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At one bank, lax compliance and internal controls are a 'cancer'

Tom Fox | June 21, 2016

The Man from FCPA has seen a lot of strong statements from top management, but when a chief executive likens non-compliance to cancer, you know it is serious. But last week, Bill Winters, the chief executive of the UK bank Standard Chartered, did just that when he announced that he had taken steps, and would continue to do so,  to stamp out the "cancer of complacency and lax controls" at the financial institution. As reported by the Financial Times, “Winters delivered an ‘angry’ address to its 1,500 top managers and sent several staff memos condemning transgressions that include inappropriate financial dealings with colleagues and excessive expenses.”

Most interestingly, Winters also noted there were internal control failures in both risk management and culture. Winters sent out what the FT termed “conduct memos” which were entitled “#knowtherules” and the FT reported that in one such conduct memo Winters stated “some senior managers...

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