Culture vs. Compliance: What constitutes ‘good’ culture in financial services 

Held on Tuesday, June 12, 2018


  • Sue Lewis (FSCP)

  • Mikael Down (BSB)

  • Peter Montagnon (IBE)



After hundreds of billions of dollars of fines for misconduct, surely no one can doubt the impact of a flawed culture on the bottom line of financial services firms – as well as on the trust their customers place in them. 

As the FCA says upfront in its discussion paper entitled Transforming culture in financial services: “Culture in financial services is widely accepted as a key root cause of the major conduct failings that have occurred within the industry”. But what makes for a ‘good’ culture? And how can senior managers (who are increasingly on the hook personally for failures) go about making sure good culture sticks?
The FCA’s collection of essays on the subject, published in March, coincided with the Banking Standards Board’s release of a new ‘Statement of Principles for Strengthening Professionalism’. Designed to guide its member firms in considering their own practices. Principle 5 calls for a culture of openness, honesty, challenge and support.
We are, therefore, delighted to have assembled a panel featuring some of the leading contributors to the debate on business culture and banking conduct to discuss the issues: 

  • Sue Lewis, chair of the Financial Services Consumer Panel, the statutory body responsible for representing consumer interests. Prior to joining the FSCP, Sue was Head of Savings and Investments at the Treasury.
  • Mikael Down, director of policy and analysis at the Banking Standards Board, responsible for the BSB’s policy work and its annual assessment of bank/building society culture. Previously he led the development of the SM&CR at the FCA.
  • Peter Montagnon, associate director at the Institute of Business Ethics and a visiting professor at Cass Business School. He is a former journalist at the FT, where he spent twenty years before becoming director of investment affairs at the ABI and, latterly, senior investment advisor at the FRC.

If you would like to join us (and, perhaps, add your own thoughts), please let us know by emailing or by calling the CSFI on 0207-621-1056. As usual, wine and sandwiches will be provided.

Sincerely yours,

Andrew Hilton