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New banking standards body to be launched

POSTED: 2nd June 2014
IN: Industry news
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A new standards body is to be launched with the aim of restoring trust in the banking sector.

A new standards body is to be launched with the aim of restoring trust in the banking sector. undefined

The Banking Standards Review Council (BSRC) will try to rebuild consumer confidence in the wake of controversies such as the payment protection insurance scandal and the 2008 financial crisis.

Set to be chaired by Sir Richard Lambert, the former director general of the Confederation of British Industry, the council will have responsibilities including monitoring the culture of the industry.

It will assess how well employees understand codes of conduct and scrutinise information relating to customer complaints and satisfaction ratings.

The BSRC will be funded by banks but will operate independently from them, meaning it will be able to take disciplinary action in any cases of wrongdoing.

Sir Richard said: "Rebuilding confidence and trust in the banks is especially vital in the UK, because of the size of the banking system and the importance to the economy of London's role as an international capital market."

He also told Reuters that he expects a "good number" of the large international investment banks based in London to support the body.

The plan to improve standards in the industry was backed by Bank of England governor Mark Carney, who urged all banks operating in Britain, foreign and domestic, to get behind the initiative.

Mr Carney said it is crucial to have a financial system that is "safe, fair and acts with integrity".

"The Bank of England is doing its part to ensure safety and soundness," he continued. "Integrity, however, cannot be regulated. It must come from within."

According to a PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) survey released in March this year, less than half (41 per cent) of UK consumers feel a sense of loyalty to their traditional banks, while 35 per cent see challenger banks as a good alternative.

A separate PwC report suggested that over half (55 per cent) of senior retail banking executives around the world see non-traditional financial services providers as a threat to regular banks.

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