Ireland establishes a Bank Culture Board

In my earlier article in Moneycontrol, I argued how culture in banking or lack of it has become one of the key agendas for central bankers. I had pointed how Ireland is one of the main countries looking to do something about improving culture in its banks.

Taking the agenda forward, the they have set up a Irish Banking Culture Board (IBCB) :

The IBCB is an independent industry initiative established and funded by the five retail banks in Ireland with the aim of rebuilding trust in the sector through demonstrating a change in behaviour and overall culture. The IBCB’s goal is to act as a transformative influence on culture within the banking sector.

The role of the IBCB is to be an independent voice advocating for cultural change in the Irish banking industry. The IBCB will demand that participating banks improve culture, customer outcomes and competence. Rooted in the knowledge that a changed culture will change outcomes, the IBCB promotes ethical behaviour and advocates for humility, decency and respect in the banking sector.

The IBCB will not act as a lobbying or representative organisation. It will not act as a regulatory body nor duplicate the work of individual banks, the BPFI or the regulator.

As an industry initiative, the formation of the IBCB is a strong signal of intent from within the sector of its desire to foster a sustainable banking culture that adheres to the highest levels of professionalism. Only change that comes from within and is informed by the perspectives of the public can be authentic and sustainable; the IBCB’s goal is to act as a transformative influence on culture within the banking sector.

Here is a speech by Ms Derville Rowland, Director General Financial Conduct on the occasion:

In my remarks this morning, I would like to acknowledge the first steps the retail banks have taken to build a consumer-focused culture since the Central Bank published its report into their behaviour and culture last summer.1 In particular, I welcome the establishment of the Culture Board with its intended focus on behaviour, ethics and culture and its proposed advocacy for the interests of bank customers and a sustainable banking industry.

While not a substitute for effective regulation, assertive supervision and robust enforcement – which I will return to shortly – the Culture Board has an important role to play in challenging industry on these key issues. I note, too, the improvements that banks have made in driving gender balance at senior levels in the industry given the key role that diversity – including gender diversity – plays in helping guard against groupthink, improve decision making and facilitate internal challenge.2

And I am pleased to see the Institute of Banking is providing educational qualifications on leading cultural change and ethical behaviour in financial services.3 Combined, these steps signal intent and show some early progress – which is not before time.

More news and speeches here..

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