Friday 12 April 2013

Will we ever get it right?

I was taken by a recent newspaper article into Barclays and the Salz report which has just come out.  The Salz report was commissioned as a review into Barclays following the Libor rigging scandal. Here are some of the findings as follows: Barclays Investment bankers ‘have lost a sense of proportion and humility.’ ‘Pay and governance are two areas in need of reform if Barclays is to regain the trust of shareholders, regulators and the public.’ A particularly large section of the report was devoted to remuneration and the ‘entitlement culture; that has developed among executives on ‘elevated pay.’
Apparently the report makes quite uncomfortable reading nevertheless why am I not surprised one bit. Time MCG has been arguing this for a while now and identifying the same problems. Although Time MCG has come out with many solutions to these identical problems. Glad to see a little bit of common sense which requires only tough leadership to implement the change required. I call it the the ‘takers’ mentality’ or the ‘self–service and 'me' culture. Thankfully the new CEO Anthony Jenkins has already figured out these major issues and is currently implementing the cultural changes required.

The issue I have with this report is that it cost £14.8 million pounds to complete in a matter of eight months. Not to mention that it cost Barclays a further £1.2 million to borrow Mr Salz from Rothschild’s. This is more than Anthony Jenkins annual pay!! Plus why does it take so long to work out a little bit of common sense? Honestly such findings does not require a rocket scientist.

Identifying the problems is the easy bit. It is implementing the solutions that is the tricky bit which I am not certain whether the Salz report has advised clearly. It is a pity that Barclays did not take their chance to simply take my articles into account back then. They were written for everyone to read and offered for free! Take this one for example  and written almost a year ago.

I can understand all the frustration from all involved. It seems to me that  Mr. Salz by charging £14.8 million pounds, has himself ‘lost a sense of proportion and humility.’ It is very shocking, sad and disappointing to see the double standards and lack of wisdom by those who provide advice on trying to get it right on the issues of elevated pay, shortermism and  the ‘entitlement culture.’

It is also quite evident that there is simply such a long way to go for the real change that is required in our culture and behaviour in our entire financial sector. Now Rothschild’s seems to have clumsily got themselves  into the fold.