Tag Archives: Culture

Human Risk 3: Why Banks, Organisations Must Rethink Their Approach

This is the third in a series of articles on Human Risk. The first two can be found here and here.

It is commonly acknowledged that a primary cause of the last financial crisis was the poor culture and values within the banking industry—superstar bosses with big egos, greed and the failure to challenge management have all been identified as having played a major role. This assertion has been supported with reference to the likes of Fred Goodwin of RBS, Dick Fuld of Lehman Brothers and Stan O’Neal of Merrill Lynch who have all been named in Time magazine’s list of 25 People to Blame for the Financial Crisis.

If personal skills and attributes were indeed a major cause of the financial crisis then we must conclude that the failure of HR was as much to blame as the failure of traditional risk management. Continue reading

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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

Only Bankers Can Create Great Banks Not Governments Or Regulators

It is impossible for any industry to survive if it relies on the actions of governments and regulators to watch over it in order to make sure that it does not blow itself apart. Yet, this is the precise position in which the banking industry now finds itself. Continue reading

The Commitment That Banks Must Make For A Better Future

The following is the seventh and final article in a series on bank risk culture. The previous articles can be accessed here or by clicking the HOME tab on the blog.

A total meltdown in any industry requires nothing less than a total rethink of the way forward. However, rather than finding themselves engaged in a total rethink of the how and why they must transform their business, banks have been engaged in responding to more legislation and regulation as well as improving their governance and internal controls.

The problem for banks is that neither governments nor regulators can create a better future with great institutions—only bankers themselves can. Continue reading

Banks Have Arrived At A Gazpacho Moment

A few years ago, I went to a reunion of my Cass Business School MBA class. Immediately on seeing me, one of my former classmates started laughing. I was, of course, puzzled and asked him what was so funny. He apologized for his outburst but confessed that, in the past several years, he had, on several different occasions, taken great pleasure in telling some of his friends a joke about me.

I will share that joke with you. Continue reading

Outdated technology could lead to another crisis in banking

This blog has maintained that the lack of proper IT and systems is a major concern for the banking industry. Here is the proof, if indeed any was needed, from the pages of the FT.

Outdated technology could lead to another crisis in banking

The FT goes even further and suggests that the failure of such systems could lead to both a financial and social crisis.

This is why I have always believed that the most important response to the problems within the banking industry is not what governments and regulators can do but what bankers themselves can achieve. Governments and regulators should take heed. IT systems are a major source of risk within banks which no amount of legislation and regulation can remedy.

This is also another example of why focusing solely on the risk culture of banks is simply not good enough–as has been clearly demonstrated in the series of articles on the blog.

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

Bank Risk Culture: An Alternative View On The Causes Of The Last Financial Crisis

The following is the sixth in a series of articles on bank risk culture. The previous articles can be accessed here or by clicking the HOME tab on the blog.

A total meltdown in any system requires nothing less than a total rethink of the way forward.

Legislators and regulators have blamed the subprime financial crisis on a whole host of issues including derivatives, proprietary trading, deregulation, the collapse of Glass Steagall and the integration of retail and investment banking, as well as the overall failure of risk management and corporate governance. What we have learned so far in this series of articles is that the actual reasons are somewhat different as they relate to the overall culture of banking. Continue reading