Posts Tagged 'Northern Rock'

Our Mutual Friends?

by Clive Booth, for Public Affairs and Media Relations Blog, November 6, 2009.

From 1986 to 2000, the UK saw the demutualisation of 10 of its building societies. Today, every one of these new banks has been taken over by larger banks or have been nationalised. After the apparent failure of the demutualisation experiment, now could be the time to reconsider the role of Mutuals in the UK’s financial sector.

A new consideration of Mutuals has become especially pertinent in light of the recent global economic conditions, which were caused in part by the overly risky behaviour of commercial banks. Indeed, the aggressive lending policy pursued by a demutualised Northern Rock directly contributed its exposure to the sub-prime crisis and downfall.

There were reasons, of course, for the demutualisations in the first place – namely the problems building societies had with competing with the larger commercial banks that were able to access almost unlimited finance…(continue reading)

Enterprise Risk Management and Corporate Governance in the Banking Industry

by Thinking Made Easy, Ocotber 30, 2009.

Research aims to demonstrate limitations of that assumption, propose alternative conceptual framework suitable to research analysis. Arguing that banks are distinguished by complex structure of information asymmetry arising from presence of regulation by showing how regulation limits power of markets to discipline the bank, owners, managers thus argue that regulation must be seen as external force, which alter parameters of risks and governance in banks. Research will be analyzing effective Risk Management in conjunction with effective Corporate Governance in the Banking industry.

Notably, the new term ‘Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) is popular way of describing the application of risk management throughout banks and or financial institutions rather than only in selected business areas or disciplines. However, in the banking industry, ERM is still handled at the functional level. Research interest then is on how Risk Management can be shifted from the FUNCTIONAL to the ORGANISATIONAL (Board) level. Primary and secondary research is needed to provide insights as to why some organizations are responding to changing risk profiles by embracing ERM and others are not…(continue reading)

Women still face a steep climb to the top table

by Ruth Sunderland for the Guardian, August 23, 2009.

Women still face a steep climb to the top table.

Research commissioned by the Observer has revealed that UK boardrooms are still overwhelmingly male-dominated, despite the fact that more than nine out of 10 companies claim to have an equal opportunities policy in place.

Women occupy only 242 out of 2,742 seats on the boards of FTSE 350 companies, according to a study by The Co-operative Asset Management as part of our Good Companies Guide series of reports into ethical and socially responsible practice in corporate Britain.

More than 130 companies out of those surveyed had an all-male board and the vast majority of female directorships are non-executive. Women hold only 34 executive board seats out of a possible 970.

As a result of this work, Co-operative intends in future to consider gender and diversity when it is assessing companies from an ethical, social and governance perspective.

John Reizenstein, managing director of Co-operative Asset Management, said: “It’s a commonplace that women and minorities ought to be better represented in boards and other top positions. But does it make good business sense? Our report shows that leading UK plcs believe an inclusive, progressive approach brings real benefits, but also shows that too many companies still appear to pay the issue lip service. We think organisations which foster diversity at the top have an advantage over those which don’t.”…(continue reading)


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