Responding to Sir Richard Lambert’s proposals for a new banking standards body, Bill Michael, EMA head of financial services at KPMG, commented:
“Creating a change in culture requires a fundamental change in mindset. While much is already being done, the scale of cultural change required in the UK is immense. It is not just about exiting risky business and simplifying products. It is about a demonstrable change in behaviour through all levels of banks. This will take a generation of bankers to work through.
“The introduction of a banking standards body is a vital step for the industry to rebuild its reputation, restore trust and put customers at the heart banking. However, we only have one chance to get this right. We must ensure a robust and credible body - that is not controlled by bankers - is established.
“To succeed, it is imperative this body works in tandem with the FCA and PRA. A parallel track of unconnected activity will not be effective and could make things worse by creating a confusing set of standards, rules and expectations. Conduct initiatives from all bodies must marry up at all times.
“The introduction of metrics will also help establish credibility but we must ensure they are measuring what is important, not just what is easily measurable. This will be a challenge as it requires looking at the business of banking differently - through the lens of the customer rather than the shareholder. Banks that fail against these metrics must be held accountable and disciplined. This body must have teeth or it won’t be able to make the difference UK society at large needs it to.”
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This article represents the views of the author only, and does not necessarily represent the views or professional advice of KPMG in the UK.