23 July 2012 at 15:25 BST

Lawyers versus bankers

Barclays, and other major banks, should press the reset button and appoint lawyers to their top jobs instead of identikit chief executive officers, says Eduardo Reyes in his blog for London-based weekly, the Law Gazette.

A lot can be said of the ‘culture’ that seems to have weaved its way into higher echelons of the banking system, with risk-taking seemingly much higher on the list than ethical procedures.
However, Mr Reyes may have the answer: ‘It may sound naïve to say that lawyers in their environment remain bound by their professional rules and ethics. But I believe it is largely true – not least a lawyer’s career is ended by a whiff of regulatory trouble, whereas for straight bankers there is a tolerance for a certain amount of trouble.
‘So why not give the lawyers, whose careers have been built around managing risk, for whom any loss of reputation is vocationally fatal, the top jobs? Such a step would instantly send the signal that a new set of values are now rewarded – and as we are always being told, people who work in banking respond chiefly to the substantial rewards on offer.’


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