Letter: Business must face a new ethical world

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The Independent Online
Sir: Your Business Comment (6 June) displays the 1980s "market forces" view of business which is unfortunately still prevalent in the City but hardly anywhere else.

We will not have an ethical foreign policy ("Mr Cook, we are up in arms", 6 June) or ethical home policy while we still have such unethical corporate governance and leadership. The primary purpose of a business is to meet public needs, not to "create wealth" for directors or shareholders. Try telling a bank manager that you are starting up to create wealth - he will look askance and ask you how.

Over recent years businesses have realised the importance of meeting customers' needs, but many, especially in the City, are slow in waking up to the popular public demand for wider social responsibility, which New Labour's roaring success symbolises.

It is no longer acceptable for a few people to feed their greed to the detriment of many others. That is why chain letters are illegal and that is what is wrong with privatised (monopoly) utilities. Even the US has better business ethics legislation than we have.


Director, 2020 Vision Ltd