Annual Report cover, winding coastal road

Banking must be rooted in a trust-based culture with customers and staff at the centre

Written In-House

Written In-House

The Irish Banking Culture Board publishes its 2021 – 2022 annual report

25 October 2022: The Irish Banking Culture Board (IBCB) today published its annual report for 2021 – 22 outlining the activity undertaken by the organisation during a year of significant challenge and change in the sector. The report points to the progress made by the IBCB in facilitating a trust-based culture in the retail banking sector and the work being done with banks to ensure that customers and staff remain at the centre of all decision-making processes.

This year saw the IBCB publish the second iteration of its éist surveys of staff and the public, which are crucial in informing the work programme of the Board. A continued determination to address culture in the Irish banking sector centres on three key areas; Customer, Staff and Citizenship & Society. Key initiatives for the year included the IBCB’s Guiding Principles for Change, the Guiding Principles for Customer Support for Account Closure, Opening and Moving, launch of the Guide to the Basic Bank Account, making a submission for the Pre-Legislative Scrutiny of the General Scheme of the Central Bank (Individual Accountability Framework) Bill 2021 and the most recent éist Public Trust in Banking survey, which incorporated the perspective of the farming sector in Ireland. 

It is clear from IBCB’s éist research that continued positive behaviour on behalf of retail banks, the evidence of which needs to be both visible to and felt by bank customers, is necessary to further restore public trust in the sector. The IBCB member banks are working hard to address the trust deficit and have undertaken several positive initiatives that show a commitment to improving the culture of the sector. A focus on customer outcomes will need to be sustained for an extended period before there is significant tangible evidence of improvement in the public’s trust.

Speaking about the annual report, CEO of the IBCB, Marion Kelly, said: “This annual report marks the third year of our first three-year term. While learning lessons from the mistakes of the past is essential, it is also important that there is a balanced discourse on an industry that has changed significantly in recent years, and one that is integral to economic stability and success. During a period of significant challenge and change, dominated by a pandemic, economic uncertainty and flux in the sector, bank staff have worked gainfully to increase contactless payment limits, maintain the payment systems, organise payment breaks for a vast number of customers, and keep branches running.”

Marion Kelly continued: “Regulation can and should change behaviour, but it cannot alone change culture. A positive culture requires new ways of acting, must be led from the top and be seen as integral to good corporate governance. Regardless of how the sector evolves, or of the economic and social challenges that emerge, the requirement for a trust-based culture in banking is a permanent one. We in the IBCB have been working to facilitate an environment where ethical conduct at both personal and organisational level is encouraged and enhanced to the extent that it becomes inevitable.”

Chairman of the IBCB, Mr. Justice John Hedigan added: “At the launch of the IBCB in April 2019, I said that we had a long road ahead of us to restore trust in the Irish Banking Sector. Progress is being made and I believe that this report confirms that. I would like to thank all my fellow Board members and the IBCB staff team for their commitment and contribution during this time. Building trust takes time, and as we enter our fourth year we are as determined as ever to continue working with member banks to assist the industry so the internal change in banking culture translates externally to the public.”

To review the full annual report online, visit

The publication is available to download as a PDF at


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