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FCA seeks input on bid to improve culture

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The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority has called for a broad discussion on how a healthy culture can be driven by companies, regulators, employees and customers, as the sector continues to battle misconduct.

“We as a regulator have long gone beyond having a mindset that simply complying with rules is enough,” Executive Director of Supervision – Retail and Authorisations Jonathan Davidson said.

“However, we don’t believe a one-size-fits-all culture is the right way to go.”

The authority has released a discussion paper, Transforming Culture in Financial Services, that includes 28 essays from academics and industry thought leaders.

The paper says misconduct has continued in the decade since the global financial crisis, despite record fines, investigations and an expanding compliance industry. Examples include rate rigging, rogue trading and mis-selling of products.

“There is consensus among essayists that regulation can only go so far and can even have unintended consequences,” the report summary says.

The regulator will examine how to raise the management of culture as a leadership discipline that is given the same level of rigour and importance as strategic planning and risk management.

“Culture may not be easily measurable, but it is manageable,” Mr Davidson said. “Firms can and should take responsibility for ensuring their culture is healthy for both their employees and customers, which can complement and support their business strategy.”