Across the breadth of the regulated financial services sector, there is a prevailing regulatory spotlight on non-financial misconduct. One company taking action to help firms tackle the issue is learning and development expert, MaST.
From sexual harassment to discrimination and bullying, there is an increased focus from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) on non-financial misconduct and its direct link to poor culture.
To help raise awareness, MaST, the longest established UK learning and development consultancy, have launched the #ChangeYourBehaviour campaign to shine the spotlight on the importance of wellbeing, diversity and inclusion, as well as the fundamental need for change in the commonly accepted behavioural culture.
The FCA is clear that failure to handle non-financial misconduct appropriately, or having a culture that permits non-financial misconduct, will have serious consequences.
This supervisory approach is already enforced within banking and there have been numerous cases where an individual has not been permitted to take a senior role or has been asked to leave their current role due to non-financial misconduct allegations.
The FCA further note that diversity and inclusion compliance is not as simple as updating policies and procedures. According to UK figures, the increase in the percentage of women in senior management only rose from 14 per cent in 2008 to 15.5 per cent in 2018 – a 1.5 per cent rise in 10 years.
It is clear that many firms continue to struggle with diversity and behavioural issues, but financial services are now expected to take ‘reasonable steps’ to address how they are governed, how employees are treated and the consequences of engaging in non-financial misconduct.
MaST highlight that training to enable positive behaviour change is essential – not only from a regulatory standpoint but in order to maximise productivity and mitigate risk. However, achieving significant culture change is notoriously difficult, as is training in ‘grey areas’ such as inclusion and behaviour change.
MaST’s experiential approach to learning is proven to be particularly efficient in this setting. Immersive training, getting as close as possible to learning from your own experience, is widely accepted as the best form of training. MaST provide learners with the benefit of hindsight through innovative, durable and effective training methods, which give organisations a direct route to the development of an ethical and productive company culture.