Watchdog: Fixing bank culture is like the drink driving campaign

Tim Wallace
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Tracey McDermott is the City watchdog’s enforcement boss
Banking culture has barely changed so far, despite the billions of pounds of fines imposed on lenders, the City watchdog’s enforcement boss said yesterday.

Instead of expecting quick results, Tracey McDermott compared the challenge to the generation-long effort to stop drink driving.

“We are still some way short of the corner that needs to be turned,” McDermott said, noting that foreign exchange benchmark manipulation took place after the Libor fines. “The cultural change we are looking for is perhaps analogous to the shift in attitudes to drink driving between my parents’ generation and my own.”

Instead of making bankers behave through fear of fines alone, she called for “a world where people more often make the right decision instinctively because they believe that is what is valued by their peers, their colleagues and their firms and because they will be ostracised if they don’t.”

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