Bad behaviour that has cost British banks £38.5 billion ($60 billion) in fines and compensation over the past 15 years will take a generation to fix, an independent think tank said on Tuesday. Britain's banks have been hit by scandals ranging from the attempted manipulation of foreign exchange and benchmark interest rates to the mis-selling of loan insurance and complex interest-rate hedging products. A report into the culture of British retail banking by think tank New City Agenda and Cass Business School said that an aggressive sales culture took hold over two decades, with some branch staff receiving cash bonuses, iPods or even tickets to the Wimbledon tennis tournament for hitting sales targets. "A toxic culture which was decades in the making will take a generation to turn around," said Conservative lawmaker David Davis, chairman of New City Agenda. "At this critical juncture, Britain's biggest banks cannot afford to let the better treatment of customers become a second-order.
Matt Scuffham, Reuters