Ethics has been a common topic in the news recently, and ethical issues have been at the forefront of business and banking for a number of years. At times it might seem like society has grown weary of these ongoing ethical dilemmas, but it is still likely that more problems involving ethics mean that there is still more to be learned from events that involve ethical questions. While banks do not have a monopoly on these matters, there are frequently higher built-in behavioral expectations for bankers that make their ethical lapses slightly more visible and controversial.
Whenever individuals are responsible for managing large amounts of money (as bankers clearly are), there can be temptations to take advantage of the situation. In many cases there are governing laws and regulations which prescribe what is legal, but ethical guidelines are often less formal and rigid. In fact, this lack of specificity is what often leads to an ethical dilemma in the first place.