Ethics and Social Responsibility in Barclays Bank

Ethics and Social Responsibility in Barclays Bank

The concept of ethics entails learning what is right or wrong and doing what is required by the society. Besides, social responsibility can be explained as actions by individuals that should benefit the community (Pride, & Ferrell, 2010). Individuals will be held responsible for fulfilling their duty to the society. Most businesses have advocated and maintained a system of social responsibility within their company hence keeping the employees and the environment equally. However, in the recent years, Barclays Bank demonstrated unethical behavior that shocked the world. The bank manipulated LIBOR by giving false information about its bank to bank rates. Therefore, this paper explains if Barclays Bank demonstrated ethics and corporate social responsibility. Similarly, the paper explains the importance of ethics and social responsibility in marketing.

The levels of ethical development typically portray how individuals progress. Similarly, it helps us to understand the motives of an individual and whether his/her behavior is ethical. The executives at Barclays Bank demonstrated the level of pre-conventional morality when manipulating the LIBOR interest rates. In pre-conventional morality, individuals or companies make decisions based on their interest without considering what is best for others. Similarly, they only obey laws if they are established by most powerful institutions. Companies do wrong behaviors and end up being punished. Barclays Bank portrayed a self-centered approach and did what benefited the organization. The Bank proposed low bank to bank rates so that it appears more stable. Similarly, it collaborated with the British government and other banks to influence the decisions of the LIBOR negatively.

Barclays Bank neglected social responsibility by engaging in rate rigging practice. According to Matthews (2012), the act was termed as a crime of the century. The bank decided to disobey the environmental regulations for its personal gains and benefits. The organization could have done the following to be socially responsible. First, the bank could have reconsidered the impact the business has had to the environment. Barclays Bank could have moved from decreasing harm to increasing benefits. It involves contributing to the ecosystem, participate in the community’s projects and ensure that the customers and employees benefit (Pride, & Ferrell, 2010). Second, the bank could have ensured transparency and call of action. Transparency is depicted when the company publicly charts its progress and pledges to support a cause. Therefore, Barclays Bank could have let the public know its operations by reporting the financial status of the bank and come out clearly about the rates. Third, the bank could have offered educational opportunities. Professional educational opportunities are critical for moving the institution forward. Education opportunities such as CRS-related programs would have helped the management boost their knowledge and give them better ideas on ethics and social responsibility.

After the scandal broke, Barclays Bank could have engaged in the following activities regarding Corporate Social Responsibility to set things right and ensure not to repeat the behavior. First, the bank could have admitted the wrongdoing and make a public statement. It would have helped the bank gain more confidence from the public and the government. Similarly, the public statement would have cleared the bad name of the company from the public minds. Second, the bank could have reported correct rates. The bank was accused of violating the law by giving false information about the rate. Therefore, if the bank had given LIBOR right information regarding the rates, it could have set things right.

Third, the bank could have reimbursed the damages it caused to London banks, business executives, small business, and individuals. Since the actions by the company resulted in more damages that included misled information to investors and loan seekers and the resignation of top officials, the bank could have compensated the affected people. Lastly, the bank could have promised future ethical decisions. The significant way the bank could have set things right was by promising a future ethical behavior to the public. Being ethical will help the organization benefit the entire society hence portraying its responsibility.

The executives would have demonstrated a post-conventional level of morality if they had asked themselves about the long run benefits of manipulating the LIBOR. In such situation, rules are seen as a social contract that can protect individual rights rather than dictating. Therefore, people tend to change rules that no longer serve the interest of the society.

After analyzing the case study about Barclays Bank, the followings are the importance of ethics and social responsibility. First, ethics and social responsibility ensures economic survival (Lamb, 2012). Businesses must step up and solve the prevailing environmental problems for it to get educated and healthy employees, loyal customers with money to spend and also suppliers who provide quality products. Second, ethics and social responsibility ensures honesty and fairness in business (Lamb, 2012). It fulfills its promise of providing products that meet the requirements of the customer. Therefore, companies ensure that their advertisements provide the right information about the side effects of the products. Third, it improves the quality of recruits and also increases retention. When a company practices ethics and social responsibility, it attracts good investors, suppliers, employees and customers. They will be happy to drive the company towards achieving its goals.

In conclusion, the scandal of Barclays Bank depicted how organizations violate ethical behaviors and corporate social responsibilities. Ethics and social responsibility play critical roles in marketing the image and products of the company. Therefore, it will be significant if an organization practice ethical behaviors. Similarly, socially responsible organizations can only outperform their peers by concentrating on social problems and using them as an opportunity to make a profit and help the society.



Lamb, C. W. (2012). Marketing. Toronto: Nelson Education

Matthews, C. (2012, July 9). LIBOR scandal: The crime of the century? Time. Retrieved July 10, 2012 from http://

Pride, W. M., & Ferrell, O. C. (2010). Marketing. Australia: South Western Cengage Learning.