Virtuous Banking: Placing ethos and purpose at the heart of finance



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Publication Details

A new ResPublica publication

On Tuesday 29th July at the Financial Times, ResPublica launched its report, Virtuous Banking: Placing ethos and purpose at the heart of finance, with a keynote speech by Sir Richard Lambert, Chair of the Banking Standards Review.

The banking industry is Britain’s great economic and social enabler. Given the capacity of our banks and building societies to promote growth and empower communities, our financial institutions have the potential to be society’s most transformative institutions. Yet this view is not the commonly-held view amongst the general public. The last financial crash highlighted an insidious culture in the industry that revered short-term profiteering over long-term prosperity. Because of this, and despite much reform, ordinary people remain unconvinced of the social worth of our banks.

Virtuous Banking: Placing ethos and purpose at the heart of finance argues that regulators and the industry must make it a first priority to restore the civic purpose of our banking institutions. In the report, we suggest that the key to this lies in promoting financial diversity amongst banking models and by fostering leadership in the industry through the introduction of new standard institutions.

This report states that the purpose of our banks is to serve their customers well, be they individual consumers or businesses, and to support the communities they live in. Only once this civic purpose has been restored can current attempts at banking reform be considered truly complete.

  • Professor Roger Steare

    Strategic Advisor to Ernst & Young LLP

    Professor Roger Steare is Corporate Philosopher in Residence and Professor of Organizational Ethics at the Cass Business School, City University. As well as teaching ethics, he conducts extensive research on human character, judgement and behaviour, and has published papers based...

    Professor Roger Steare
  • David Llewellyn

    Contributing Author

    Professor David Llewellyn, Professor of Money and Banking at Loughborough University, is also currently Chairman of the Board of the Banking Stakeholder Group at the European Banking Authority (EBA). He has published widely in the area of financial regulation, acted...

    David Llewellyn
  • Jessica Trevellick

    Contributing Author

    Jessica Trevellick is a Senior Researcher at ResPublica. Jessica began her career at Santander where she held positions in retail banking and asset management. She then moved to the Financial Services Authority and has worked in regulation ever since. She...

    Jessica Trevellick
  • Adam Wildman

    Principal Research Consultant

    Adam originally joined ResPublica as a Research Manager in  2013 and rejoined in 2016 as a Principal Research Consultant. He mostly co-ordinates ResPublica’s research output on business and the economy. His coming work will focus on EU reform, the future...

    Adam Wildman