Changing culture of the financial regulators

Our second major project examined the culture of the UK’s financial services regulators – the Bank of England, Prudential Regulation Authority and Financial Conduct Authority. It asked whether when it comes to cultural change are the regulators practicing what they preach?

We examined the following questions:

  • What issues around the culture of the financial regulators contributed to the regulatory failings around the time of the financial crisis?
  • How are the regulators seeking to change their culture?
  • What progress has been made, how is progress being measured and what are the barriers and enablers which have been encountered?
  • What change have you noticed regarding how the regulators have engaged with your organisation?
  • What remains to be done and what further changes should be made by regulators, politicians and other stakeholders to support the process of culture change within the regulators?

Our report “Cultural Change in the FCA, PRA and Bank of England: Practising What They Preach?” was published in October 2016. If you are interested in discussing this project or have any feedback please contact

Bridging the Great Divide

Andy Haldane’s speech to the New City Agenda annual dinner outlined that when it came to trust in financial services there was a ‘Great Divide’ between the vocal minority that sell and the silent majority who buy, between the echo chamber of the elites and the voting chamber of wider society. He said that ‘this underscored just how far finance still has to travel to regain its social licence.

Inspired by this speech in 2016/17 we held several events examining how we can bridge this Great Divide. This will outline the progress made so far, in restoring trust in finance and discuss what further progress might be needed to narrow the trust deficit. This will involve consideration of the following issues:

  • a) Enhancing public education in financial matters
  • b) Creating purpose in banking/financial services
  • c) Communicating purpose in banking/financial services to customers, employees, shareholders and wider society


There are many different models that have been put forward, all with different implications for market access, transitional periods, influence over regulation and budgetary contributions. New City Agenda will hold a series of events to discuss the issues, and help politicians, the industry and consumer groups to understand the different options.

Eight Years On: Reforming the Culture of Banking

Working in collaboration with CASS Business School, our first project assessed the progress made by British banks in addressing their cultural failings since the financial crisis of 2008. It explored how individual financial institutions, regulatory authorities, and policymakers have attempted to resolve these issues, analysed the success of such endeavours, and highlighted the challenges that still face the sector, and the new Banking Standards Board in its mission to improve the industry’s standards and ethics.

In May 2016 we hosted an event in Parliament with Antony Jenkins (CEO Barclays 2012-2015) on ‘Turning Values into Value’. Our research has found that since 2000 the UK’s retail banks have paid out over £60 billion in fines and compensation and called for bank shareholders to champion initiatives to change culture and raise professional standards.

We are interested in the positive experiences of banks in changing their culture and how they overcame any challenges. Please email:

2014/15 Projects

Competition in Banking

In February 2015 we published a series of essays written by policymakers and practitioners exploring the issue of competition in the banking industry, and whether or not current arrangements benefit consumers and SMEs.

Changing Culture: Lecture Series

Our inaugural lecture series explores the challenges and lessons banks can learn from other institutions that have undergone cultural change. Thus far, we have been delighted to hear from:

  • Sir Richard Lambert on the work of Banking Standards Review Council;
  • His most Reverend Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, speaking on the ethical and structural problems still facing the banking industry;
  • Lord Gus O’Donnell discussing his experiences in the Civil Service;
  • Former Metropolitan Police Commissioner Lord Blair.