From Standard Chartered to Prudential: Changing the guard at banks - Bottom Line

Tim Wallace
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Tidjane Thiam (left) will replace Brady Dougan as the head of Credit Suisse (Source: Getty)
When floods of bosses quit, you should normally be worried. Think of the financial crisis, or the heads that rolled in the wake of the Libor scandal.

But this time it is different, and that is surely a good sign.

The Pru’s boss has unexpectedly quit, to replace Brady Dougan as the head of Credit Suisse.

Standard Chartered’s board is having a major reshuffle, with the chief exec Peter Sands and chairman Sir John Peace both leaving. And Barclays’ chairman Sir David Walker is being replaced by John McFarlane.

The reasons vary from bank to bank, but by and large the message is this: the cleanup of the financial crisis is over. Now shareholders want decent returns.

That means we are getting closer to business as usual. Investors are decreasingly prepared to put up with poor returns in the way they were immediately after the crash.

They are positive enough to push harder for profits, and that is surely a good sign of economic strength and investor confidence.

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