Last month, Jamie Dimon, chief executive of JPMorgan, lambasted Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of Canada, arguing that he was wrong to support new banking regulations that he claimed were ill thought out. European bankers, by contrast, have tended to make their concerns known more quietly. Which approach is best when trying to get regulators to change their view?
The academic: Peter Hahn
I’ve been the dining guest of Jamie Dimon and Mark Carney; the former when I was a US banker and the latter during my time as a UK academic.
Unlike many of the amateur CEOs and regulators who fanned the fires that became the financial crisis, they’re both career financial services people with towering intellects and depth that deserve to be heard. They also have very different communication styles, neither of which is well suited to hospital waiting rooms. And that’s good because there is too much at stake in their debate, especially given that they are both playing to the wider audience of politicians who get the final say. Most important, with the credibility of banking, regulation and politicians running pretty low, any regulatory dealing done behind closed doors will lack credibility. So guys, get up on your boxes and be heard.
The writer is a professor at Cass Business School
The consultant: George Bradt
The key is the target audience. Executives need to be clear about whom they are trying to influence and whether to do it directly or indirectly.
Typically, direct influence behind closed doors allows for the most honest conversations. But some people need to be influenced by others. This is where it makes sense to go in front of the cameras – to reach a mass of people that can influence your target.
It’s not either or, but which when?
The writer is managing director of PrimeGenesis and author of The New Leader’s 100-Day Action Plan
The PR: Sacha Deshmukh
There’s a hard-and-fast rule in communications: understand and appreciate context and audience.
So-called “soft diplomacy” is most certainly the way forward, particularly in Europe, where decision-makers have long memories and short patience.
But don’t underestimate the value of a timely, public intervention towards the end of the lobbying process. If this means displaying focused, well-articulated frustration with the regulators, so be it.
The writer is chief executive of MHP Communications
The consultant: Graham Lloyd
The real issue is whether there is an effective forum for debate and a transparent process for decision-making. All parties should be engaged, regardless of partisanship – that can be filtered out later. Scrutinising any market framework to ensure it is economic and practical feels like a reasonable step and those setting the rules are more likely to play by them.
Applying these principles visibly from the outset ensures the right debate.
The writer is a financial services specialist at PA Consulting
Get alerts on Americas when a new story is published