Reactions to the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards

IN: Business news

There were vocal reactions yesterday, as the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards released its long-awaited 'Changing Banking for Good Report'.

The 553-page document, which outlined a number of recommendations for the future of the finance industry in the United Kingdom, called for more competition in the banking sector, as well as the need for a culture change in the profession.

Below, Aldermore has highlighted the thoughts from a number of key industry figures:

Phillip Monks, Chief Executive, Aldermore Bank

"We strongly welcome the Commission's recommendations to increase competition in banking. There can be no clearer indication that the Government is serious about improving the banking system for SMEs and retail customers than if it was to adopt the proposal to include a competition objective in the PRA's remit. We could not agree more with the Commission in this regard."

John Allan, National Chairman, Federation of Small Businesses

"With the concentration of banking in the last 20 years, real competition and choice has all but vanished. More competition is needed across the sector, not just in retail banks but from alternative providers, if access to finance is to improve for small firms and for innovation to flourish."

Sir Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England

"Changing the ethics and culture of banking is a precondition of restoring trust. As the Commission's Report shows, the sheer size and complexity of global banks have led to failures of governance."

Ed Balls, Shadow Chancellor

"Britain needs reformed banks to work for the economy, serve their customers and better support businesses for the long term. That's why the Government, Parliament and the banks must act without delay on the report's recommendations."

Lord McFall, member of the banking standards commission

"All the scandals of banking - and there seems to be a fresh one with every new page we turned - can be reduced to one, namely that of the customer coming last…The day when a chair or chief executive of a bank receives a "Thanks, I trust you" letter from a customer will be the day when the industry has turned the corner."

Niles Pratley, The Guardian

"Most of all, though, it's vital that the commission's proposals are implemented. The quickest way is to table amendments in the Lords to the current Banking Reform Bill. The chancellor should give his blessing."

Dr Roger Barker, Director of Corporate Governance and Professional Standards, Institute of Directors

"We also welcome the Commission's desire to encourage more new entrants into the banking sector. Competition can be much more effective than regulation at improving customer experience and driving innovation."

Richard Lloyd, executive director, Which?

"There also needs to be genuine competition between the banks and a distinctive offer for customers."

Harry Wilson, The Telegraph

"The lack of competition in the British retail banking industry has frequently been cited as one of the industry's biggest problems, with new challengers failing to make inroads on established players, who effectively operate an oligopoly."

James Day, Ingenious Britain

"Thoughts of reform are great - way overdue - particularly interested in the study of competition in the SME banking sector."

John Cridland, Director General, CBI

"There's no way we'll get the economy firing on all cylinders again without a healthy banking system. The best way to restore public trust in banking is by putting customers first and by boosting competition."

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