It has been a memorable week, punctuated this morning by the announcement that The Hanley has been awarded Gold standard by Investors in People (IIP) following an intensive inspection of our procedures, communications and customer commitments. We are absolutely thrilled, not least because it puts us in an elite group of 1% of IIP firms who are bracketed as IIP Gold. The credit for this goes to our wonderful people who work here, the most talented and tenacious bunch that I've ever had the pleasure to work alongside. Much is made in the media right now of the extent to which customers have been let down by the banks and it's easy to make a case that banks seem not to have learnt any humility from the last few years, but my colleagues at The Hanley could never be accused of letting down our members. In a way it is simple to unite 60 staff behind an intention to deliver outstanding prerformance and customer service, because the business is small enough to wrap your arms around it and to calibrate progress, but I'd argue that it is also feasible to do so in a large firm. Recruiting the right people, motivating and developing them with clear goals and a shared view of what success looks like, alongside a commitment to doing the right things (as well as doing things right) seems like a recipe for a Gold standard in anyones language.
Whilst some of the big banks may be "too big to fail" from a systemic risk viewpoint I don't believe customers should allow them to regard organisational size as an excuse for poor service, lack of attention to personal circumstances or inappropriate product sales. Judging by the recent glut of adverts from banks about their intentions to become "customer friendly" maybe bank Executives see that too.