Morning Coffee: Trader-compliance job share? Credit Suisse’s ‘investable’ investment bank

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Investment bank culture

How do you make investment banks’ traders – prone to rate fixing, going rogue and chatroom collusion – work in perfect harmony with the internal police that is compliance? How about a job-share?

In a broad-ranging report into changing banks’ culture, banking and regulatory big-hitters in the Group of Thirty set out how to restore trust in the banking sector and turn investment banks from havens of self-interested individuals looking for short-term profits into happy places where all employees work towards the same common goal.

One of the many recommendations was ensuring that staff get exposure to a broad range of roles. “Many of the implementation failures…relate to lack of relevant experience and “siloed” thinking within control functions or businesses,” it said. “To break down some of these barriers, some banks point to substantial improvement of the three-line construct through a policy of staff rotation between control units (Compliance, Risk Management) and businesses.”

Other significant recommendations is ensuring that metrics for compensation are “split 50/50 between performance, and conduct and culture metrics”, people who “put the firm before self” should be “celebrated” and that “culture champions” need to be deployed throughout the bank “acting as role models for those around them”. Welcome to the brave new world.

Separately, Financial News has spoken to Credit Suisse’s New York-based global head of investment banking Jim Amine, who demonstrates the art of avoiding answering any direct questions on the future of his division under new CEO Tidjane Thiam. He gives one slight hint, however, that Credit Suisse could keep its investment bank in tact: “I believe that IBD is a very good business and investable through the cycle,” he said.


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“Dull and boring” Schroders has outstripped its rivals (Financial News)

“In global equities, the five top U.S. banks have done $166 billion of business this year, more than double what their five most-active EU and Swiss peers have brought to market.” (Bloomberg View)

Former Brevan Howard economist who joined the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee is going to have his annual payment from the firm scrutinised (Financial Times)

Credit Suisse’s global head of macro, who is currently climbing K2 for the NSPCC, recounts avalanches that have caused chaos (Financial News)

Intern conversion rate as high as Australia (AFR)

What type of entrepreneur are you? (HBR)

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