8 October 2020: The Irish Banking Culture Board (IBCB) today published its inaugural annual report, following its launch in April 2019. The independent initiative was established by the industry in recognition that banking culture needed to change. The IBCB is funded by its five-member retail banks and comprises 14 board members, with the majority being non-bank, including a number of leading consumer, small business and staff advocates. The IBCB is focussed on rebuilding trust in the banking sector through demonstrating change in behaviour and culture.
The IBCB’s first annual report outlines activity to date focused on bank customers and banking staff. Over the past year, the board has established working groups and engaged with stakeholders in response to areas highlighted through our research, including the need for transparent and respectful communications, financial awareness, supports for communities & society, ethics and behaviours, staff pressures and resilience. This has resulted in some initial tangible steps towards better banking practices, including a commitment of care for recently bereaved customers and customers in a vulnerable position.
Speaking at the launch of its annual report, IBCB CEO, Marion Kelly, said: “This year has been a foundational year for the IBCB in which we have established our structure, approach, and roadmap for impactful cultural change in Ireland’s banking sector. The sector has faced and continues to face significant challenges. The IBCB is not a regulator and we aim to work with our member banks, their customers and wider Irish society to promote positive cultural change. We are considered and determined in our approach; our role is not to provide reactive commentary on banking matters, it is to facilitate real change, where it matters most, for the benefit of customers and banking staff.”
IBCB CEO, Marion Kelly continued: “I believe IBCB’s strength lies in the diverse range of experience and perspectives around our board table, and we are determined to use that experience for the benefit of positive change in the sector. The presence of senior individuals from our five member banks on the board ensures we have established a common and consistent foundation to assist customers and banking staff in addressing issues that have contributed to poor culture in the sector.”
“The year ahead presents challenges; the economic, financial and social impact of the COVID-19 crisis on our country and the role of our member banks in supporting their customers through these difficulties will be a particular area of focus for us in the coming period. We will work with our member banks and wider stakeholders to identify the actions the banking sector can, and should, take in rebooting and rebuilding our economy, founded on the principles of fairness, competence and transparency,” she added.
Also speaking at the report launch, Chairman of the IBCB, Mr. Justice John Hedigan, said: “We recognise that rebuilding wider society’s confidence in the banking sector will not happen quickly, and we are conscious that actions and outcomes focused on cultural change are imperative to demonstrate that the sector is genuine about this change. While it will take time, courage, and commitment, I am confident that all members of the IBCB are committed to ensuring that lessons have been learned and to working together to achieve positive cultural change’.
IBCB will be running a series of webinars for the SME and Agri sector in the coming period focussed on signposting the range of supports available from member banks and other organisations as well as facilitating the sharing of direct customer feedback and concerns. The IBCB will continue to focus on its three strategic pillars of work related to customers, society and banking staff into 2021 and beyond, building on its existing work programmes which will be further refined based on the findings from new surveys and benchmarking activity planned for early 2021.
For the full annual report visit here.