The Banking Standards Review from Sir Richard Lambert proposes an independent body that will champion better banking standards. What’s not to like? But before anything can happen it has posed 19 questions on ethics, training, the assessment of a bank’s code of conduct, best practice, competence and much more.
Sir Richard wants the body to raise standards of competence and conduct in banking but it is likely to fail abysmally if it becomes a “members organisation for bankers.”
How can the markets and more importantly the customers begin to trust banks if their new body is little more than a gentlemen’s club?
We will be sending Sir Richard our own answers to his questions in the next few days and probably posing a few questions of our own. Until banks deal properly with customers who have a complaint the proposed independent body does not have a chance of convincing us that bankers have mended their ways.
It seems that too many banks refuse to acknowledge their shortcomings until forced to do so by the Financial Ombudsman or the courts. If they were trying to deal ethically and honestly with customers then complaints would be sorted out in branch or at least within the bank.
If the new body is to have a chance of gaining the confidence of the public and the markets it will need to listen to non-bankers and to demonstrate what practices it has outlawed. Otherwise it’s all just so much cockney rhyming slang.
Can banks police their own standards? Have your say