July 7, 2012
Bob Diamond has finally stepped down after the bank was given a record fine for trying to manipulate Libor rates, and the whole sorry affair has undoubtedly cast more shadows over the banking industry as a whole.
How the sector goes about improving its battered image from here will be incredibly interesting.
The 2011 Millennials at Work report, which surveyed 4,000 graduates worldwide, found that nine per cent of them wouldn’t consider working in the banking and capital markets sector. It can only be assumed that these latest revelations will make that figure worse.
A similar contraction in the attractiveness of the industry is also likely to occur when it comes to top level personnel.
Barclays, for example, finished sixth in the Sunday Times Best Companies to Work For list in 2006. This year it was nowhere to be seen – and that was before Bob Diamond and Libor became household names.
PR campaigns and phrases like ‘reputation management’ are likely to conjure up the idea that people are hiding the truth or trying to paper over the cracks.
The financial sector would be much better off getting to the heart of the problem and fixing it, acting with humility and investing in the employees that have made it a success in the past.
For people looking to make their next career moves there are few more exciting, challenging and rewarding sectors – and it is important that when people think of the banking industry they are struck by images of trustworthiness and reliability rather than those of people queuing outside Northern Rock or rogue traders such as Nick Leeson.
Perhaps the resignation of Bob Diamond is the first step for Barclays and other financial institutions needed to take to rebuild the reputation of the industry.