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Sir Brendan Barber appointed BSB Deputy Chairman

Sir Brendan Barber, Deputy Chairman BSB

The Banking Standards Board (BSB) today (Tuesday 1 March) announced the appointment of Sir Brendan Barber as its Deputy Chairman.

Commenting on the appointment, Dame Colette Bowe, Chairman of the BSB, said:

‘Sir Brendan has served as a founding non-practitioner member of the BSB board since its formation in April 2015. He is a doughty customer champion and his extensive employment relations experience has already made a significant contribution to the BSB’s work around how banks and building societies manage and motivate their workforces. I am delighted that the Board has elected Brendan to the role of Deputy Chairman and look forward to working with him more closely.

I would also like to thank Lord McFall for his work as Deputy Chairman over the past year, in particular helping to launch the BSB successfully. We wish him all the best in his future pursuits.’

Sir Brendan Barber added:

‘The Banking Standards Board has an important role to play in supporting, challenging and scrutinising firms across the UK banking sector. Regulation alone cannot foster good behaviour or nurture and develop good managers. It’s about the tone from the top of the firm, how it filters down to middle and front line staff and whether those staff really understand what is expected of them and have the confidence to challenge and speak up if things aren’t right.

Being part of the BSB’s early work has been fascinating and I look forward to taking on the role of Deputy Chairman and working alongside Dame Colette as the BSB enters its next stage of development.’

Read Sir Brendan’s biography below or alongside his BSB film:

Sir Brendan Barber was appointed as the Chair of the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) in January 2014.

He was previously the General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress from 2003 to 2012 having first joined the TUC in 1975. He is a member of the Board of Transport for London and of the Council of City University, London. He is also a member of the Board of the Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts.

During his time at the TUC he sat on the Acas Council from 1995 to 2004, the Board of Sport England from 1999 to 2003 and the Court of Directors of the Bank of England from 2003 to 2012.

He is a Visiting Fellow at the Said Business School, Oxford University, and a Visiting Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford. In 2007 he received an Honorary Doctorate from the City University. Sir Brendan was knighted in the 2013 Birthday Honours for services to employment relations.

-ENDS-
Notes to Editors

The Banking Standards Board (BSB) was established in April 2015 to promote high standards of behaviour and competence across UK banks and building societies.

A successful, dynamic UK economy needs a strong, stable banking sector that serves the best interests of its customers. For the sector to contribute fully to the economy and society it needs to be trusted; not only by its customers (in the UK and globally), but also by its staff, by potential employees, by regulators and by policy makers. Trust in the sector has been damaged, and it is only the industry itself – by demonstrating honesty, reliability and competence on a consistent and collective basis – that can rebuild it.

The BSB is a private sector body funded by membership subscriptions and open from 2016 to all banks and building societies operating in the UK. It is neither a regulator nor a trade association; it has no statutory powers, and it does not speak or lobby for the industry. It provides challenge, support and scrutiny for firms committed to rebuilding the sector’s reputation, and impartial and objective assessments of performance and progress.

 

Senior Managers and Certification Regime

Exploring how the SMCR - and especially Certification - can be implemented in the most effective way across the sector.

The Senior Managers and Certification Regime is a major regulatory change that will affect all banks and building societies. Responding to recommendations by the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards, the government and regulators have together developed a comprehensive framework to ensure better accountability and responsibility for behaviour, competence and culture in banks and building societies. The new framework provides an opportunity for the industry to focus on and demonstrate a culture of professionalism. We are working with firms and regulators to facilitate this, including areas where a common approach across firms could support both the objectives of the regime and the skills and development of the people covered by it.

Professionalism

Evaluating whether a more 'professional' approach to banking would improve behaviour and competence across the industry.

The Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards found that 'banking culture has all too often been characterised by an absence of any sense of collective responsibility to uphold the reputation of the industry', and argued that a greater focus on professionalism could be an answer to this. Working with a leading team at the University of Leeds, we are researching the issues around professionalism in banking. In particular, we are reviewing how professional qualifications are currently used across the sector, and at whether a stronger role for professional bodies, along the lines seen in some other sectors, like medicine or law, would help raise standards. To inform this work and develop a rounded picture of 'professionalism' and what it means in banking, we are surveying banks and building societies, professional bodies and a wide range of other interested groups, including consumer bodies and investors.

Assessments

Providing an honest and impartial assessment to Boards of progress against objectives on behaviour, competence and culture.

The BSB assessment exercise presents Boards with an objective and impartial view of their firm's culture, identifying where things are working well and recommending areas for improvement. It draws on information not only from Boards and senior teams, but also from employees, investors (or members), trade unions, customer groups and other relevant bodies. In doing so, it will provide constructive challenge to each firm individually, while building a collective understanding of common issues across the industry, or sectors within it. We undertook our first annual assessment exercise in 2015 with ten firms (Barclays, Citi, HSBC Bank, Lloyds Banking Group, Metro Bank, Morgan Stanley International, Nationwide, RBS, Santander UK and Standard Chartered). The BSB itself will not publish individual assessment reports - each firm owns its own report - but key themes and messages will be set out in the BSB's annual report, the first of which will be published in Spring 2016. Given that Board engagement is central to the assessment work, only firms that have their headquarters in the UK are eligible for the full assessment exercise. All firms, including branches of firms headquartered overseas, will however be included in a focused membership-wide survey, which will allow each participating firm to benchmark itself against its peer group.

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