The new chairman of Barclays has told MPs that the UK’s banks must prioritise reputation over profits to tackle cultural problems within the industry.
Sir David Walker, who will succeed Marcus Agius as Barclays chairman from November 1, signalled an overhaul of pay policy at Barclays was on the cards as he suggested a restructuring of remuneration was required to change the culture among banks.
Addressing the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards joint committee, set up in the wake of the Libor-fixing scandal at Barclays, Sir David said in the recent past boards and banks had “not focused on culture”.
“If anyone in the organisation faces any decision that he or she is taking in relation to a client and there's a choice between profit and reputation it's clear where priority should be given,” he said.
“Reputation should be the driver and profit should come second in any choice.”
Opening his evidence, Sir David, who oversaw a review into bank governance called the issue of banking standards “very serious”. He said: “Standards have slipped in a grave way.”
But he added that the fall in standards was “repairable”.