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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

An Oath for Bankers

ResPublica, a think tank, has come up with the bizarre recommendation that in order for public trust in the banks to be  restored bankers should swear an oath.

Director at ResPublica, Philip Blond, is quoted by the BBC:
"As countless scandals demonstrate, virtue is distinctly absent from our banking institutions. 

Britain's bankers lack a sense of ethos and the institutions they work for lack a clearly defined social purpose."
An extract from the oath says:
"I will do my utmost to behave in a manner that prioritises the needs of customers. 

It is my first duty to provide an exemplary quality of service to my customers and to exhibit a duty of care above and beyond what is required by law....

..I will confront profligacy and impropriety wherever I encounter it, for the conduct of bankers can have dramatic consequence for society."
All very well and nice, but to whom do the bankers swear this oath?

BBA executive director for financial policy and operations, Paul Chisnall, said:
"Restoring trust and confidence is the banking industry's number one priority.

But meaningful cultural change in an industry as complex and diverse as banking takes time....

..very well could be part of the answer".
An oath of course would mean absolutely nothing, and would entail a very small administrative burden. Hence the fact that the BBA rather likes the idea!

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