Byfield Chairman, Richard Elsen, was quoted in The Times at the weekend following former Lehman Brothers' chairman and chief executive Dick Fuld's expression of 'no regrets' over the bank's collapse which ignited the world economic crisis in 2008.

It is not unheard of for a business leader to demonstrate a complete lack of remorse following a crisis. More common, however, is an apology that is offered too late or seems disingenuous. Thomas Cook CEO Harriet Green's recent offer to pay her bonus to a charity some nine years after the deaths of two children - Christie and Bobbi Wood - while on a Thomas Cook holiday in Corfu was described by the children's mother as 'abhorrent.'

During a crisis, avoiding reputational damage should be high on a business's list of priorities. Acting with humility and, where necessary, apologising early on costs nothing but can go a long way to soften public opinion. After all, mistakes happen all the time, but it is how we handle them that matters.