Paul Moore: I can clear out Barclays’ ‘Augean Stables’

July 10th, 2012

Paul Moore, the ‘HBOS whistleblower’, has put himself forward as Marcus Agius’s successor as chairman of Barclays. Moore first put himself forward for the role last Wednesday (July 4th) and is now proposing a formal manifesto of change for Barclays, with a view to cleaning up the scandal ridden bank in the wake of the disastrous Bob Diamond years and the bank’s industrial-scale attempts to rig interbank lending rates including Libor.

If for any reason he is not deemed a suitable candidate for the chairman’s role, Moore says he would be prepared to become a non-executive director  of Barclays with responsibility for risk management, audit and compliance (functions which have failed at the bank).

The former HBOS executive was ousted from HBOS by its former chief executive Sir James Crosby in 2004, after he sought to alert the Edinburgh-based bank’s board of directors of its toxic sales culture and excessive risk taking and that it had embarked on a disastrous course.

Unveiling the proposal last week, Paul Moore, 53, said:

“I know I can help Barclays … I have all the professional knowledge and experience to know how to do this and I know the regulators and ordinary people of this country trust me … If I was to go into Barclays and found any illegalities, I would report them to the relevant authorities immediately.”

In the wake of this morning’s appearance of Barclays chairman Marcus Agius before the Treasury Select Committtee, Moore has confirmed he is prepared to help sort out the mess at Barclays for zero pay (Agius was earning £750,000 a year). He said: “We need a culture where  leadership is about service not selfishness.”

So, here is Moore’s manifesto for Barclays. It is a series of proposals that deserve to be read by anyone interested in how to rebuild the UK’s tattered reputation for financial probity, including Barclays board directors, Barclays’ investors, the chancellor George Osborne, other politicians, Bank of England governor Sir Mervyn King, other central bankers, FSA chairman Lord Turner, other regulators, etc:

“Some people may have thought my offer to help Barclays as its new interim chairman last week wasn’t serious. It was. I now want explain to everyone why I have the right credentials and what I would do if I was appointed – what my ‘manifesto’ is.

“I have been involved in risk management, regulation, corporate governance and ethics in all areas of the financial sector since 1984. As a partner at KPMG I led the remedial work on some of the largest regulatory failures in UK financial services history with 100s of staff reporting to me. My final appraisal at KPMG described me as one of KPMG’s most outstanding performers.

“I would also remind people that I was the Head of Group Regulatory Risk at HBOS who had the courage, integrity and conviction to speak up and warn the bank of the risks to customers and the bank of its excessive focus on sales and marketing.

“I have an impeccable track record both in industry and professional services for technical excellence, rigour and integrity. I have numerous very senior executives and people who worked in the regulators who can vouch for this. Sorting out major governance and regulatory problems is ‘meat and drink’ to me. I know what to do, how to do it and the right people to work with me to turn round any organisation caught up in the sort of problems facing Barclays.

“What Barclays needs now is not a ‘business as usual’ chairman but someone who has long-term operational expertise in risk management, regulatory compliance and audit programmes. This expertise needs to cover vision and strategy, structure and process as well as the far more important dimensions of culture and people. That’s what I know about. That’s what I have done virtually all my professional life.

“In a statement like this I obviously can’t go into all the detailed terms of reference of exactly what I would do at Barclays or the team that I would use but, in summary, my manifesto would include:-

  • “A detailed substantive investigation of all potential regulatory, civil or criminal wrong-doing throughout the bank. The exact details of the investigation and the direction will be established in two ways. Firstly, by opening up a direct line of communication for anyone in the organisation to my new team and me to tell us about anything that concerns or has concerned them about the actions or inactions of the bank. Staff will trust me to protect them and will give us clear markers towards any potential wrongdoing. I will also provide an internal amnesty for anyone who speaks up about wrongdoing in which they themselves have been involved, although I cannot obviously protect anyone from the criminal law or regulatory sanction. But, the law always looks more kindly on people who speak up and where possible I will personally advocate for leniency for those who speak up early. Secondly, we will conduct a thorough documentary and face to face interview investigation, top to bottom, using existing sources of management information and regulatory work to direct us. We will manage all data in accordance with standard investigatory techniques and will provide open access to our regulators
  • “Along with the detailed investigation of any actual or potential wrongdoing, we will also find out and assess “how the place works”. We will conduct a detailed substantive review of the current design and operation of all “systems and controls” in the bank which are directly or indirectly designed to manage risk, ensure regulatory and audit compliance and achieve corporate governance. We will look at the “machinery”, the “ingredients”, the “operators” and the “environment”. We will cover vision, strategy, policies, processes, training, oversight and assurance programmes, management information / reporting and the organisational structures and operation of all governance committees. Even more importantly we will also conduct a detailed forensic study of the culture of the bank and its people. In relation to culture, we will assess whether the bank has instilled a culture of openness and ethics and excellence in which fear, blame and excessive pride have no part. This is the sort of culture which we need in all banks. I have already developed a detailed list of cultural “key performance indicators” that I will use in the field work we will carry out. We will use a whole range of different methods to gather the evidence we need including surveys, very wide scale one on one interviews especially with front line staff but also at the most senior levels; we will use focus groups and “undercover” staff to engage in “participative observations” (a bit like “under cover boss”). On the people front we will look carefully at recruitment processes, development and training, performance management and remuneration systems.”

“Of course, at all times I will be (as I have throughout my entire career in risk and compliance) totally open and honest with our regulators. I believe that trust will be rebuilt only through transparency and, where necessary, repentance and accepting the consequences for any wrongdoing the bank has done. But, as I said, I will always stand up for people who admit they have done wrong quickly and do everything they can to put things right.”

“Just as important for society as helping Barclays to regain its reputation, we now must also completely transform society from being one enslaved to the greed of the few which causes so much misery for the many and destroys our planet. We need a new William Wilberforce Alliance to abolish the modern day slavery of “Me, More, Now”. I am in the process of setting this up. We need a renewal, reformation and renaissance of economics and society based on morality and ethics as well as the idea that leadership is about service not selfishness.”


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2 Comments for “Paul Moore: I can clear out Barclays’ ‘Augean Stables’”

  1. Speaking as one who is still suffering the greed of the few, I would love integrity, honour and transparency to win the day but I suspect the threat of these qualities will ensure Paul Moore struggles to secure a postion however much trust the public have in him. Hope I am wrong.

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