The boards of global financial institutions must have the expertise, diversity and operational understanding to ensure effective oversight, but they must start by setting the company’s culture and strategy.
The global financial crisis had at its heart a failure of governance and oversight. Controls were ineffective, non-executives did not challenge and relationships broke down with regulators.
Boards have been slow to recognise the significance of culture. A survey conducted by Board Agenda and Mazars last year found that 63% of boards exclude culture from formal risk considerations. Meanwhile, respondents identified that “setting the right tone from the top” was the best way to influence culture.
Since the crisis the boards of financial services firms have taken a number of steps to ensure they are more effective and to atone for the
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