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Greed, recklessness and/or dishonesty? An investigation into the culture of five UK banks between 2004 and 2009

Alison Lui

Journal of Banking Regulation, 2015, vol. 16, issue 2, 106-129

Abstract: The author uses a multiple case study approach to examine five UK banks. The banks are Northern Rock, the Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays, Lloyds Banking Group and HSBC. The author feels that it is appropriate to use a multiple case study here because it will be interesting to study the micro aspects of regulation and corporate governance of five UK banks. The banks have to comply with the same regulations and laws on a macro level, and therefore it is essential to examine the differences between these banks on a micro level through reviewing annual reports and financial ratios. The case study is longitudinal, spanning across 2004–2009. In accordance with the aims of a case study, the author will describe the effects of the financial crisis 2007 on five UK banks. This case study provides an opportunity to examine the weaknesses and failures of corporate governance of five UK banks at a micro level. The author has two hypotheses at the beginning of the study. First, banks moved from a customer-driven culture to a sales-driven one. Second, the banking culture during the 2004–2009 period was one of greed, recklessness and dishonesty. With the caveat that one should not make generalisations, there is evidence from the case study that both hypotheses are correct to a certain extent.

Date: 2015
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