“We have a profound issue — that is, an industry-wide issue, not just a Barclays issue”
That’s what the former CEO of Barclays stated in front of a British parliamentary panel. This statement exemplifies the state of many businesses, from health-care fraud to bribery; this has not been a good year for corporate social responsibility.
Here are a few ideas to remedy the problem:
1. Impose harsher fines: Simply letting CEOs and other members of upper-management resign, while receiving millions in severance pay is sickening. Strong messages need to be sent (as in the case of GSK) and corporations must be punished harshly for their digressions.
2. Create more restrictive lobbying laws: This way, corporations will not have such a large influence on politicians. I remember reading about the difference between bribery, as seen in poor countries and lobbying, in rich countries like the USA. I can’t remember who the quote is from but it goes like this: lobbying is what corporations do when bribes become too expensive.
3. Impose independent CSR audits: This will both support firms who are socially responsible and encourage other corporations to adopt and adhere to their own CSR plans.
4. Common sense: It simply makes sense for corporations to adopt socially responsible behaviour. Just look at the share price of Barclays before and after their scandal broke.