1. mainstream approaches to banking corporate governance ? Corporate Governance Structure: Agency Model

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Critical Approaches to Banking Corporate Governance in the Wake of the Financial Crisis: Lessons from the Case Of Barclays in the Wake of the Libor Scandal and others ..

  • Corporate Governance & Ethics MSc
  • Birkbeck College, University of London
  • Tim Lewis


Corporate Governance Structure: Agency Model

  • Shareholders
  • Board of Directors
  • Managers
  • Principal agent theory, assumes that the owners of the enterprise (the principal) and those that manage it (the agents) will have different interests. (Clarke, 2007, P5).

Corporate Governance Structure: Stewardship

  • Shareholders
  • Board of Directors
  • Managers
  • Stewardship theory holds there is no conflict of interest between managers and owners. Managers are incentivised to act, not as opportunistic agents, but as stewards who act in the best interest of owners. (Clarke, 2007, P9).
  • ( Freeman, (1984),
  • ed Crane, A et al, 2008 P114)
  • Stakeholder model of Corporate Governance
  • Stakeholders theory, is based upon the premise that organisations should be responsible to a wider range of stakeholders, than the narrow interests of one group. (Cornforth, 2007)


Barclays AGM-April 2012

Corporate Governance Agents: Stakeholder Participation & Engagement

  • Shareholders
  • Board of Directors
  • Managers
  • Government
  • Regulators
  • Media & Opinion Formers
  • Employees
  • Participants
  • Engagement
  • The Stakeholders within a PLC, such as employees, regulators or politicians who indirectly influence the organisation’s strategy may be managed through Engagement
  • Key stakeholders within a PLC such as Shareholders, Executive and Non Executive board members, which currently directly influence the organisation’s strategic management, may be classed as Participants.
  • (Low & Cowton, 2004, P46)


Good Stewardship ..

Corporate Governance Stewardship: Managerial Hegemony The Case of Barclays

  • Shareholders
  • Government
  • Regulators
  • Media & Opinion Formers
  • Board of Directors
  • Managers
  • Managerial Hegemony in which CEO Dominates in times of Crisis
  • The Guardian reported in April 2012, that Barclays paid £2.1 blln in bonuses in 2011, three times the £700m used to pay shareholder dividend.
  • Employees
  • The theory of Managerial Hegemony, assumes that the role of the board in crisis is subservient to the interest of one or two dominant chairman or executive leaders. (Cornforth, 2007)
  • CEO Pay in 2012 was estimated to be worth £17m including a discretionary bonus of £2.7 m and included payment of a US/UK relocation tax bill of £5.7m
  • At the 2012 AGM 26.9% of shareholders voted no to the company’s executive pay package
  • Lord Turner’s warning to the Board regarding the Board appointment of Bob Diamond as CEO. Mervyn King asks for the removal of CEO after Liber scandal.
  • Vickers Reform split investment and commercial banking
  • Kay report re: Stewardship reforms
  • Robert Peston blogs/ UK Uncut on citizenship and taxation

Institutional Role of the Board in Managing Strategy /Transformation

  • (Adapted from Garratt(2010) P33)
  • Data from Internal Stakeholders
  • External ‘Flexibility’
  • Internal ‘Fit’



  • Stakeholder Theory : Robert Monk’s Americas’ Corporate Capture:
  • 1
  • The financial power of corporations now controls every stage of politics –Executive, Legislative and Judicial
  • 2
  • Capture has been further implemented through the extensive lobbying power of corporations.
  • 3
  • As corporations have captured America, CEOs have captured the power and riches of Americas’ corporations.
  • 4
  • Having captured corporate power, CEOs are systematically externalising corporate liabilities.
  • 5
  • Capture has placed the most powerful CEOs above the reach of the law and beyond its effective enforcement.
  • 6
  • Capture has been further perpetuated through the removal of property ‘offshore’ where it is neither regulated or taxed.
  • 7
  • In addition, capture extends to the regulatory agencies.
  • 8
  • Critically CEOs have also captured the terms of the debate about what it means to be good corporate citizens.
  • (Monks, 2013, KE4-10%)


  • Robert Monk’s Corporate Capture:
  • The Case of Barclays utilising Monks’ Lens
  • 1
  • The financial power of corporations now controls every stage of politics –Executive, Legislative and Judicial
  • Former Senior Executives as MPs
  • Executives as Advisors to Political Leaders.
  • Leading supporter of Government flagship Policy Initiatives
  • 2
  • Capture has been further implemented through the extensive lobbying power of corporations.
  • Executives as Advisors to Political Leaders and members of Banking Associations and lobby groups.
  • 3
  • As corporations have captured America/UK, CEOs have captured the power and riches of Americas’ corporations.
  • ‘Managerial Hegemony’ /L’Oreal Generation salaries and bonuses.
  • 4
  • Having captured corporate power, CEOs are systematically externalising corporate liabilities.
  • 5
  • Capture has placed the most powerful CEOs above the reach of the law and beyond its effective enforcement.
  • Negotiated settlements for co-operation with authorities
  • Salz /Turner ‘complies with the letter of the law, not its spirit’
  • 6
  • Capture has been further perpetuated through the removal of property ‘offshore’ where it is neither regulated or taxed.
  • Advisor to corporations on offshore tax avoidance schemes.
  • Fines imposed by HMRC in 2012 for tax avoidance
  • 7
  • In addition, capture extends to the regulatory agencies.
  • Former Regulators join the organisation on large salaries and bonuses.
  • 8
  • Critically CEOs have also captured the terms of the debate about what it means to be good corporate citizens.
  • BBC Today programme lecture November 2011
  • Speech to St Paul’s institute ‘Good Banks and the common Good’ June 2013
  • (Monks, 2013, KE4-10%)


Further Research: Towards a New Model of Corporate Governance ?

  • Female Board Leadership, Remuneration and Strategy
  • Common Good: Good Society, Good Banks, Functioning Markets and Strong Regulation


Lord Davis Report 2011: 25% Women Directors by 2015

  • Some Success in 2013:
  • 19% of FTSE 100 Directors are Women(up from 14% in 2012) *
  • 12% of MDs are now Women (up from 6% from last year)*
  • 27% New Female Appointments to FTSE 100 Boards over H2 2013**
  • 15% of FTSE 250 Directors are Women **
  • Astbury Marsden Research 28/10/2013* & Cranfield``Research 18/11/2013**
  • 3 CEOs women in FTSE 100:
  • Angela Ahrendts - Burberry, leaving UK for Apple 2014
  • Alison Cooper - Imperial Tobabcco,
  • Calorlyn McCall – Easyjet
  • Liv Garfield – BT OPENREACH Joining Severn Trent Water in 2014

Common Fate, Common Bond ?*

  • Ethnicity ?
  • Nationality?
  • Woman as Enablers ?
  • Paradox of Tokenism ?
  • Age ?/ Class ?
  • Single/Married/Children /No Children ?
  • Performance ?
  • Diversity ?
  • Strategy ?
  • Quotas on Boards ?
  • Gender as single Variable ?
  • Lehman ** Sisters Debate ?
  • Prescription ? /Ascription ?***
  • (*Mitter, S, 1986), (**Morris, Independent, 04/08/2009), (Lagarde, NY Times 10/025/2010), *** (Clegg et al, 2007, P187)

Research Supports the idea that Men and Women, approach work with differing expectations, values and employment needs

  • ( Peatie & Taylor, Telegraph Newspapers, 05/2012)

Research Supports the idea that Men and Women, approach work with differing expectations, values and employment needs

    • Differing gender attitudes to Corporate Social Responsibility / Ethics ?
    • ‘Men justifying ends through legal means, economic Rationale - Rules Based’
    • ‘Women justifying means through sentiment/Social Outcomes’ Moral Obligations or Discretionary Concerns ?
    • Correlation between Strategic HRM policies and Commitment and Engagement ?
    • Coalescing gender attitudes around flexible working ? Diversity ? Employment Rights ?
  • ( Brammar et al, 2007, P1706, Peterson, 2004, P304)
  • ( Bones, 2011, P141, Konzellmann, 2005, P545)

Women in Finance Research Findings:

  • Risk Averse (2013) - Palvia et al
  • Hypothesises whether women led boards’ are more risk averse than men.
  • Hold higher equity capital and reduce default risk than men.
  • Although not specifically gender related, evidence suggesting some correlation that smaller banks with female Chairpersons and CEOs were less likely to fail during the financial crisis than those led by men.
  • Leheman Sisters (2011)- Nelson
  • Argues the male /female ‘sameness’ vs ‘difference’ debate is a distraction with regard to the financial crisis.
  • It exaggerates sex differences in behaviour between men and women at work and stereotypes women (all be it benevolently) as being overly cautious; and lets men off the hook socially and morally for reckless and irresponsible actions.
  • It also ignores the social impact of the financial crisis upon women over men, for example the impact on household budgets, move to part-time working and impact of redundancies

Alternative Corporate Governance Structures: Female Led ?

  • Strategy /Performance
  • Female Board Leadership /Representation
  • Remuneration
  • ( ?Lewis, Milan, June 2013)


Monks, Reich et al V’s Friedman Moises, Gladwell,

  • World is Flat, Thomas Friedman,
  • The End of Power, Naim Moises
  • David V’s Goliath Malcolm Gladwell
  • Availability of Social Technology, Personal Devices, The growth of the BRICS, the arab spring, making the world smaller… and challenging traditional institutions and power.
  • Within Banking sector : Shadow banking, Hedge Funds, Crowd source funding, Pay day Loans co, new start-ups Metro Bank, Wonga ..

Non-stakeholder activism - UK Uncut

  • ( UK Uncut Website, Viewed 28/11/2012)

Occupy – The City December 2011

‘Twitterati’ Protest

  • ( Guardian Newspapers, 06/11/2013)

Thought Leadership

  • FT/ New Statesman – Future of Capitalism and Democracy
  • Commons Select Committee/G8 – Tax evasion
  • Banking 3.0 Bret King – New Media Engagement via Yammer, Twitter, Facebook ..
  • St Paul’s Institute – Good People, Good Money, Good Banks - Faith in Finance - Equality
  • Steare,R ‘Ethicability: How to decide what’s right and find the courage to do it’ ‘MoralDNA’
  • Sandel M – ‘What Money Can’t Buy, the Moral Limits of Markets’ , ‘Justice – What is the right thing to do ?’

What is the Right Thing To Do ?

  • ‘Custom will reconcile people to any atrocity, and fashion will drive them to acquire any custom’ George Bernard Shaw.
  • Golden Rule:
  • Treat others as you would like to be treated yourself
  • Empathy, Character
  • Golden Mean:
  • Difficult in an age of excess to determine What would be the balanced approach ?
  • Integrity, Best Decision, Treat customers fairly.
  • Jim Collin’s argues what defines Good to Great Companies are those with ‘a common corporate culture of personal humility, intense resolve (courage) and discipline (self-control).’
  • ‘The superior person understands what is right, the inferior man understands what will sell. ‘ Confucius
  • (Steare, 2013, KE)

Alternative Corporate Governance Structure: Conduct Led ?

  • Strong Regulation
  • Functioning
  • Markets
  • Moral Sentiment
  • (? Lewis , Milan 2013 - Adapted from ABC Welby, St Paul’s Institute, June 2013)


Moral Sentiments ..

  • ( Matt Cartoon, Telegraph Newspapers)

Parliamentary Banking Commission

  • Core Principles and Conclusions:
  • Conduct:
  • Making Individuals Responsibility a reality, especially at senior levels
  • (include in extremis prison sentences for reckless behaviour)
  • Conduct:
  • Reforming Banking Governance to reinforce each banks responsibility for its own safety, soundness and maintenance of standards
  • (include making financial safety > priority than shareholder interest).
  • Markets:
  • Creating better functioning and more diverse banking markets in order to empower consumers and provide greater discipline on banks to raise standards.
  • Regulation:
  • Reinforcing the responsibilities of the regulators in the exercising of judgment in deploying their current and proposed new powers
  • (ie: Bank of England / Twin Peak Reforms)
  • Regulation:
  • Specifying the responsibilities of Government and future Government and Parliament (ie Role of government in preventing too big to fail guarentees).
  • ( Report of the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards, June 2013 )

FINANACIAL CONDUCT AUTHORITY: BUSINESS PRINCIPLES ‘where morals do not act as a deterrent then the law must step in. It has to make society’s disapproval clear and give courage to speak out and make things change’ Tracy McDermott, FCA St Paul’s Institute debate 11/04/2013, (St Pauls Institute/CCLA, 2013 P4)

  • FCA website (Viewed 03/11/2-03)
  • Christopher Featherby, Chair of the Church of England Ethical Investment Advisory Group
  • Characteristics of a sustainable and productive banking system
  • 1. A banking sector with a public objective to go alongside its private purpose.
  • 6. A Banking sector that is not proprietary trading and therefore not gambling with other people’s money.
  • 2. A banking sector restricted in the amount of credit it can create to finance real estate and financial assets such as equity and debt securities, and with a particular focus on restricting credit to finance short term trading and derivatives.
  • 7. A banking sector that is not receiving tax-payer subsidies, either through state guarantees ot a tax-payer subsidy of its core product – debt.
  • 3. A banking sector that is internalising its losses
  • 8, A Banking sector that has business models that are stable, through different economic cycles, so that loyalty can be shown to staff.
  • 4. A banking sector that is safe enough and transparent enough to be trusted.
  • 9. A banking sector that is open to the free winds of competition driving customer benefit
  • 5. A banking sector that is taking responsibility for its product, and therefore seeking not to sell unmanageable debt to borrowers.
  • 10. A banking sector where the financial incentives of staff are aligned with all of these objectives.
  • (ST Paul’s Institute/CCLA, 2013, P6)

The City and the Archbishop

  • June 2013 St Pauls Institute Debate
  • Justin Welby argued that ‘Good Banks’ needed to motivated by virtue and a belief in human flourishing rather than merely bonuses and penalties. *
  • July 2013
  • Archbishop pledges to put Wonga and other Pay Day lenders out of business, by establishing credit unions.
  • Later embarrassed as it turns out that part of the Church of England’s’ own investment funds had indirectly invested in Wonga via a managed fund product.**
  • September 2013
  • Consortium led by hedge fund Corsair Capital and backed by the Church of England announce investment in RBS spin-off: Williams and Glyn.
  • W&G will be the owner of 314 branches, 1.7 mlln customers, planned to be refloated and launched in 2015.
  • Church of England confirm W&G will ‘operate to the highest possible ethical standards’
  • W&G (Recently floated TSB) will market themselves as local community banks, both hoping to benefit from the backlash associated with the scandals of the big 5 high st banks and to take advantage of 7-day switching.
  • November 2013
  • Regulation of payday lenders transferred from the office of fair trading to the FCA.
  • New legislation pledged by HM Government to cap the fees associated with payday lending.
  • (ST Paul’s Institute/CCLA, 2013*), (BBC News, 26/07/2013**), (Guardian Newspapers, Reuters 29/09/2013***)

Move your Money Scorecard

  • Cumberland, Coventry Building Societies and Metro Bank amongst the Highest Rated
  • Big Four Ranked RED Barclays Lowest Rated. Laura Wiloughby said Barclays was dragged down by Libor/PPi and Number of customer complaints.
  • moveyourmoney.org.uk
  • Research from Ethical Consumer
  • Winch, Telegraph, 16/09/2013 (Viewed 03/11/2-03)

Institutional Role of the Board in Managing Strategy /Transformation based upon Conduct

  • (Adapted from Garratt(2010) P33)
  • Main Board Responsibility
  • (Strategy)
  • Data from External Stakeholders
  • Data from Internal Stakeholders
  • External ‘Flexibility’
  • Internal ‘Fit’

Complex Multi Dimensional: Multiple Agents Sentiments & Values

  • CEO

5. Postscript

The case of the Co-op Bank

  • Good example of a stakeholder based business model .
  • Ethics based on wider stakeholders at the heart of the business.
  • Employee and Customer membership based participation in the running of the business.
  • Recent scandals following the merger of the Co-op with Britannia exposes the weakness of the mutual governance model when it comes to expansion of the business and promotion of laypeople to the board ?
  • Or was this a case of poor due diligence on both counts and in the case of capital exposures associated with the acquisition of the Verde bank branches from Lloyds, an example of the new Twin Peaks PCA and FCA working ?
  • DISCUSS ??

The case of the Co-op Bank..

  • ( Matt Cartoon, Telegraph Newspapers)

Critical Approaches to Banking Corporate Governance in the Wake of the Financial Crisis: Lessons from the Case Of Barclays in the Wake of the Libor Scandal and others ..

  • Some interim Conclusions, Recommendations and alternative tools of analysis ..
  • Story To Be Continued ..


  • ( Matt Cartoon, Telegraph Newspapers)


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Authors Note

  • This paper is in part a partial summary of the Introduction, Literature review and summary of my final year MSc Dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for Corporate Governance and Ethics, Department of Management, Birkbeck College, University of London, September 2012
  • Lewis T (September 2012) ‘The contribution of corporate governance and corporate social responsibility, in the wake of the financial crisis 2008, to organisational commitment and employee engagement, within the Banking Sector: The Case of Barclays’
  • Additional Research for an unpublished Paper presented at the SASE Conference, Milan University in June 2013:
  • Lewis T (June 2013) ‘Critical Approaches to banking corporate governance in the wake of the financial crisis: The case of Barclays in the wake of the financial crisis and libor scandal.’
  • The views, findings and conclusions based in this paper are based entirely on evidence compiled from publically available sources.
  • Any views expressed in this paper are entirely the authors own personal views based upon the authors own academic judgment, conclusions and assumptions and in no way reflect the views of any organisation he may have worked for now or previously.

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