UBS's Andrea Orcel Says Eradicating Misconduct Is a Top Priority

(Bloomberg) -- UBS Group AG investment bank chief Andrea Orcel said eradicating misconduct and improving how such issues are dealt with is a top priority, after the unit was hit by an allegation of rape.

“For me, it’s absolutely critical and one of the most important things I want to achieve,” Orcel said in an interview on Bloomberg Television on Wednesday. “There shouldn’t be the complacency of saying ‘we are fine,’ but we should strive to improve what we do and ensure our employees are aware we take it seriously.”

The Swiss lender said last week it’s planning to review how the bank handles cases of harassment after an alleged incident, which involved a young London-based trainee accusing a more senior employee of rape, according to people with knowledge of the situation.

Orcel’s comments come as companies face increasing pressure to discipline individuals who have abused their position to obtain sexual favors or committed acts of violence and bullying. Interest in such misconduct has risen since reports of alleged assaults by Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein emerged last year. A number of high-profile individuals have subsequently been accused of offenses across a range of industries, giving birth to the global #MeToo movement.

“I can only say that we are challenging the whole process,” Orcel said, referring to the bank’s processes. “We will find elements that we can do better and do differently.”

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