The recent revelation about Barclays Bank and its malpractices where interest rate fixing is concerned has thrown up questions for contractors who work in this arena.
As a contractor you go into places where the culture is unknown and naturally try to fit in. Subsequently, practices which are not entirely legal will put most contractors into a moral dilemma, especially as their current source of income is tied up with the business and any malpractices they may witness.
The attempted fixing of the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor) which is used to fix the cost of mortgaging borrowing, derivatives, and loans worth $450 trillion dollars (around £288 trillion) worldwide, forced the Chief Executive, Bob Diamond to resign.
Barclays is a corporation which handles corporate finances including mortgages, and any contractor who was working with the people responsible for rate fixing, could now be accountable too. Currently the rate fixing scandal is subject of an enquiry.
Contractors in the corporate finance and investment arena, and indeed the financial world, are often in positions which could be compromising to them personally and difficult choices would have to be made should they witness an illegal practice.
To that end it is advisable, should a contractor witness rule breaking they report it to their line manager for their current job and to the contractor recruitment agency (if one was involved in landing the position), and make a note they have done so, just to cover themselves should something go wrong.
There can be no denying the scale of corruption over the Libor fixing and its repercussions for Barclays and the bank’s reputation. A contractor caught in the fallout could see their career ruined.
Contractors who work in the corporate financial investment world are much in demand in both the private and public sectors. They often work in senior positions and are often used in one off projects as this has been found to be highly cost effective.
The financial sector is highly lucrative and appealing to contractors, and it is very easy to get tied up in the rush of making money. It is at this point the rules tend to be forgotten for financial gain.
The flip side of the Barclay’s rate fixing scandal is after heads have rolled and the dust has settled, there will in all probability see several good corporate finance investment contractor positions up for grabs.
One of them could be yours.
Taj Kang is an Associate Director at www.contractormortgagesuk.com – Mortgages for Contractors Made Easy