PRN: Banking Witch Hunt May Stifle Board Applications

07/feb/2012 09:02:24 PR Newswire Turismo Contatta l'autore

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Banking Witch Hunt May Stifle Board Applications


LONDON, February 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

The Chief Executive of the BBA (The British Bankers Association) says that there must be a move away from the banking witch hunt as it is threatening the reputation of the UK's world class financial services industry and it is discouraging quality applications for board positions.

At a recent leadership forum hosted by The Broadcast PR Business, Angela Knight, CBE, said that if this bank witch hunt continues, many strong candidates - women especially - will be put off from applying to serve on UK financial services company boards.

In discussion with Cranfield University's Professor Susan Vinnicombe, Angela Knight commented:

"The big question mark is whether the very intensive FSA (Financial Services Authority) interviews are proving to be a deterrent from applying to board positions of major financial companies in the UK. The witch hunt is also reducing applications, and may diminish the UK's world class financial services industry. Women especially may choose elsewhere."

Angela Knight does not attribute the failure in the financial system to male-dominated boards but said:

"There was a certain amount of received assumptions or "group think" from regulators, central banks, governments and bank boards, which contributed to failure."

Professor Susan Vinnicombe, Cranfield University, suggested diversity of gender was essential on company boards:

"There is growing evidence to show that diverse boards are better boards, delivering financial out-performance and stock market growth." (The Lord Davies of Abersoch Report for the Coalition Government,  2011)

Angela Knight responded:

"You can get more penetrating questions from women at board level. But ultimately the tone is set by the chair. Too formal a board can lead to questions not being asked."

To view the BBA - Cranfield University interview please visit:

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