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Bank CEO to Bankers: Where are your values? 

May 26, 2015

Keith Mestrich, CNN Money

When five of the world's biggest banks were busted this week for manipulating the cost of dollars and euros, they did more than violate antitrust laws. They violated the public trust.

The hefty punishment of Citicorp, JPMorgan Chase, Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland and UBS -- paying more than $5 billion in fines, pleading guilty to felonies, and firing traders who met in a secret chat room to collude with their competitors -- is appropriate, but only if they're a start. We need to strictly enforce reforms that make sure banks aren't misusing your money for their profit.

While Amalgamated Bank doesn't participate in the kind of foreign exchange markets these five banks rigged, it doesn't take an expert to understand that banks, or any other financial institutions, can't be allowed to manipulate markets to line their own pockets, fix interest rates that affect the cost of credit cards and car loans, or add markups to customers' transactions.

But more than that, I believe banks have a moral responsibility: To care as much about the values of our customers as the value of their accounts. Banks have to stand up for the people we serve because the real currency of banking isn't dollars or euros -- it's trust.

Read more: CNN Money

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