The Royal Bank of Scotland’s five billion pre tax loss – the fifth annual loss on the trot – is hard enough to swallow.  So how does the bank’s head Stephen Hester sell the idea of paying £215M to its investment bankers?

Not very well is the answer.  With public hostility to the banks showing no sign of abating, when are the banks going to start living by the morals and ethics that most of us in our business and private lives abide by?

Not any time soon, by the sound of it.  Even more interesting, unless RBS faces any further punitive charges, it will return to the same high operating profit of £3.5 billion that it made this year.  Unless more procedural failings emerge.  Lets not hold our breath on that one.   Nor any suggestion of a change in the culture of the banking hall.

In our modern world when does an organisation really need to stand up for the values it expounds? Acknowledging that truth comes before trust; how can the leaders who were the exponents of much of the wrongdoing now inflict a different less profit oriented culture on those who follow them? Particularly if they are still using their obscene, outdated and questionable reward system that does not fit the value sets of current social corporate practice

Why should the tax payer continue to support a self perpetuating antiquated money oriented system that is not fit for purpose? It is as close in terms of risk and reward to drug dealing although the associated rich rewards come without the personal risk. Is this sustainable whilst those within that society struggle to make ends meet.

Is it not time for a serious look at what banking is and what it stands for? What does it deliver to society and how does its current culture, values and ethics really match those of the society it serves.

The imbalance in the Banking, corporate conundrum made up of shareholder profit, customer value and societal expectations that exists is down to poor, unethical leadership. Leaders need to be far cleverer in balancing their delivery appropriately in each of the contributory areas. Those leaders will also need to live by the values they expound. The Banking industry is at a crossroad it is up to its leaders to rise to the considerable challenge of changing the culture and leading it into a new age.


Good Leaders, Great Decisions

Share this post