Financial Services

Measuring culture in financial services firms

Alex Ellerton Alex Ellerton

In this evolving regulatory environment, understanding and demonstrating your firm’s cultural alignment to its values is increasingly important. With trust in the industry at a low level, restoring trust to its former level is still some way off.

The FCA is steadfast on achieving trust and its recent publication of the FCA’s 2016/17 business plan saw firm’s ‘culture and governance’ as one of their top seven priorities. Measuring culture is therefore now an essential organisational capability in financial services firms. It is not an optional extra. If you cannot measure cultural alignment, you cannot hope to measure or manage conduct risk.

It is often felt that culture is intangible and therefore there is little an organisation can do to create or amend culture. However, the culture of an organisation should not be an accident of who works there, it should be owned and managed.

The key to success in measuring culture is to observe how each of the elements of your ‘cultural web’ manifests itself within different areas of the business. The attached Measuring culture in financial services firms examines how culture can be defined, evaluated and reported on.

Figure 1 The cultural web depicts the paradigm of the working environment