Tag Archives: Banks

Has Internal Audit Measured Up? What Do We Do Next?

The following article was first published in the Global Risk Update published by Risk Reward Limited.

Over the past few years banks have constantly been in the news, unfortunately rarely for the right reasons. A number of different scandals have hurt both the reputation and image of the industry. Foremost amongst these scandals are:

The Financial Crisis—a well documented global disaster
A Foreclosure Crisis—the reaction of banks to mortgage defaulters
Libor Manipulation—affected the most important borrowing/lending rate in the world
Rogue Trading—several episodes where unauthorised trading exposures lead to huge losses
Energy Markets Manipulation—subject of major new investigation by the SEC/CFTC
Money Laundering—a number of major banks have paid very hefty fines
Insider Trading—has involved some major figures on Wall Street and the City
Product Mis-Selling—massive fines for major banks

This does not make good reading for anyone involved in the industry but auditors in particular have real cause for concern. Continue reading

Banks, Risk, Culture: What Role Does The Culture of Society Play In Banks’ Behaviour?

The role of the wider society in shaping the culture and risk profile of banks and other organisations might be more important than most people think. Understanding that role is extremely important for bank executives and risk professionals if they are to build organisations that are sustainable, economically and competitively, in the long term. Continue reading

Why Customer Culture Is Far More Important Than Risk Culture

This is a follow up to an earlier series of articles on risk culture in banks the last of which can be accessed here.

The best institutions and organisations are those which define themselves in terms of how they have they can best serve their customers (and the wider community) and not how they intend to manage risks.

This is a lesson that bankers, regulators and governments all need to learn—the future success of the banking industry depends not on more rules and regulations but how well banks transform their customer culture. As we shall see, that has very little to do with how they measure risk. Continue reading

The Role of HR: To Out The Megalomaniacs?

Is Anglo Saxon Culture A Problem For Banking?

For some time now I have been asking myself why the world’s leading bankers have still been unable to talk directly to the masses in order to apologise for their role in creating a financial crisis in which so many people suffered and commit to doing their best in order to avoid the same thing happening again. Continue reading

Book Review: Clearing the Bull, The Financial Crisis and Why Banks Need a Human Transformation

Book review – A very interesting review and response from an HR professional to the HR issues raised in Clearing The Bull.

The Question That All Bankers Should Be Asking: Why Are We Here?

The following article was originally published in the October edition of The Journal of Business Compliance.

INTRO: Jonathan Ledwidge is an author and risk professional with more than 20 years experience in investment banking and has strong views and undeniably good questions. In this opinion article, the first under the Speakers Corner column of the Journal, he asks questions of everyone in the corporate world, not merely bankers, but industrialists, regulators and all those associated with the formation of governance frameworks, the promotion of meaningful corporate culture and their implementation. He considers the many pitfalls into which a generation of business and political leaders have fallen and the consequences these have had on regulation and internal control practices. The scandals that have come to light within the banking sector have overshadowed scandals of corruption and misselling in other industries that just as crucially require answers and reflections of the existential question: Why are we here?

“Tell me again Maximus, why are we here?” Continue reading

Human Risk 4: Steve Ballmer, The Decline Of Microsoft

This is the fourth in a series of articles on Human Risk. The first three can be found here, here and here.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who took over from Bill Gates in 2000, recently announced that he will be resigning within 12 months. The fact that Microsoft’s shares jumped almost 8% on the news is testament to the widely held belief that Ballmer is primarily responsible for the decline of Microsoft relative to its much nimbler rivals such as Google and Apple.

By some estimates as much as $24 billion was added to the market value of Microsoft on Ballmer’s announcement. This is proof, if ever any was needed, that culture and risk are twin sides of the same coin. The only question is; what if any, were the specific cultural issues that caused one of the most important organisations in modern history to decline in value and competitiveness? Continue reading

Risk Culture: Accountants, Auditors Should Be Leaders Not Police Officers

 This article was originally written for and included in the ACCA Quarterly Newsletter for Financial Services, AB.Direct.

What is the risk culture of an institution? When assessing the economic and competitive sustainability of an organisation, is it good enough to focus solely on the risk culture? Continue reading

JP Morgan Whale Trade Investigation

 It would seem that the authorities are taking a very close look ay JP Morgan’s $6.2 billionn derivative loss. The issue appears to be that pressure was placed on the trader to mismark the portfolio and the risk and pricing parameters adjusted accordingly. The folowing article from Bloomberg outlines the issues: London Whale Resurfaces in Potential US JP Morgan Case.

However, the article from the website Zero Hedge is a bit more detailed. It includes references to to the Congressional report on JP Morgan and why the bank may have been in breach of the Volcker rule.

Jonathan Ledwidge is the author of the book Clearing The Bull, The Financial Crisis And Why Banks Need A Human Transformation (iUniverse).