Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Changing the banking culture

Paddy McGuffin`s column rightly praised Corbyn`s tactics at PMQs, which challenges the PM`s "routine of hiding behind empty words" (Morning star,31/10/15).But Cameron is far from being alone!
I notice that the new CEO at Barclays, Jes Staley, has done his homework, informing his employees that the bank must complete both the "cultural transformation of the group", and the "necessary transformation". He clearly knows that his predecessor, Antony Jenkins, on getting the job in February, 2013, in the wake of the Libor-fixing crisis, said in a press conference, "We get it, we are changing the way we do business". He then added that the bank would put ethics above earnings, and unveiled his grand plan, "Project Transform"; this was a management jargon acronym, standing for Turnaround, Return Acceptable Numbers and Sustain Forward Momentum, all designed to restore Barclays` reputation. Unsurprisingly, it failed to prevent the next scandal,  the manipulation of the currency markets with a colossal £3trillion a day of turnover.
   With the greed of the bankers clearly the root cause behind the need for "a cultural overhaul", does Staley really expect his message to get across when his employees read details of their boss`s £10m pay package? Is the obvious lack of ethics in the banking culture likely to change, when the example is set by the CEO? Staley`s obscenely high pay includes something called "a role-based allowance", a device to side-step EU rules on capping bonuses!
     If the CEOs of banks really wanted to reform their "culture", they could start by doing the following:
   Ensure all investment bankers do annual work-experience, shadowing for a week a nurse, carer, or state school teacher, to witness at first hand, how compassionate, considerate and patient "best people" really are, despite their long hours, working for rewards bankers and their ilk would describe as "chickenfeed". 

   Review their recruitment policy. It is obvious that the schools and universities from where the current batch of bankers come, are not producing the graduates with the "character" and attributes necessary to end both the fleecing of customers, and the production-line of banking scams.

No comments:

Post a Comment