Oxford Bank Governance Programme

Developing purposeful and effective bank board leaders

Start date:


  • 5 days

Time commitment:

  • Short programme


  • Oxford


  • £8,500 plus accommodation (£1,200)

About the programme

Develop your ability to lead at board level to build banking institutions that deliver results for today and prepare for sustainable future success.

As banks worldwide seek to re-establish trust whilst competing in an increasingly competitive environment, they must also grapple with new and complex challenges which demand more of leadership. Advances in technology are significantly disrupting the industry, regulators have increased their expectations and demands, and socio-political issues like climate change and social mobility have become increasingly prominent on bank board agendas.

Board members must increasingly demonstrate to regulators and other stakeholders that they have the requisite expertise, and strategic and operational knowledge, to lead banks through turbulent and changing times.

This programme develops purposeful and effective bank directors by drawing together University of Oxford research in areas including leadership, ethics and conduct, reputation, governance, digital transformation, and sustainable finance.

It is designed in partnership with senior banking professionals from commercial and regulatory environments operating in countries all over the world. This enables us to effectively address the challenges of bank leadership today, and those that exist on the horizon. To bring this to life over the course of the week we will consider how existing operating models, across all elements of the business, could be challenged and changed by the impacts of technology, sustainability and regulation.

Introduction to the programme


To you

  • Build on your understanding of current best-practice governance frameworks and their application
  • Enhance your ability to lead the organisation and be an effective member of the board
  • Gain a detailed appreciation of the key areas of financial responsibility within banking, and the regulatory environment in which it operates
  • Gain a greater understanding of future challenges and opportunities in banking
  • Lifetime membership of the Oxford Business Alumni Network

To your organisation

  • Implement a robust and relevant governance structure at the board level of the organisation
  • Prepare the institution for the challenges and opportunities for banking
  • Develop a strategy to deliver sustainable success and growth
  • Develop an effective and responsible organisational culture that supports the future of the institution
  • Ensure that the institution maintains an effective and responsible approach to managing capital, risk and regulation

Programme outline

Day 1 - Governance, leadership and culture

  • Global theories and standards for effective corporate governance in banking
  • Creating resilient banking organisations
  • Understanding the view of regulators and navigating the changing business and regulatory environment
  • What is the board’s role in practice - and what are our legal, social and environmental responsibilities?
  • Developing board culture, and influencing organisational culture
  • Managing brand reputation and franchise at board level

Day 2 - Regulation, capital and liquidity management

  • Global regulatory architecture and developments
  • Bank capital regulation (Basel II/III and CRD IV) and understanding the view of the regulators
  • How do banks effectively respond to crises, and develop robust recovery and resolution plans?
  • Best practice capital and liquidity management

Day 3 – Risk management and financial statements

  • Measuring and managing credit, market and operational risks
  • Understanding the role of internal and external risk factors and managing them effectively
  • What can boards do to scrutinise and question risk management? And what is the regulators perspective on effective risk management?
  • Board awareness of financial statements and understanding issues in financial reporting
  • International developments in financial reporting for banks

Day 4 - Strategy, growth and responsible business

  • Strategic decision making in responding to competitive pressures and the changing market environment
  • Building a responsible and ethical business to drive growth and mitigate risk
  • Understanding market structure and dynamics in search of growth
  • The boards’ role in developing organisational strategy
  • Addressing new challenges and opportunities like climate change through sustainable banking and lending

Day 5 - The future of banking

  • What will the bank of the future look like, and what will its role in society be?
  • Digital disruption and its implications for banking – Big data, FinTech, RegTech, Blockchain, and AI
  • The changing risk landscape – cyber-risk, disintermediation risk, sustainability risks
  • The future of regulation in banking
  • Geo and socio-political developments and their impact on bank strategy and governance


Lifetime membership of the Oxford Business Alumni Network.

Class profile

  • 10+ years of professional experience, specifically in financial services
  • 5+ years in a senior leadership position, ideally advising bank boards
  • Experienced non-executive directors in banking
  • Aspiring non-executive directors in financial services

Why is there a need for Bank Governance?

The role of the board and its members in the banking industry is being challenged. Geo-political uncertainty, increased regulation, and digital disruption are driving banks to rethink their purpose and strategy.

Meet the faculty

The intensive programme is led by academics involved in cutting edge research supported by renowned industry figures who provide practical and tangible insights.

Programme Directors; Amir Amel-Zadeh and Kern Alexander have built on their experience leading similar bank governance programmes in Cambridge, Zurich and London to develop a learning experience combining robust best-practice frameworks with a consideration of the impact of current and future trends.


This report summarises four key themes that have emerged from classroom discussions:

  • Understanding and enacting purpose
  • Board membership and composition
  • Addressing climate change
  • Navigating a changing technological landscape

They highlight concerns for bank directors and showcase the incredible breadth of conversations that are explored on the programme.

Keep up to date and watch all of our previous webinars.

Professor Dr Kern Alexander and Rosa Lastra comment on the role of regulation in encouraging bank boards to manage climate change financial risks - International banking regulation and climate change


Participant experiences


Racheal Agen Tegwi was inspired by active participation of women on the bank governance programme.

In her blog, From Africa to Oxford: how the Bank Governance Programme amplified my ESG voice, she commends the vibrant discussions and unique perspectives from a highly diverse cohort of participants from across the globe with varying roles and seniority levels.


Terms and conditions