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UK Banking Stakeholders Offer Recommendations To Rebuild Reputation

uk banksSenior bankers, sector experts and investors have created a report with recommendations to revive the UK banking sector after consulting and holding discussing with over 200 stakeholders. The recommendations are aimed at measures needed to regain trust which the sector has lost over years due to scandals and scams, starting with the financial crisis back in 2008.

The report entitled ‘Banking On Trust’ was released at the start of February 2016 and is backed by the newly appointed head of Financial Control Authority (ex-Deputy Governor of Bank of England), Andrew Bailey.

In a statement, Andrew Bailey, the head of the Financial Conduct Authority said,

The financial crisis was a painful reminder that commercial banks should operate for the good of the public, their customers. Now we must tackle the question of what banking system we do want. Banking Futures is an important initiative involving a wide group of stakeholders. It has a call to leadership, to respect customers and to support our economy.

The report was developed after a six-month process of consultations with over 200 key stakeholders in the banking sector which included senior regulators, fund managers, Chief Investment Officers, Chief Financial Officers from some of the major banks, financial institutions and bank employees.

According to the report, mistrust in banking is pervasive and the sector has a lot to do before societal, investor, consumer and regulatory trust is regained. The report also states that banking reform is not just a regulatory one but also a cultural one and so necessitates principled leadership in banks to participate in discussions on creating a healthy system.

The document has identified key tensions that still persist in the banking sector such as the notion that banks are too big to fail. Other issues highlighted included a lack of competition and following a culture that relied more on the short term than one that adopted a long term perspective.

Some of the recommendations proposed by the report include recognizing and serving the current and future needs of the nation’s economy. It also suggested that banking leaders commit to a public consultation process with regulators, consumers, civil society by which they would be able to get an understanding of how the sector can improve service to its customers.

The report builds on an earlier consultation analysis that was carried out by the BankingFutures Working Group. Financial authorities in UK have been taking a number of measures in recent times to reform practices in the sector. Recent attempts have included making senior managers accountable for irregularities in their institution and following stress tests conducted by the Bank of England that try to establish if banks have enough capital to handle any financial shocks.

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