An Article in the UK Telegraph caught my attention this morning.
In an article Barclays libor scandal:lock them up Jeremy Warner writes “
Virtually all financial scandals follow the same pattern. First there is the initial exposure of wrong doing, then comes the mitigating claim that it was common practice and everyone was up to it, and finally it emerges that the regulators knew all along but failed to act.
This is a flowchart, but what this article clearly shows is that there is a problem with mind-sets in the Banking world.
Corporate culture i.e the way we intuitively do things is regarded as one of the 3 main culprits in Reputation Risk. By now, it should be obvious that there is a mind-set of greed and taking chances in the Banking world.
It is also well known that Reputation Risk is created by regulatory failures. Hence the importance of Compliance Officers in the New World.
However, what the Competition Commission in South Africa has revealed is that often it is the prevailing level of thinking that causes problems and issues. AND, some of that thinking occurs intuitively. With other words, it has been ingrained in some.
Immediately what comes up in my head is the Cycle of Learning. Moving from Unconscious incompetence right through to Unconscious Competence. Except that Unconscious Competence is the most dangerous stage of learning.
Overcoming this will take a lot of unlearning.
It should also be rather obvious that some serious work needs to be done in the Financial sector by OD (Organisation Development/Organizational Behavior ) experts to create unlearning.
Jeremy Warner ends of the article with a statement – “If this were a pharmaceutical company, it would by now have been stripped of its licenses, closed down and its officials had up for endangering the public”
I fully concur. Years ago someone joked and said: “ Bankers are manicured pawnbrokers”.
Well, it is time that we are no longer pawns. As consumers we have choice. BUT, what happens if an industry can no longer be trusted.
This is the danger that regulators are underestimating.