Greed at the Heart of the British Banking System?

The KPMG report on the reinvention of British Banks estimates the cost of conduct failings in 2013 at a massive 80% of cumulative profits.  In other words, bad behaviour is having a major impact on the viability of the British banking sector.  Of course bad behaviour always starts with flawed values.

What this report shows, in my opinion, is that greed is at the heart of the British banking system.  Greed is always bad for business, because it erodes trust. And that is exactly what is happening. There is a major crisis of trust in the banking industry, and it starts at the top:The culture of an organisation is always a reflection of leadership consciousness.

Who are the people running our banks? What happened to their values? Are these people fit to run companies? My conclusion is they are not, because they do not understand how values operate. This may not be true of everyone, as I am sure there are many people working in the banking industry that come from a place of high intention, but based on the evidence, five year on from the banking crisis, I wonder to what extent their voices are being heard.  I know that whatever energy you operate with is the energy you get back.  The past greed of the leaders of our banks is coming home to roost, and investors are paying for it.  If you are an investor, in the banking sector, it is about time you woke up to the fact that unless the banks you invest in are driven by values, you are throwing your money away.

The KPMG report concludes:

As we have discussed, all banks are working on a massive conduct agenda and undergoing a cultural revolution. The million dollar questions are “How will be measure success?” and “How will banks be able to assess if they are truly restoring trust?”

The answer to these question is simple: By mapping their values; finding out from employees what values operate in the bank, and asking customers what values they see in their bank. The tools are available … If you want to build a values-driven organisation then go here and take a look at this (click here).


3 responses

  1. Dear Richard, thank you for this insightful post, may I please suggest some additional perspectives.

    Bankers are people too, imperfect people trying to find their way in the world just like everyone else. There but for the grace of God go I. If everyone had the opportunity for income that bankers had pre-financial crisis can we all say hand on heart we would not have also exploited a post Thatcher capitalist goal of self enrichment? Let he who is without sin cast the first stone!

    In a conscious world don’t we see bankers as merely the expression of consciousness in its more commercial aspects. Most leaders of banks have changed since the crisis in 2008 and many are working very hard to fix the wrongs of the past – some are even very good people, in my humble opinion. This will be an unpopular viewpoint I expect, but a pragmatic and informed one.

    Isn’t it time to find a middle ground and all work together: imperfect bankers, inspired leaders and everyone in between, to make the world a better place. Janet

    • This is good news. Thanks for posting this comment. I am sure there are many wonderful people working in banks who are trying very hard to deliver value. Let’s wait to see what actually happens. This report is based on 2013 results — 5 years since the crisis.

  2. Pingback: Governor of the Bank of England speaks out for conscious capitalism « Richard Barrett

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