Sir David Walker has taken aim at non-executive directors in his response to
the banking crisis, recommending they have more training, experience and longer
Walker’s long awaited final response to the crisis makes a number of
recommendations which if enacted will see non-executive directors play a bolder
role in the board room.
He envisages a new corporate environment where non-executive directors, once
viewed as “baubles on the Christmas tree”, are actively challenging and probing
the business strategy.
The report recommends “a minimum expected time commitment of 30 to
36 days in a major bank boards” clearly articulated in contracts.
It also recommends non-executives undergo regular “thematic business
awareness sessions” to increase their understanding of their business.
In banks and financial institutions a dedicated board should be on hand to
provide dedicated support for non-executives “on any matter relevant to the
The report also recommends that interviews for non-executives proposed for
FTSE 100-listed bank and life assurance companies should involve questioning and
assessment by one or more senior advisers with relevant industry experience at
or close to board level of a similarly large and complex company.
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