If culture is banking’s biggest problem, then HR is one of the key functions that has been found wanting in the recent crisis. Therefore, HR needs to be an integral part of the solution, say the CIPD.

So far, HR has failed to identify systemic cultural issues or ensure leaders understand why culture is so critical to business performance, according to Simon Thompson, chief executive of the Chartered Banker Institute.

Thompson’s body is working on codes of conduct and ways of measuring performance against values, with the aim of setting a standard of best practice. This might include new oaths and promises, and a leadership qualification.

Pulling banking in a more ethical direction is a high stakes game. ‘The value of the city is in the main derived from people,’ says Robert Potter, chairman of the City HR Association. ‘So behaviour and people management are critical components in its success – not just what people do but how they do it. In terms of organisational values, performance management and how these drive success, HR is a critical function in financial services. HR needs to play a part in design, implementation, monitoring and governance.’

‘In terms of effecting change, it comes from graduate programmes, how managers drive performance, reward and the development of management and leadership,’ points out Potter. ‘All of those are executed by HR departments.’

Find out more about HR roles in banking.


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