Does the culture in your firm support the FCA’s core outcomes?

Culture in Financial Services

Recently (March 2018) the regulator published a discussion paper on transforming culture in financial services. The paper is intended to provide a basis for stimulating further debate in the sector.

As we know culture in financial services is widely accepted as a key root cause of the major conduct failings that have occurred within the industry in recent history. Given its impact to consumers and markets, firms’ culture is a priority for the FCA.

Jonathan Davidson, FCA Executive Director of Supervision - Retail and Authorisations, said:

“Culture may not be easily measurable but it is manageable. So firms can and should take responsibility for ensuring their culture is healthy for both their employees and customers, which can complement and support their business strategy.

We as a regulator have long gone beyond having the mindset that simply complying with rules is enough. However we don’t believe a one-size-fits-all culture is the right way to go. So we want to promote a discussion and consensus on the essential features of a healthy culture and how firms, regulators, employees and customers can help deliver that culture.”

Here at Unicorn we see training as a key influencer for culture change. As mentioned by Management & HR experts TimelessTime “Whilst training interventions can indeed change the whole organisation, the culture change scenario differs from ‘normal’ training. There are four types of intervention that are useful in culture change: training, mentoring, coaching and leadership. Each has its place in effecting change.”

So if you want to change your culture, we recommend these steps to success:

  1. Define the culture you desire – check out Unicorn’s Culture and Ethics course aimed at Leaders and Managers within Financial Services. The activities explore the role of culture within business, how culture can be embedded alongside the rules and regulations plus how to measure and evaluate culture within your organisation.
  1. Consider how your company values reflect your desired culture – if they don’t change them
  2. Gain buy-in from your senior leadership team – if they don’t believe in what you are doing they won’t promote and support
  3. Change your hiring practices to reflect your (newly) stated values – consider how you can select the right candidates who not only have the skills you are after but have the right behaviours too
  4. Improve your on-boarding – it is the perfect opportunity to set the tone with new hires and show them what’s expected of them in terms of how they go about doing what they do
  5. Consider how your personnel policies support your desired culture
  6. Review your remuneration and performance management practices so that it supports and rewards the correct behaviours
  7. Effectively communicate out to your entire workforce

Need help? If you already have access to our Governance, Risk and Compliance catalogue search for 'Culture and Ethics' in the 'Find Training' area of your LMS. Not subscribed? Register here for demo access

Our partners at UK Finance are also running a session on 14 November 2018 that directly answers enquiries from the many individuals charged with measuring their culture; How to identify and track culture credibly; which indicators are most useful to include on a culture dashboard; and what sources inform the regulator’s thinking.

For more details and to book on click here.


Richard Whittington

Richard Whittington

Head of Digital Products

Richard is a highly accomplished Learning and Development professional, with over 15 years of experience…

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