Westminster Business Forum

Culture and conduct in financial services - the impact of new regulation, developing healthy work cultures and the role of senior managers

Morning, Thursday, 5th September 2019

15Hatfields, Chadwick Court, London SE1 8DJ


This seminar will discuss the future for culture and conduct in financial services - looking in particular at regulatory changes, working practices and latest thinking on creating healthy work cultures in financial services.

It includes a focus on the role of senior managers in addressing barriers to the creation and maintenance of healthy cultures.

The conference will be an opportunity to discuss challenges and best practice for solo-regulated businesses as those affected prepare for the extension of the Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SM&CR), which will introduce requirements on firms to identify and put in place senior management responsibility and accountability.

This seminar has been developed and scheduled in consultation with officials at the FCA.

Assessing the impact of regulation so far, ‘psychological safety’ and implementing the extension of the SM&CR

Sessions will consider the implications for those firms due to implement the SM&CR - looking at:

  • the impact on organisational structures and corporate governance;
  • concerns about the implementation costs for the industry; and
  • the likely prospects for the Regime in encouraging improved culture in financial services.     

Regulators, and banking and insurance sector representatives, will examine the lessons learnt from the initial introduction of the Regime, and next steps for affected organisations and their senior management in implementation.

Sessions will also look at best practice for senior managers in effectively creating a culture of ‘psychological safety’ and how organisations are approaching the development of ‘speak up, listen up’ cultures that allow employees at all levels to openly address their concerns.

Working practices and diversity in financial services

The seminar also comes at a time of growing concerns around the lack of diversity within firms and as the City regulator takes an increasing role in the culture and working practices of firms.

Delegates will consider latest measures to improve workplace culture and improve diversity - looking in particular at mental health, stress and wellbeing and improving the pipeline of BME people and women in senior leadership positions.    

They will also discuss the future for the Women in Finance Charter, considering its impact and effectiveness in improving the diversity of senior talent within firms, the progress made against its targets and considering if the Government should introduce similar Charters for other areas of diversity. 

Assessing commercial benefits for firms and the approach to culture and conduct internationally

Delegates will discuss the role of culture change in reducing the risk of harm to their businesses, employees and consumers, and potential for benefits to productivity and innovation. 

Sessions will also look at latest evidence on potential upsides for organisational performance arising from more diverse boards, particularly in times of market stress.

Discussion will bring out experience of what more can be done to attract a diverse workforce to provide the talent, skills and insights needed by the sector as well as the marketing opportunities presented to firms by having good cultural practices. 

The agenda also includes a keynote case study which will discuss how different regulators have addressed culture and behaviour in financial services and the lessons that could be learnt by regulators and financial services in the UK.

Wider corporate governance reforms and emerging issues for culture in financial organisations

We expect discussion to reflect further significant reform of UK corporate governance practices.

The conference takes place as the Government consults on proposals to abolish the Financial Reporting Council and introduce the new Audit, Reporting and Governance Authority.

It also follows the introduction of the new Corporate Governance Code.

Sessions will consider the implications of these reforms for senior managers and how the new regulator can best work in practice to improve governance, while also providing firms with the flexibility to grow and innovate.        

Delegates will also assess the appropriate industry and regulatory response to potential emerging culture and conduct issues arising from the misuse of personal data by firms, the potential for vulnerable consumers to be excluded from the system by the rise of digital-only financial platforms and products, and ensuring the protection of consumers and business dealing with unregulated firms.    

Keynote Speakers

David Blunt

Head of Department, Conduct Specialists, Financial Conduct Authority

Alison Cottrell

Chief Executive Officer, Banking Standards Board

Keynote Speakers

David Blunt

Head of Department, Conduct Specialists, Financial Conduct Authority

Alison Cottrell

Chief Executive Officer, Banking Standards Board


Rt Hon the Baroness Kramer

Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Treasury and Economy)


Paul Chisnall

Director, Capital Markets & Wholesale, UK Finance

Charlotte Thorne

Founding Partner, CapGen Partners

Alison Miles

Senior Lecturer, Organisation Studies, University of the West of England, Bristol

Andrew Pepper-Parsons

Head of Policy, Protect

Professor Lutfey Siddiqi

Visiting Professor-in-Practice, London School of Economics and Political Science

Nick Caton

Chair, Alliance for Finance and Regional Organiser, Community

Amanda Hulme

Partner and Head of Financial Regulation, Addleshaw Goddard

Henry Umney

Chief Executive Officer, ClusterSeven