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BBA Conference: The need for cultural change

Author: Ian Arbuthnott

The need for cultural change in order to rebuild customer trust and confidence topped the agenda at this years BBA Conference.

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The BBA 2014 annual banking conference took place on 16th October, acknowledging that the need to rebuild trust and confidence in the industry is the BBA's overarching strategic aim.

Anthony Browne (Chief Executive of the BBA) opened the conference by stating that despite technological innovation the only real way to restore trust and re-engage customers is to change the culture of the banking industry, and that this change can only come from within; it can not be forced through by regulation.

There was a recognition that change must start at the top and, more importantly, must permeate all levels of an organisation. Banks need to understand that they are there to act in the best interests of their customers and that customers will no longer remain with organisations which do not meet their expectations, as evidenced by a 22% increase in switching over the last 2 months (UK Payments council). Andrea Leadsom (MP, Economic Secretary to the Treasury), stated that the industry has to change and move forward with optimism and that this would 'be built on a good culture and a move away from the disgusting culture of the past.'

Ross McEwan (CEO RBS) challenged the attendees with the question: 'Are we here to serve ourselves or serve our customers?'. He was unequivocal in stating that if the industry did not change its fundamentals and put the customer first then the business will be eaten away, asserting that long term profitability can only be achieved through the development of long term quality customer relationships. In regards to improving customer engagement and understanding in the business banking arena, he announced that eight new business accelerator hubs would be opened and that 84% of business and SME related employees will be based above a branch; acknowledging the continued importance of genuine, human, face to face interaction.

Unipart Expert Practices believe that building engagement and integrity into your front line services is key to restoring trust with customers, employees and regulators. We have a tried and tested approach that will help you to transform your culture whilst engaging your employees in the delivery of exceptional customer service and business performance.

To find out more about Unipart Expert Practices please click here.

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