The Banker's Oath And Financial Advice

Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper 2021-032/IV

56 Pages Posted: 27 Apr 2021

See all articles by Utz Weitzel

Utz Weitzel

VU University Amsterdam

Michael Kirchler

University of Innsbruck

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: April 9, 2021


Financial misbehavior is widespread and costly. The Dutch government legally requires every employee in the financial sector to take a Hippocratic oath, the so-called "banker's oath.'' We investigate whether moral nudges that directly and indirectly remind financial advisers of their oath affect their service. In a large-scale audit study, professional auditors confronted 201 Dutch financial advisers with a conflict of interest. We find that when auditors apply a moral nudge, referring to the banker's oath, advisers are less likely to prioritize bank's interests. In additional prediction tasks, we find that Dutch regulators expect stronger effects of the oath than observed.

Keywords: experimental finance, audit study, banker’s oath, moral nudges, financial advice

JEL Classification: C92, D84, G02, G14

Suggested Citation

Weitzel, Utz and Kirchler, Michael, The Banker's Oath And Financial Advice (April 9, 2021). Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper 2021-032/IV, Available at SSRN: or

Utz Weitzel (Contact Author)

VU University Amsterdam ( email )

De Boelelaan 1105

Michael Kirchler

University of Innsbruck ( email )

Universitätsstraße 15
Innsbruck, Innsbruck 6020

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