Approaching the Crossroads of Conduct and Culture: Improving culture in the financial services industry

Approaching the Crossroads of Conduct and Culture

Approaching the Crossroads of Conduct and Culture


Nearly eight years after the financial crisis, instances of misconduct across the spectrum of the industry continue to be reported in the press with troubling frequency. The coverage strikes an uncomfortable contrast with the intensity of effort the industry and the regulators have focused on reforming and remediating the weaknesses the crisis brought to light. Overall, this environment has further strained the public’s failing trust in the integrity of the financial services industry as a whole, including the people it employs and the markets it supports.

Attention has now turned to shortcomings in the prevailing culture of the financial services industry as a root cause for continued misconduct. Industry participants appear to be quite familiar with the “why” of this heightened regulatory attention, though less familiar with the “how” of going about an evaluation of the culture within their own organizations. Managing risks related to the behaviors, choices, and values of individuals is more problematic than managing to numerical thresholds or other quantifiable metrics. 

KPMG has developed a framework to assist an organization with evaluating its existing culture, measuring the system of values and behaviors that shape its risk decisions, and, if needed, developing a plan to improve its overall culture and the conduct of its employees

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