The Banking Standards Board, an independently led body that promotes high standards of behavior and competence across the United Kingdom’s banking industry, has released results of its fifth annual cultural assessment. It reports on a variety of constructs, including both traditionally ethically oriented ones (honesty, openness, respect and accountability) as well as those directly affecting firm performance (competence, resilience, reliability and responsiveness).

This latest iteration incorporates over 73,000 employee survey responses at 31 firms. The survey was conducted last fall, and thus captures the impact of the massive changes wrought by 2020, including the pandemic and resulting remote-work situation for a majority of bank employees, as well as the heightened focus on racial justice and diversity stemming from last summer’s protests.

Of particular interest are the following results, described in a press release for the survey. Most employees, or 87 percent, said that their organization had appropriately supported their health and wellbeing during the pandemic; 91 percent of employees who identified as White British felt both accepted and able to be themselves at work. This fell to 84 percent among respondents identifying as being of mixed or multiple ethnicity, 83 percent among those identifying as Asian/Asian British, and 78 percent among Black/ Black British respondents. Concerning the pandemic, 90 percent employees felt that senior leaders at their firm had managed the impact of the crisis on the business well.

Here’s a comprehensive readout of the results.


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The Banking Standards Board, established in 2015, is a private sector body funded by membership subscriptions and open to all banks and building societies operating in the UK. It is neither a regulator nor a trade association; it has no statutory powers, and it will not speak or lobby for the industry. It will, instead, provide challenge, support, and scrutiny for firms committed to rebuilding the sector’s reputation, and it will provide impartial and objective assessments of the industry’s progress.

Noel Boyland is Ethical Systems’ Director of Corporate Engagement.

Lead image: raghavvidya / Flickr