The big challenge for many banks in the new post-crisis, post-regulatory environment is to ‘Do business professionally and enterprisingly, but in a complaint and ethical manner. This requires a move away from some of the ‘toxic aspects’ of the banking culture, and a move towards a more professional and prudent approach to risk and dealing with customers. In addition, the culture must ensure it supports the business’s strategic efforts in a way which adds significant value, ensures compliance to regulations and ensures the bank’s reputation is enhanced.
The process of implementing cultural change into the front-office of investment banks is a very different challenge to change programmes within most other parts of the business. The front office of is where the business meets the markets and its clients. Autonomy for on-the-spot decision-making resides to a much larger extent with people engaged in trading and sales activities than is typical in many other areas of the business. In addition the performance and reward culture seems to conflict with the need to a culture of strict adherence to rules and risk control parameters. This presents obstacles to change and challenges to cultivating a new culture. It is far tougher to model ideal behaviours within this environment, and it is vital that front office people are given the tools, and the support to make rapid or key decisions which can have highly uncertain outcomes.
At Chrysalis, we are ideally placed through our collaborations with cultural change consultancies and based on our extensive knowledge and understanding of the business, to consult, offer advice, recommend and support initiatives at implement cultural change.