I've even wondered whether the problem was more with the individual bankers or with the banking organization (here), and came to the conclusion that it was some of each.
Today's New York Times carried a brief article by Douglas Quenqua on some fascinating research by University of Zurich economists, reported by Kerri Smith in the journal Nature (here) that "bankers were about as honest as anyone else — until they were reminded that they were bankers." So it's not just the individual, or the organization: it's the overall culture of banking.
The economists asked more than 100 employees of a major bank to participate in their study. As Smith reports,
...[Half of] the participants were quizzed about their jobs and their company, to prompt them to think of their identity as bank employees. The other half answered questions about their hobbies.
The participants were then asked to toss a coin ten times, unwatched by the researchers, and to report the outcome. They could earn money if they reported flipping more heads than tails — and up to US$200 if they reported flipping all heads or all trails.
The first group reported flipping heads 58.2% of the time — significantly higher than would be expected by chance alone. The control group reported tossing 51.6% heads.And in case you're wondering whether people in other professions would show a similar pattern, the answer is: No.
The study authors suggest some possible measures to combat bad banker behavior, "such as having bankers swear a professional oath to consider the impact of their work on society — akin to the Hippocratic oath taken by physicians — or stopping companies from rewarding employees who behave dishonestly."
Good luck with those.