U.K. lenders turn to "Weirdy Beardy" to help with culture

|By:, SA News Editor

"You have to be the grit in the oyster, you have to be the person who asks the difficult questions," says "corporate philosopher" Roger Steare, aka "Weirdy Beardy," the man tapped by U.K. lenders like RBS, HSBC, and Barclays (BCS) to help improve banker behavior.

He's also been called upon by the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority which - after observing that banks simply circumvent many new rules - is trying a new tack: Stop making so many, and instead put the onus on banks to create self-regulatory work environments. "Red tape is more easily hurdled than principles," says FCA boss Martin Wheatley.

A former banker who quit because it was too boring, Steare eventually moved into executive coaching. "Banks are medieval institutions, they are not democracies," he says. "Their clients are the peasants."