Paul Moore, a whistle-blower of Halifax Bank of Scotland (HBOS) from the UK, was invited to speak in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on whistleblowing and corporate governance. He also shared his insights in his interview with The Edge Malaysia.
Speaking at the inaugural International Directors Summit 2019 here yesterday, Paul Moore, a whistle-blower of Halifax Bank of Scotland (HBOS) from the UK, called for process fairness for whistle-blowers.
Moore stressed that the dismissal of any head of control functions, such as that of the department of risk, compliance and internal audits, should only be made by non-executives and with prior approval from regulators.
Besides, he highlighted that it is crucial that control functions report only to non-executives instead of executives.
Whistle-blowers should also be given the right to mandatory injunctions to prevent such dismissals, and that there should be no settlement gagging clauses without regulatory approval as well as no discrimination against new employment, he added.
“To avoid major risks, we need the right combination of culture, capability of control functions, corporate governance (including auditing and accounting), critical controls and company law.
“Culture always trump strategies, processes and structures … you can have the best governance processes in the world but if they are carried out in a culture of greed, unethical behaviour and indisposition to challenges, they will fail,” explained the former banking executive who was sacked after raising concerns about HBOS’ financials due to its growth that was too rapid. He was never offered another equivalent job after he blew the whistle on the bank’s risky sales strategies in 2004. The bank slipped into financial turmoil after the onset of the global financial crisis in 2008.
Read the rest of the interview here.
Paul Moore is a lawyer, author and one of UK’s leading specialists in risk management and regulatory affairs in the financial sector. Paul has over 25 years of experience in both industry (15 years) and professional services (10 years). Paul Moore is perhaps best known as the HBOS whistleblower after he was dismissed from Halifax Bank of Scotland in 2004, where he as the bank’s Head of Group Regulatory Risk.
Since his dismissal from HBOS, Paul has been a commentator on banking crisis and a campaigner for change in the financial system.