Banking Standards Board review highlights cultural issues
Beckett Frith, March 14, 2017
As someone who works with banks across the world and has held senior HR roles in banks, eg Global Head of Leadership at UBS, this is a never ending issue. The inherent challenge banks have is that ...
Read More Chris Roebuck
March 14, 2017 11:58
Trust among colleagues and taking responsibility for mistakes are still key challenges in banking
More than a quarter (27%) of banking industry staff would be afraid of negative consequences if they raised concerns about the way they work, according to the Banking Standards Board (BSB) Annual Review 2016/2017.
The review, which considered the views of 28,000 staff from 22 banks and building societies across the UK, highlighted areas of concern for an industry still challenged by a lack of trust. One in five (20%) staff said they do not think their managers take responsibility when things go wrong, and a third (34%) said that colleagues can get defensive when their views are challenged.
More positively, 86% agreed with the statement 'risk and compliance are respected within my organisation', and 75% said customers are at the centre of business decisions.
BSB CEO Alison Cottrell described the high impact of banking culture on the UK. “The challenge of creating or maintaining a good culture is not unique to banking, or indeed to the UK or the 21st century," she said. "The consequences of a poor culture in banking are, however, extraordinarily far-reaching; affecting the economy and society as a whole. For the UK banking sector raising standards of behaviour and competence is a responsibility that needs to be owned by every bank and building society today.”
She added: “All banks and building societies are not the same. The sector contains – as, very often, do firms themselves – examples of both good and poor practice. And being of a particular size, type or business model neither guarantees a good culture nor provides an excuse for failing to achieve a better one."
The report stated that the BSB’s work over the coming year will focus on three distinct themes: understanding and helping to address the mismatch in many firms between the values espoused and the way some employees see business being done, developing a culture within banking of responsibility and accountability rather than blame, and identifying practical steps to help promote personal resilience and wellbeing among employees.
Antonio Simoes, chief executive of HSBC Bank, highlighted the importance of trust. “Ten years on from the beginning of the global financial crisis trust in banks remains the key challenge facing the industry,” he said. “The BSB Annual Review provides an important reference point and a guide for improvement across the sector.”