Share with your friends

Banking regulators turn up the pressure on culture and conduct

Regulatory pressure on culture and conduct

New KPMG report reviews regulatory developments and how financial institutions can respond.


Related content

The culture and conduct of financial institutions are drawing more scrutiny from regulators and supervisors as they have turned their attention increasingly to instances of misconduct in both the wholesale and retail financial markets. The latest in KPMG International’s Evolving Banking Regulation series, entitled “Culture and Conduct,” looks at the challenges for banks and other institutions arising from the regulatory as well as commercial and societal pressures to improve their culture, behavior and standards of conduct.

“Banks and other financial institutions are asking themselves some fundamental questions about their desired culture and values, and how these are reflected across the entirety of their organizations,” said Giles Williams, EMA Financial Services Regulatory Center of Excellence lead, KPMG International. “They need to be prepared for regulators to ask them these very same questions.”

The report reviews regulatory developments in the wholesale and retail financial markets and how they are targeting banks’ culture and behavior, with a particular focus on greater transparency and consumer protection.

In wholesale markets, the report takes note of the overarching theme of applying broad principles of governance and transparency to the world of wholesale market conduct. The combination of global standard setting and investigations across Europe, the U.S. and Asia is spreading global standards across regions, albeit not always completely consistently.

On the retail side, international standard-setters, the EU and many national authorities have taken moves to strengthen consumer protection and increase transparency, with significant political pressure to deliver change.

Across financial markets, regulators are looking to hold board members and senior management of firms directly responsible for establishing, maintaining and communicating their firms’ culture and values and for leading cultural and ethical change.

“Beyond broad direction, there is limited regulatory guidance on needed cultural and behavioral changes in institutions,” said Williams. “It is up to senior management and boards to define the parameters of a ‘good’ culture, identify where the gaps are within their firm, develop a plan for improvements, and be prepared to measure and communicate the results.”

The report also provides a roadmap for institutions to follow in successfully designing and embedding desired culture and values with steps to help ensure that they are reinforced throughout the organization.

“There is a need to rebuild public trust in banks and in the financial system more generally,” added Williams. “Forward thinking financial institutions are using good culture and behavior as a means of establishing a competitive edge.”

For further information, contact:

Kent Miller

Communications, KPMG International

Mobile: +1 908 313 5037

About KPMG International

KPMG is a global network of professional services firms providing Audit, Tax and Advisory services. We operate in 155 countries and have 174,000 people working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such.

© 2021 Copyright owned by one or more of the KPMG International entities. KPMG International entities provide no services to clients. All rights reserved.

KPMG refers to the global organization or to one or more of the member firms of KPMG International Limited (“KPMG International”), each of which is a separate legal entity. KPMG International Limited is a private English company limited by guarantee and does not provide services to clients. For more detail about our structure please visit

Member firms of the KPMG network of independent firms are affiliated with KPMG International. KPMG International provides no client services. No member firm has any authority to obligate or bind KPMG International or any other member firm vis-à-vis third parties, nor does KPMG International have any such authority to obligate or bind any member firm.

Connect with us


Want to do business with KPMG?


loading image Request for proposal

Stay up to date with what matters to you

Gain access to personalized content based on your interests by signing up today

Sign up today