
Commenting on Turkish banks he said, “We also live with income inequality. In 2000 a CEO earned 50 times the salary of an entry-level worker, today it is 373 times. At the same time, having won the right to strike, moves are afoot to take it away.”
Head of UNI Finance Marcio Monzane commented, “ We have ambitious plans to grow unions and win respect for the human rights of finance workers. When a bank or insurer is not respecting those rights then it is a sign of ethical trouble.”
The conference welcomed the signing of two global agreements in recent months with Société Générale and ABN AMRO with respect for human rights at their core.
As regulators continue their uphill struggle to tame the excesses in the world of finance, giving financial staff a voice should be integral to their policies.
The Financial Stability Board, which addressed the conference, recognized the risks of financial contagion and identified the key players whose collapse threatens the entire financial system. UNI welcomes this but the missing link is the requirement to engage with the workforce on the restitution plans they are required to make, some of which are 1800 pages long.
Philip Jennings said, “Every one of these G-SIFIs should have a global agreement with their unions. When crisis comes, then jobs, wages and pensions are at risk and these plans must be discussed with unions.”
Delegates underlined that we will not achieve a sustainable world without a responsible finance sector.