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Blog series – James Bardrick

In advance of our event at the Bank of England on 21 March 2017, we asked interested parties to write on the theme: Worthy of trust? Law, ethics and culture in banking…

Trust has been lost across many stakeholders’ relationships post financial crisis across the banking industry, at Citi and in many large corporations in other sectors. All stakeholders’ relationships must be sustainable, valuable and productive and be based on trust, not just reliant on formal contracts. However, we cannot demand to be trusted or even deem ourselves trustworthy, we have to earn it in the eyes of others. You can call that developing a good reputation!

We need to communicate clearly, consistently and authentically what we are doing and why and how we do it, to all our stakeholders internally and externally; we must link the why, what and how to our Purpose and Values.

Citi’s mission is to serve as a trusted partner to our clients and to enable growth and economic progress. Our mission requires us to serve all our key stakeholders; our clients AND economies and markets, regulators, past, present and future employees, governments and all in society who are participants in, and impacted by the financial eco systems. Our Purpose is to safeguard our client’s assets, lend money, make and receive payments, access capital markets for clients to manage risk and raise capital, and more generally to connect investors with companies, governments and citizens to enable their individual and collective economic progress. That is the what.

The how focuses on the transparency of our purpose, striving to perform safely, reliably and effectively to deliver our obligations, commitments and our responsibilities and be true to our Purpose and Values to work for better outcomes.

To hold us true to our Purpose and Values: Responsible Finance, Shared Purpose, Ingenuity and Leadership, for every important business decision that we make, we ask our colleagues to ensure that their decisions pass three tests:

  • Is it in our client’s interest?
  • Does it create economic value?
  • And is it always systematically responsible?

Moreover, we encourage all of our individual and team objectives to be aligned to and measured against our six Leadership Standards:

  • Develops our people
  • Drives value for clients
  • Delivers results
  • Champions progress
  • Works as a partner
  • Lives our values

We are committed to go ‘Beyond Compliance’, to incentivise and reward good behaviours, client value, innovation, citizenship and to create good outcomes as well as just preventing bad stuff. We are becoming a simpler, safer and stronger organisation. To help us do that, we must embed, practice, measure and reward people consistently based on this culture change framework. We must and do ask our stakeholders to give us honest external assessment to ensure we are on track.

I know that trust will be at the front of our thinking and actions in our on-going efforts to serve as a trustworthy partner to all of our stakeholders in the pursuit of much improved reputations.

James Bardrick, Head of Citi UK