Consultant Zone

Behaviour and Culture of the Irish Retail Banks – a new Individual Accountability Framework

The Independent recently interviewed the Central Bank of Irelands’ Director General (Financial Conduct), Derville Rowland. The issue of culture in Irish banking institutions was considered at length and Rowland indicated that a culture report would be produced for the Minister shortly – it has since been issued.

The report focusses on the behaviour of the main Irish retail banks and questions the potential risk to their consumers. The report also asks the Central Bank to make recommendations if such risks to consumers are identified.

The main recommendations focus on the culture of organisations, starting at the top and establishing how that culture resonates through the business and gets reflected back in the behaviours of front line staff.

The Central Bank will introduce a new Individual Accountability Framework which includes Conduct Standards for regulated financial service providers and the staff working within them. We see the new accountability framework operating in a comparable way to the Senior Manager & Certification Regime employed by the FCA in the UK. Coupled with the new recommendations from the Consumer Protection Risk Assessment (‘CPRA’) guide issued by the Central Bank last year and we start to see the foundations of strong consumer led cultures that the regulator is going to expect to see. The recommendations will be reflected not only in governance structures, but also in the fabric of financial services organisations.

Rowland also talked about additional protections for consumers and was hopeful that financial institutions would self-identify problems early enough in the cycle to enable eradication of those risks. Of course, there should also be a focus on ensuring that the correct identification of risks was happening and getting presented accurately to the Board.

Rockstead remains at the forefront in providing firms with insight to help them understand “how things are done around here” and in the review of governance structures that embrace the CPRA and the Senior Managers Regime. Our independence means that the difficult messages are conveyed without fear or favour and our progress in AI technology enables us to monitor 100% of customer interactions via calls, webchat, emails and social media.

When considering these issues we can help – please get in touch for an initial consultation to understand how Rockstead can support your organisation to develop a strong consumer focussed culture.