Today's the day - you must act with integrity

Alison Best

7

March

2017

Charlotte Hogg, the Bank of England's newly appointed deputy governor for markets and banking, has admitted breaching the Bank's guidelines. Last week she told MPs that she had accurately declared all conflicts of interest, and that she had also helped to write the Bank's code of conduct.

It's pretty ironic that today of all days the Deputy Governor of the Bank of England stands accused of failing to declare a conflict of interest in breach of the Bank's own conduct guidelines.

Today (7 March 2017) the FCA Conduct Rules have gone live for pretty much all staff in banks (apart from those with purely administrative functions). Personal accountability to the regulators has a far wider reach now. And the banks themselves should have ensured that, by today, employees know how the rules apply to them and have provided them all with suitable training. The first rule - you must act with integrity.

We know this stuff's not easy and there may be many reasons why people get things wrong. If the news reports are true, how serious a breach do you think Charlotte Hogg has committed? Is it a mere oversight? A serious breach of integrity? Do different, higher, standards of integrity apply to the Deputy Governor than to the bank worker? Who decides?

And that's what makes talking about conduct and integrity so very important (and challenging)...