Have you heard of the Hippocratic Oath?
It's a promise doctors are required to make upon getting their licenses that they'll do their best to practice medicine ethically and in the best interest of their patients.
Now, bankers and insurers in The Netherlands will have to swear a similar oath to put their clients' interests first.
Bloomberg reports that in order to improve confidence in the financial sector, the new measures will go into effect on January 1, 2013 and will be enforced by the country's own regulatory financial agency. This new level of government supervision, announced by the Dutch Minister of Finance, will eventually expand to hedge funds and to credit rating companies, as well. About 250,000 people in the industry will have to take the oath, the full text of which is available here.
Keeping in mind that we're starting to see a reversion to risky behavior by major banks (which we discussed here) and the fact that an estimated 10% of Wall Street workers are psychopaths, we can't be too shocked that anyone would want to institute a stronger moral code among their ranks. A similar idea was proposed in England and Scotland in 2010 but was never instituted.
What do you think? Will taking an oath make bankers more cognizant of their actions and considerate of their clients and the economy?