FEARS of job cuts and “banker bashing” are taking a toll on the health of bank workers of all levels, according to an international study published yesterday that follows a trail of burnouts and tragedies in the world of finance.
The study by Swiss-based UNI Global Union found more than 80 per cent of banking and insurance unions in 26 countries cited deteriorating health as a major problem for their members in the past two years, with many now working in a “climate of fear”.
The findings come just a day after Barclays signed off its compliance head Hector Sants with exhaustion.
Lynn Mackenzie, author of the report “Banking: The Human Crisis”, said bankers were often blamed for the global financial crisis, but this finger pointing also hit workers lower down the pay chain.
“Bank employees are having to face angry customers, sometimes on a daily basis, whose lives are falling apart and they blame the banks,” said Mackenzie, adding the survey was one of the widest pieces of research looking at bankers’ health.
“But on top of this, managers at banks are putting pressure on staff to meet often unrealistic sales and performance targets. This can be the tipping point into health problems,” she added.