The chairman of the BSB (Banking Standards Board), Dame Colette Bowe, said that the report cards were similar to reports sent out by the auditors of big firms, which are subsequently signed off by the accountancy firm which have looked over their books. There will an annual report published by the BSB in the spring time.
Bowe was chosen to be the head of the new body after a process of selection that was led by the governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney.
She did not say exactly how the contents of the reports would be made public but she did say that she thought that they would probably see publication of some kind. She did hint that the annual reports, which are due for release, may make some mention of the findings.
The founding members of the BSB: Nationwide Building Society, Lloyds, HSBC, Barclays, Santander, Royal Bank of Scotland and Standard Chartered, have all been sent their reports. Three additional banks are also on the BSB ‘s board: Metro bank, Citi and Morgan Stanley- these banks have also been sent reports.
Dame Colette Bowe commented saying:
“I wrote to the chairman of each of the seven founding banks and three on the board and said to them ëyou tell us what it is you think your bank is there for, what are you trying to achieve, how you are trying to achieve it and how do you know you are achieving it ‘”
After this initial question, around 200 sets of staff were interviewed inside each firm, in order to see if the aims expressed by the bank ‘s directors were indeed being carried out.
The purpose of the process is to make sure that banks are meeting their own standards so that they can boost their relationship with the public after a set of scandals that damaged the industry ‘s reputation.
The chief executive of the BSB, Alison Cottrell, said:
“Individual firms will start looking at culture from different starting points. For some institutions it may be ëhow do we change our culture ‘, for others it may be ëhow do we maintain our culture ‘, for other firms the challenge could be ëhow do we create an identity and hold on to it ‘.”
It is not yet clear exactly what will be done with the reports once the banks receive them. There have been no regulatory powers given to the BSB so they do not have the ability to fine them or punish them for misdemeanours. These reports are actually supposed to prevent the level of regulation that faces the firms.
The banking group, Lloyds, said that they had got their report:
“The Banking Standards Board ‘s assessment report shows that we are making good progress in changing culture throughout the organisation. It included interviews with both management and staff to see how far culture and behavioural change is being embedded in the business. The report does point out we can do more and the group continues to make further improvements in our goal to become the best bank for our customers.”
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