Word on the web

How the banking sector can enhance its image and be a force for good is concentrating the minds of industry experts

Can banking clean up its act?
The report by Sir Richard Lambert FCSI(Hon) on how banks can achieve high standards of competence and behaviour has provided plenty of food for thought for the sector. So can bankers mend their ways and their reputations? This was a question asked by Lionel Barber, Financial Times Editor, in the recent City lecture he gave at the University of Cambridge.

Barber commented that banks today are operating in a new regulatory world that will significantly reduce their return on equity and profit margins, creating a paradox. “The crash and its resolution has led to the creation of even larger banks than before,” he explained. “This in turn has increased the ‘too big to fail’ problem and moral hazard which the regulators have so far failed to resolve.”

Read more about Lionel Barber's lecture

Why finance giants should bank on sustainability
Banks can lead the way in driving sustainable development, suggests Huw Maggs from think-tank SustainAbility.

He says: “The unique capabilities of multinational banks, principally the large universal and investment banks, make these entities key enablers in the shift to more equitable distribution of income and the long-term investments needed to support more sustainable development.”

SustainAbility, Maggs added, has observed “pockets of good practice” in corporate sustainability emerging among multinational banks.
Find out more about SustainAbility's suggestions

 How the global economy became more equal – thanks to capitalism
Capitalism is hailed as a force for good by Paul Ormerod, an economist at Volterra Partners, which he claims has helped create a global economy that is more equal.

“The past 50 years have seen a huge movement towards a much more equal world,” writes Ormerod in City AM. “And it is precisely the institutional structure of capitalism – of companies motivated, at least in part, by profit, operating in a market-oriented system – which has brought this about.”

See more on this story at City AM

Seen a blog, news story or discussion online that you think might interest CISI members? Email lawrence.cohen@wardour.co.uk

Published: 28 May 2014
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