Bank of Ireland statement on Behaviour and Culture Assessment in Irish Banking Sector

Tuesday, 24 July – Following the publication of the Central Bank of Ireland Behaviour and Culture Assessment of the Irish Banking Sector, Bank of Ireland has said it is strongly committed to continuing to improve culture within the bank and to playing its part in cultural improvement across the wider sector.

Bank of Ireland is supporting the establishment of an independent Irish Banking Culture Board. Underlining that commitment, a senior Bank executive – Marion Kelly – has been seconded to lead the next phase of the Irish Banking Culture Board’s establishment in the role of Programme Director.

Francesca McDonagh commented:

“A healthy internal culture in any organisation drives staff engagement and becomes a magnet for talent. But it’s the external tangible proof of this culture that gets most attention. A good culture creates great customer outcomes. This is particularly relevant in an industry that is highly regulated, with the one of the lowest trust levels of any sector. We have to fix this, and this is why I have placed considerable focus on the transformation of Bank of Ireland including its culture.

“Bank of Ireland is supporting the establishment of an independent Irish Banking Culture Board. We also support a broader discussion on how accountability could be increased for the most senior bankers in Ireland. I believe that increasing accountability in the Irish banking sector will help drive cultural change and underpin a new relationship with our customers and the communities we serve.”

Over the past nine months, an intensive programme to support cultural transformation has been underway within Bank of Ireland. This has included a number of key elements:

  • Bank of Ireland has defined three strategic priorities – the first of which is to transform the Bank. This includes transforming the Bank’s culture.
  • To support this transformation, an ambition and purpose have been defined. Importantly, four key values have also been agreed, and communicated extensively within the company. These values exist to guide all employees of the bank in everything they do, and are to be Customer Focused, Accountable, Agile, and work as One Group/One Team.
  • To support the embedding of the purpose and values an extensive culture programme has been rolled out across the company – with 50 Purpose and Values Roadshows held across Ireland and in UK in 2018 involving the participation of 6,000 colleagues.
  • Throughout this process, the Bank has continued to engage with all colleagues on an ongoing basis – through surveys, events, and intensive communication at all levels. In the last six months, colleague engagement – a key metric for organisational culture – has increased each quarter from 50% (2017) to 53% (Q1 2018) to 55% (Q2 2018). 76% of Bank of Ireland employees believe the strategy being followed is the right one, which is 9% better than the Global Financial Services (GFS) norm.
  • Acknowledging that the Bank has more to do to become a truly inclusive and diverse organisation, and to really reflect its customer base, targets for gender diversity were agreed in April 2018. This target is that all Management and Leadership appointments will represent a 50:50 gender ratio by end 2021.
  • Overall, the Bank has a 55:45 female to male ratio, but this is not reflected in senior management teams where the leadership population is 36% female. Our 50:50 target, together with a range of other initiatives, will help to improve the gender balance of senior management across the Bank in the longer term.