Lloyds chief calls for a cultural change in the banking sector

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THE chief executive of Lloyds Banking Group last night called for a break with the culture of the past and said the banking industry cannot continue lurching from crisis to crisis.

Speaking at the CBI annual dinner in Scotland, António Horta-Osório claimed that banks have become “complacent, non-customer focused and inefficient”. He criticised the industry for allowing high levels of customer complaints after selling overly complex products customers “didn’t need or understand”.

Mr Horta-Osório said that banks need a cultural change and a fundamentally different approach to how they serve customers and remunerate employees at all levels.

He recommended that pay be linked to the long-term performance of the bank and that it can be clawed back; for customer-facing staff it will mean far less emphasis on sales targets.

CBI director general John Cridland said in response: “This timely speech rightly recognises that some banks may have lost sight of their core values and is a thoughtful assessment of the critical steps that need to be taken to restore confidence in the banking system.

“A healthy and respected banking system is essential to support economic growth.”