A Matter of Culture
Words by Chris Usher, Photo by Sara Clews
Paul participated in a Q&A session after the screening of ‘Inside Job’ and discussed the subject of the film by way of offering comment on some of the reasons behind the global financial crisis of 2008. Due to topical issues surrounding Barclays at the moment Paul also made suggestions for how we can start to make a difference going forward.
I had the great pleasure of discussing the Barclays’ Libor rate-rigging scandal in detail with Paul and so now include some of that discussion for your perusal.
Chris Usher: Paul, what do you think went wrong at Barclays?
Paul Moore: It’s evident that there was a total failure in the ethics and culture of the business. The board knew about this and are now saying that the regulator also knew. Well, that might be the case but two wrongs do not make a right.
Chris Usher: So are you saying that we need greater regulation then?
Paul Moore: It’s not as simple as that. What I’m saying is that we need to change the industry and culture of financial services. Chris, as you know, I have offered to step up to become Chairman of Barclays Bank, and so my first call to action would be to conduct a full root and branch review of the entire organisation, and to ensure that any illegality was reported along with any breaches of compliance – there can be no stone left unturned if the public is to regain confidence in the financial system.
Chris Usher: So what, specifically needs to change?
Paul Moore: I’m recommending that large publically quoted companies should have a dedicated non- executive director who is an expert in ethics and oversight to ensure the right behaviour and approach of the organisation. This would create an internal regulatory system where people can speak up. For far too long people have not been able to voice their concerns, and indeed whenever they did, they were fired! Look at my own experience with HBOS.
Chris Usher: What are your views on Jersey and the level and quality of regulation here?
Paul Moore: Jersey maintains its position because it focuses very heavily on its reputation and regulation. The better the regulation the more likely it is that business will be done because you can trust it.
If compliance is top of your agenda at the moment then take a look at the Certificated Awareness Programme in Compliance Risk Fundamentals, which is currently on offer at the school, and also the ICA Diploma in Compliance – both of which feature the critical aspects of culture and ethics.