Inside CIBC's New Ethics Hotline: An Investigative Report By QED
Above: Get us working for you…except for our accounting department. You probably don't want them working for you.
After admitting that it played an integral role in helping to cook Enron's books, the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce agreed to establish an "ethics hotline" to ensure that the bank remains a good corporate citizen.
The following are some of the conversations that have taken place on the hotline thus far:
Caller: I opened a CIBC savings account a year ago with a $100 deposit. I've deposited and withdrawn equal amounts since then, but my balance is now only $99.75. Shouldn't I have earned interest on the balance?
Operator: In fact you did earn interest, at the microscopic rate of 0.025% per annum. On a balance of $100, that's a total of $0.25 in interest, less $0.50 in service fees when you withdrew money from your account. That may not seem like a lot, but it's actually the going rate for most Canadian banks.
Caller: It seems like every year, the president of CIBC gets a multi-million dollar bonus, regardless of whether the bank outperforms its competitors. Wouldn't it be fairer to divvy up those exorbitant payouts among the bank's shareholders or other employees?
Operator: Maybe, but an obscenely large annual bonus is simply one of the perks that go with being a bank president. Great gig if you can get it.
Caller: I just saw the film "Owning Mahoney", in which Phillip Seymour Hoffman plays a CIBC branch manager who embezzles millions of dollars from the bank in order to finance his compulsive gambling habit. How did the bank possibly allow one individual to perpetrate such a massive fraud?
Operator: Don't believe everything you see on the big screen. "Owning Mahoney" is nothing more that an elaborate work of fiction, like Bowling For Columbine and Jean Chretien's legacy.
Above: At CIBC we've got a stranglehold on your savings.