How Templar is supporting culture change in financial services

Culture change in financial services: culture in wood blocks

Speaking at the City Week 2016 Conference, Andrew Bailey, then CEO of the PRA and now CEO of the FCA, said:

I want to start with what I intend as an unambiguous statement, namely that the culture of firms and the people that make them up – and of course therefore the culture of industries insofar as it can be generalised – is of the utmost importance to financial regulators. Culture matters a great deal.

Clearly, effecting culture change in financial services, and banking in particular, is a top priority for the industry.

Culture impacts long-term profitability and stability and can engender trust from clients and the public. Culture, quite simply, matters. We have therefore strengthened Templar’s offerings in the key areas of relationship management and leadership development, to support our clients’ drive for culture change.

Putting customers first

It’s no secret that the banking sector has become increasingly competitive. Furthermore, the 2008 crash and the scandals that followed mean that customers remain skeptical of where bankers’ interests lie.

That’s why relationship management is more important than ever for the financial services sector. Back in March, the Financial Services Consumer Panel said,

While senior bankers are making all the right noises about culture change, research commissioned by the Consumer Panel shows that this is not filtering through to the front line. Customers think their bank is only interested in winning new business and not in looking after their best interests; that standards of service have fallen; and that bank staff don’t understand their needs.

Building strong relationships means putting the customer first and demonstrating that you value their interests. Deepening relationships and building trust also delivers real commercial benefits, including long-term market share.

We know that relationship management is critical to culture and to business. That’s why we’re therefore glad to announce that Anthony Bernbaum, an expert in relationship management, is now part of the Templar team.

What anthony knows

Anthony has spent most of his thirty-year career at Baring Brothers, Goldman Sachs and HSBC. As a Managing Director at Goldman Sachs and HSBC, he led many important transactions across several sectors. Having participated in M&A and equity transactions, he also has front-line experience of working with management teams focused on investor communication.

Most recently he has been Global Head of Business Development for HSBC’s Banking business. Here he was responsible for several major initiatives to enhance the effectiveness of the coverage force. These included introducing new approaches to client engagement, relationship manager systems and client relationship coaching.

Leading the way

Culture is about more than customer relationships though, and as Andrew Bailey went on to say in his speech,

…culture is a product of a wide range of contributory forces: the stance and effectiveness of management and governance, including that well used phrase “the tone from the top”; the structure of remuneration and the incentives it creates; the quality and effectiveness of risk management; and as important as tone from the top, the willingness of people throughout the organisation to enthusiastically adopt and adhere to that tone.

It’s clear that driving effective culture change in financial services relies on effective leadership. Not just management – but leadership: the ability to inspire and motivate change in the people around you.

The problem is, many people receive promotion to leadership roles because they are good at the role they were doing. As a result, they are simply not ready for the challenges and opportunities leadership brings.

Templar has recognised this problem and that’s why we are launching a new leadership offering. And our second new team member, Paul Minx, has joined us to support this offering.

What Paul’s done

Paul is central to our new leadership offering. Already incredibly experienced in this field, he has coached over 200 senior executives in a variety of financial service firms. He is also a senior facilitator in UBS’ Ascent leadership programme, the RBS Women in Leadership Programme, the Nomura MD Leadership Programme and the Citibank Leadership programmes.

Before joining Templar Paul spent over 18 years in senior positions in global financial service firms. His most recent role being Head of Leadership and Talent Development at Morgan Stanley. At Morgan Stanley he worked in and held line management responsibilities in investment banking, technology and the HR business areas.

Effecting culture change in financial services

Of course, the current culture crisis doesn’t apply to every organisation in the financial services industry. As Edward Houghton, Research Adviser at the CIPD wrote recently,

there are well recognised examples of banks going back to basics and putting customers first, or stepping up and investing in their employees. And some of the UK’s big banks have tentatively made steps in the right direction.

There is, however, still a long way to go for many. And those that have taken positive steps will realise that culture change is an ongoing process, requiring constant attention.

Here at Templar, we know that the same also applies to the support and training financial services firms need to implement that change. We’ve listened to what you need and searched out the best consultants to deliver it to you.

Get in touch today and find out how we can support your culture change.

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