Job fears and 'banker bashing' spark health concerns

Stress Test

Fears of job cuts and 'banker bashing' are taking a toll on the health of bank workers of all levels, according to an international study published on Wednesday that follows a trail of burnouts and tragedies in the world of finance.

Reuters reports that the study by Swiss-based UNI Global Union found more than 80% of banking and insurance unions in 26 countries cited deteriorating health as a major problem for their members in the past two years, with many now working in a 'climate of fear'.

More than half of the unions in 16 countries from Europe, four from Asia and three each from Africa and Latin America said members complained their personal lives were also under considerable strain as they battled the financial crisis.

Lynn Mackenzie, author of the report Banking: The Human Crisis, said bankers in the glass towers of finance were often blamed for the global financial crisis, but this finger pointing also impacted bank workers lower down the pay chain.

'Bank employees are having to face angry customers, sometimes on a daily basis, whose lives are falling apart and they blame the banks', said Mackenzie, adding the survey was one of the widest pieces of research looking at bankers' health.

'But on top of this, managers at banks are putting pressure on staff to meet often unrealistic sales and performance targets. This can be the tipping point into health problems'.

The Bank Workers Charity, the only charity in the UK supporting current and former bank workers, are seeing around a third of their clients suffering from stress, anxiety and depression.

The charity provides independent information, advice and in some cases financial support, offering a range of services to help bank employees to deal with problems they encounter in their personal lives, including managing stress and other mental health problems.

Just one of the ways they can help is via their online tool Beating Stress Interactive which will help you get to grips with stress. It gives you information on dealing with stress, a personalised action plan as well as useful hints and tips. There are also a number of guides and useful resources around stress which can be downloaded from here.

To access the complete Reuters article hit the link below

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