If it were just one or two bad apples, we might call it idiosyncratic. Sadly, it isn't.
We see violations across a wide range of the financial sector. Aside from RBS, UBS and Barclays trying to (and many times succeeding) to push global benchmark interest rates around, Bank of America and over a dozen of their fellow banking companies ripped off their own customers by overcharging on debit and ATM fees. MF Global misused customer funds.
(Read More: Barclays CEO: We Were Too Aggressive, Self-Serving)
In others cases, we've seen financial entities violating the law at record levels. Many times, like with RBS, it was flagrant. It's no wonder that customers often believe many of these firms and their leaders have proven unworthy of trust.
(Read More: RBS Tips UK Back Into Bonus Debate)
Will regulators whacking the moles with hundreds of millions in penalties and more prescriptive oversight efforts stop such things, and others, from occurring? Well, perhaps. We can hope.
But there's more to it than whacking these firms with penalties. A firm's character and culture go together and it is clear that a culture shift in the sector needs to take place at the highest levels.
(Read More: Rating Ratings Agencies: Yoshikami)