DCSIMG

Code of conduct is a good idea, but isn’t it a bit late?

At the tail end of last year I was talking to a friend about things I was going to do differently in 2013.

Don’t be alarmed. As well as running more, the only thing I really came up with was a promise to make it the Year of the Shoe.

It means that, rather than defaulting to a pair of trainers or flip-flops, I’ll be attempting to wear my most fabulous heels as often as possible.

It’s a kind of foot makeover, I guess. Something small I can change that doesn’t cost a fortune, makes me feel more positive and means I don’t have to give up wine.

And it’s nice to see other people are following in my well-shod footsteps.

The new boss of Barclays, for example, has decided 2013 will be the Year of the Code of Conduct.

In the wake of Bob Diamond’s departure and the Libor scandal – you remember, the one where banks got together and decided to over-inflate the amount we repay on our mortgages and other loans – new boss Antony Jenkins has told staff they either sign the code or leave the company.

He says 2013 will not be the Year of the Quick Buck, but will instead be some sort of brave new world where the money-grubbing ethos of the past 20 years is scrubbed out, deleted, swept under the carpet and essentially turned into the banking world’s dirty little secret.

I want to be fair here. No one bank could have fixed Libor by itself.

No, you need at least a coven, crouching around their financial cauldrons cooking up schemes.

But Barclays was fined a grand total of £290m for half-inching our hard-earned – a tiny proportion of what it cost the public, businesses and other organisations in interest rates.

So while waving a code of conduct in the direction of the staff might be a good thing, it’s something that should already have been done.

But, like my pledge to wear better shoes, it’s all about making people feel more positive (about the bank and its image).

So I guess that, like me, for Barclays 2013 is actually the Year of the Small Change.

 

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