What critics say
The critics say that the money trade is only adorned with ethical values, selfish interests continue to be pursued.
The bankers say profitable investment and ethical claims, for the bankers of UBS they should not be a contradiction.
Sustainability is the trend
They court a "diverse range of sustainable investments", can be read in their brochures. This refers to Socially Responsible Investments (SRI). Whether projects on climate change, mobility, energy and water or demography, food and health.
Invest exclusively in Companywho "take on role models in sustainability within their industry," they say. The innovation that emanates from such social enterprises also offers investors sustainable opportunities.
Institutional investors in particular are interested, but insurance companies as well as churches. With the "Christian Values" ethics fund, Credit Suisse even cooperates with the Vatican. For the cooperation to succeed, positive and negative standards had been formulated.
Negative criteria are violation of human rights, weapons or pornography. Solidarity, family or environmental protection are positive. For example, Philipp Röh, portfolio manager of Zürcher Bank, said 2008 in the summer before the financial crisis started with the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers.
Deutsche Bank wants to be among the good
Deutsche Bank also wants to be one of the good guys in investment banking. At the beginning of the year, she switched to the Süddeutschen Newspaper a full page ad. To see: Josef Ackermann, CEO. For many, the Swiss is a familiar face when it comes to capitalism.
"The more stable the company is, the better our chances of success," adds Nico Reinhold, spokesman for Wealth Management, advising wealthy private clients. It is in the bank's "own interest" to invest in the "stability and prosperity" of the company, according to the ad. Deutsche Bank sponsors a variety of events, as does UBS and CS. From golf tournaments over university workshops to the opera gala.
Center of society
Elites would know this: "If they move too far from the social discourse, they will not be successful in the long term," says Udo Steffens. He also means Josef Ackermann. As President of the Frankfurt School of Finance, Steffens regularly teaches bankers and those who want to become one, both at home and abroad.
There has been a small, if barely noticeable damper in the enrollments, one becomes altogether more thoughtful. Nevertheless: "Banking and finance remains an attractive industry for young people," says Steffens. With still good earnings and career opportunities.
Economic soldiers without ideals?
Few fund managers continue to dream of the Porsche in their own garage. A couple of clichés are, not just from the Wall Street films with Michael Douglas. Sebastian, center 20, will soon complete his studies in economics at the University of Mannheim.
Sebastian already knows something he does not want. To end up as a "streamlined economic soldier". And to forget "ideals and dreams".
First finance, then be sustainable!
Johannes Czwalina can confirm this trend. He has made a name for himself as a headhunter in Basel and knows what moves bankers. If managers become too dependent on capital, returns and bonuses, they will become untrustworthy. But "if they raise their voices, forward-looking ideas will progress better than before".
The consultant experiences the actual corporate culture in a different way: "First of all you ask about the sustainability of sustainable ideas. Big corporations are always money-driven, depending on the profit demands of their shareholders, "says Czwalina. To change that, he demands more persuasion from the bankers - and their clients.
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