By Steven I. Davis (auth.)
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Extra resources for Excellence in Banking — Revisited!
Its culture is underpinned by 14 values which were established in the 1970s and which stand out as an example of effective corporate governance. Appendix 2 lists these values, which are repeated in each of the firm’s annual reports and in People and their Culture 39 our view are unique across the banking world in their durability and frankness. The list begins significantly with the commitment to put the clients’ interests first. John Andrews, a Goldman Managing Director, views the firm’s culture as the key management issue: ‘We understand better than anyone else that everything comes out of people and the culture they operate in.
For example 89% of the people like the kind of work they do. ’ People and their Culture 47 The good news for these excellent banks is that culture change can and does take place in their peers. But it does take time – decades, in fact. In the commercial banking sector, both Banco Popular Español and Svenska Handelsbanken began in the early 1970s to create the client-oriented culture which continues to sustain their outstanding performance. And the key individuals who sparked the transformation are still active today: Jan Wallander of SHB who has just written a book about the transformation, and Luis Valls who is still co-Chairman of Popular.
And we don’t always hire the top end of business graduates. Therefore we have to do something different to get unusual performance. It’s the cultural challenge for HR [human resources]. We have turnover on the front lines like any retail company. How do you give the right kind of service – the fundamental people issue? Cultural change doesn’t require decades. There was a perception that we had different cultures from past mergers, but we’re now seeing coherence in the network. How did we get coherence?