Photo: Dennis Wong
Thanks to a tweet by Ramit Sethi, I saw a very intriguing statement by the FDIC regarding paid time off for bank employees. In short, the FDIC strongly urges banks to basically impose at least 14 consecutive days away from work for all active bankers.
Just to note, the FDIC is the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. They are the ones who insure your savings (and other but not all) investment accounts up to $250,000 per insured bank. Here’s what the statement on their site says, “The FDIC endorses the concept of a vacation policy that allows active officers and employees to be absent from their duties for an uninterrupted period of no less than two weeks. During this time, their duties and responsibilities should be assumed by other employees.”
Nothing all that remarkable, right? I mean, everyone knows that vacations help our physical and mental health, and they also lead to higher productivity. So the FDIC is probably just trying to make sure employees are happy and healthy, right?
Not so fast
A bit further down the announcement is where it gets interesting.
“Such a policy is considered an important internal safeguard largely because of the fact that perpetration of an embezzlement of any substantial size usually requires the constant presence of the embezzler in order to manipulate records, respond to inquiries from customers or other employees, and otherwise prevent detection. It is important for examiners and bank management to recognize that the benefits of this policy may be substantially, if not totally, eroded if the duties performed by an absent individual are not assumed by someone else.” [Emphasis added]
Crazy right? The best way to prevent embezzlement is to force bankers to go on an uninterrupted vacation for 14 days. If I’m an honest banker, I’m thankful to crook bankers for the first and probably the only time in my life.
I’ll admit that when I first read Ramit’s tweet, I thought this was a wellness initiative by the FDIC (never mind the fact that the FDIC likely has no authority to dictate vacation policy to banks).
Looks like, once again, things are not as they seem.
Original tweet from Ramit:
FDIC to banks: You should send all employees on 2-wk minimum vacation each year. Before you click, can you guess why? fdic.gov/news/news/fina…
— Ramit Sethi (@ramit) February 15, 2013