Compliance chief at scandal-hit Barclays takes time out due to "stress and exhaustion"

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  • It's not surprising that Hector Sants should find the job a challenge as the current processes & systems used to ensure Compliance and uncover 'malpractice' are somewhat ineffectual (as demonstrated by recent prominent cases in various banks).

    1,000 traders will generate 1 million hours of 'unstructured' voice data, current approaches that only cover a 5-7% sampling of calls costs around £10,000 per trader to implement. The chances of 'malpractice' being uncovered is remote. Investigating 'malpractice' after the fact is enormously expensive, the current techniques for processing the voice data and integrating with eDiscovery systems would cost £50-140 million.

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  • Why do some people thrive and others get stressed and/or ill when working in demanding work environments? It is not just about the culture of where someone works it is also about how an individual responds to demanding situations. Some people 'break' themselves by pushing themselves to do an excellent job, while trying to achieve the impossible.

    It has to be a joint employer/employee responsibility to avoid people getting ill through overwork and stress. Most large employers will have all the right policies on stress, time off in lieu etc. but unless you know how to manage yourself, your workload, the stress of those around you (clients and senior colleagues) and your own stress then it is easy to work too hard and become ill.

    Individuals need to be aware of how stress impacts them personally and learn practical tools to enable them to manage and take responsibility for their stress levels and wellbeing. I suggest this is the most effective place to start rather than waiting for some dramatic 'culture change' at major banks and law firms.

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  • I respect the fact that he was brave enough to speak up and take some time out. Many others would run themselves into the ground for fear of being perceived as weak, and that must have been a real consideration for him. He did the right thing and has set a good example to others. There is more the life than work.

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