Firms need to act ethically to avoid future financial crisis, FSA chief warns

5 October 2010

Financial firms need to adopt the appropriate culture and ethics if a future credit crisis is to be averted and the trust of the public regained, Hector Sants has claimed.

The current chief executive of the Financial Services Authority (FSA) made the comments during a keynote address at Mansion House.

He stated that both firms and regulators need to collaborate on instilling the right “behaviours and judgements” among financial firms in order for trust to be won back.

Mr Hants said: “Remuneration practices - bonuses - have been a symbol; a lightening rod of society’s lack of trust in bankers and to address the trust issue this state of affairs has to be recognised and resolved.

“I believe that unless bankers demonstrate sensitivity and exercise restraint in this area, trust will not be restored."

He added that firms should change their remuneration structure to ensure a sense of long-term 'ownership' is generated and that employers are viewed as “custodians” of the firm.

Meanwhile, the FSA recently set out changes to its rules surrounding complaint handling as part of an ongoing strategy to boost standards within the financial services industry.

By Jim Ottewill

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