Deutsche Bank boss’ video message to traders: ‘Stop being boastful and vulgar’

Colin Fan told employees he had 'lost patience' with their behaviour

Associate Business Editor

City traders have been told to clean up their acts or face “serious consequences” by a senior executive at one of the City’s top investment banks.

Deutsche Bank’s co-head of corporate banking and securities Colin Fan has told traders and salesman that he has “lost patience” with their behaviour in a “clean up your act” video message.

The message was distributed internally to traders and sales staff. As a result it was quickly circulating around the City and beyond.

In the recording, a sober looking Mr Fan says: “Some of you are falling way short of our established standards. Being boastful, indiscreet and vulgar is not ok. It will have serious consequences for your career and I have lost patience on this issue.”

He went on: “Communications that run even a small risk of being seen as unprofessional stops right now. I need you to exercise good sense and sound judgement. Think carefully about what you say and how you say it, if not it will have serious consequences for you personally.”

Deutsche Bank is Germany’s most prestigious financial institution and has a major presence in the City of London. But it is beset with regulatory difficulties and is known to have been caught up in the Financial Conduct Authority’s Libor and foreign exchange trading investigations.

The Libor scandal has shone a deeply unflattering light on the behaviour of traders at numerous banks, with regulators publishing lurid emails and electronic chats sent between traders at Barclays, UBS, Royal Bank of Scotland and Holland’s Rabobank so far, in addition to brokers such as Icap and RP Martin.

Some have become infamous. They include the external trader who promised a Barclays trader a “bottle of Bollinger” for their help with Libor, an interest rate used to price a huge range of financial products. “Dude. I owe you big time!” they said, alongside the promise of a bottle of bubbly.

In others traders gave themselves childish nicknames while peppering their chats with profanities and using boastful terms such as “humungous” to describes deals they were involved in.

If Deutsche is on the hit list, it can expect similar treatment. The bank has already paid a €725m penalty to the EU which found traders had colluded to fix rates linked to Libor. It was the biggest single fine in a total of €1.7bn charged to six banks.

With more fines expected to follow, the finance house has been desperately trying to clean up its image.

A spokesman said that Mr Fan’s missive is part of that. “A new culture is taking hold, step by step, here at Deutsche Bank. The substance and tone of this video is intentionally direct and part of an ongoing programme. We expect every employee to understand and comply with our standards,” they said. 

Banks such as Deutsche, JP Morgan and others have increasingly sought to curtail access to venues such as chat rooms in a bid to at least curtail their traders behaviours.

Despite the skills which see banks handing star traders salaries that take them into the rockstar league, many appear not to have noticed that e-mails and even chats over trading terminals can be easily made available to watchdogs. In addition to the casual discussion of unethical, and potentially illegal activities, bosses at some City institutions have become concerned about the level of casual misogyny found across all or predominantly male trading floors.

“They’ll think nothing of trading lewd comments about the appearance of any woman unfortunate enough to find themselves in their vicinity,” said one industry source.

But another banking source warned that such efforts as Mr Fan’s could have limited success: “Banks have to make money. That’s what they are there to do. The question people have to ask is whether they want to be the person to sack the top rainmaker because of a few off-colour remarks?”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Senior SEO Executive

£24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior SEO Executive is requi...

Recruitment Genius: Online Customer Service Administrator

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Online customer Service Admi...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Marketing Executive

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This global, industry leading, ...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before