Sandra Quinn was appointed in August this year and StrategicRISK had some questions for her

Q&A: Sandra Quinn, people risk director, Lloyds Banking Group

Quinn was appointed in August this year and StrategicRISK had some questions for her.

What does the role entail? As a business of some 100,000 people plus we are very conscious that in our risk management we need a people perspective. At the end of the day it’s our people who are the face and substance of Lloyds Banking Group.

Risk management has always been undertaken here, but they invited me to develop the way we do risk management in HR and also to develop our management of people risk across the group in partnership with all my business colleagues across our banking and insurance business.

As far as you’re aware is the role unique? I haven’t come across anybody with the same title. For many businesses there’s an increasing recognition that to be effective in risk management and the achievement of your business objectives you have to include a people dimension and that includes controls and processes, the culture, behaviours, the way you incentivise people, the way you remunerate them, the way you performance manage them, the way you attract, retain and develop talent. In developing your processes and policies you have regard to the risks that may prevent you form reaching your objectives. You have to have a risk perspective on all of that.

Bankers pay is obviously under scrutiny at the moment. How are you going to make sure your staff are remunerated appropriately? In compliance with the FSA remuneration code we aim to ensure that in rewarding our people those rewards take into account the risks that are involved in the underlying business. But the director of reward at Lloyd’s has the principal responsibility in relation to our remuneration policy.

Do you have any plans to link the remuneration of your staff to their risk management credentials, rather than short term business objectives? For some time our staff have been rewarded on a long term basis rather than on short term goals. We comply with the FSA’s remuneration code which includes provisions for deferring bonuses and for insuring that the short term risk taking is not something that is the principal driver of reward.

Will you have enough influence to affect change in the organisation? I report to the CRO, who is an influential senior executive. I think that the fact I’ve been appointed and I’m carrying out the role is a signal that the group is taking things seriously because otherwise I wouldn’t be here. Considerable work has been going on in the organisation by our CRO on embedding a risk culture, that’s something the board is fully behind. Risk management has been very important to the group for some time.

In the run up to the banking crisis HBOS clearly had some serious cultural problems. How are you going to make sure those issues do not permeate throughout the merged Group? A very substantial integration programme has been underway here for more than 18 months. It’s made a huge impression on me the amount of effort and importance that is attached to that integration process. We think of ourselves as being the Lloyds Banking Group and the group is very clear about its vision and cultures and about ensuring that we have a risk management culture and a people culture that is very clearly that of the Lloyds Banking Group.