The Transparency Task Force has established an Advisory Board.
The first significant step forward was a meeting held in London on 26th June 2018, where several individuals met to discuss ideas on how the Board would function.
The slides used at the meeting can be downloaded by clicking on the PDF icon below:
John Howard appointed Chair
Subsequent to the 26th June meeting John Howard become the Chair of the Advisory Board, as explained in the press release below..
Press Release issued 8th August 2018
John Howard to become the Founding Chair of the Transparency Task Force’s new Advisory Board
John Howard, Former Chair of the Financial Conduct Authority’s Financial Services Consumer Panel is to become the Founding Chair of the Transparency Task Force’s new Advisory Board.
The Transparency Task Force (‘TTF’) is the collaborative, campaigning community, dedicated to driving up the levels of transparency in financial services, right around the world. It currently has 39 ambassadors and over 300 volunteer members from across the UK and global financial services sector.
John Howard joined the BBC as one of the leading voices on Radio 4. He presented documentaries, phone-ins and discussion programmes, winning several awards. He became best known as the consumer’s champion on the daily magazine programme ‘You and Yours’, which he presented for 14 years.
In 1997 he was invited to join the Mortgage Code Compliance Board as an independent director. He subsequently became a member of the Financial Services Consumer Panel, which he chaired for 3 years until 2008.
Between 2006 and 2008 he was a member of the Market Participants Group of CESR, the European committee of securities regulators, and he also joined the Treasury’s Retail Financial Services Group. On stepping down from the Consumer Panel, he joined the Board of the Financial Ombudsman Service and also became a Non Executive Director of the energy Regulator, Ofgem.
In 2010 he was appointed as an Independent Commissioner by the Treasury for the Equitable Life Payments Commission. He served on the With Profits Committee and the Independent Governance Committee of Scottish Widows. He was a Trustee of the Thalidomide Trust. He is currently Vice Chair and Senior Independent Director of the Family Building Society and a Non Executive Director of the Banking Competition Remedies Company. He is Chief Executive of the company he founded, Consumer Insights, which provides advice on principles based regulation and fairness in the financial, energy and water sectors.
Andy Agathangelou, Founding Chair of the Transparency Task Force commented:
“The Transparency Task Force has been building momentum as a force for good in the financial services sector for over three years now, helping to ensure that consumers get treated fairly. We are a collaborative community that is being taken seriously by Regulators, Trade Bodies, Professional Associations, Civil Society Groups and all the key actors in this space; and we have grown to the point that an Advisory Board is now needed to formally shape our purpose and strategy moving forward.
Andy Agathangelou continues, “It is important that we assemble a great team and all great teams need a great leader. All those who know John Howard will immediately understand why he is the perfect person to take on such an important role for us. He has had an authentic, high-profile, pro-consumer world view for decades. We are honoured that John wants to help lead us forward.”
Talking about his new appointment, John Howard said:
“There can be no doubt that the financial ecosystem is profoundly important to the wellbeing of society, the global economy and political stability; so it has always been obvious to me that consumers must get treated fairly. The Transparency Task Force has got off to a very good start and I am pleased to have the opportunity to help take it to the next level.
“We are going to be busy recruiting members for the Advisory Board and I’m pleased to say there is healthy interest in this development, with many people volunteering to help the Transparency Task Force realise its full potential as a force for good. The idea of a pro-consumer community that works collaboratively to make the financial services sector fairer, more transparent, more trustworthy and thereby more successful resonates with many people in the sector; and so it should. Anybody interested in helping should get in touch.”
Establishing the membership of the Advisory Board
The next major step was for John Howard to selectively reach out to key individuals to recruit members of the Advisory Board.
We were delighted with how that went; here they are:
Jamie Lindsay is currently a member of the House of Lords EU Sub-Committee on Financial Affairs, Chairman of UKAS (the UK’s National Accreditation Body) and BPI Pension Trustees Ltd, Non-Executive Director of Brockwell Energy Ltd., and Advisor to RPC/BPI plc and 3R Energy.
Jamie’s career has included a number of senior Public, Private and NGO sector appointments. He is a former Government Minister and has since advised governments of all political hues in roles such as Deputy Chairman of the Better Regulation Commission, Joint Chair of the Risk & Regulation Advisory Council and membership of the Better Regulation Strategy Group.
He has served as a Non-Exec Director at BPI plc, Scottish Resources Group (SRG) Ltd and UA Group plc, and as Chairman of SRUC/SAC Commercial Ltd, SQS, ABM Ltd., FCI Ltd. and GQA Ltd. Jamie is currently President of the Chartered Quality Institute and Vice President of the Trading Standards Institute amongst other NGO roles.
He has a Master’s Degree (Economic History) from the University of Edinburgh and an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Glasgow.
“I am pleased to be a part of TTF’s Advisory Board because there is universal shared interest in fair, safe, stable and efficient financial goods and services.”
Affectionately known as JB, Jon Beckett was a well known and outspoken professional fund investor and analyst for two decades until he retired in 2018 including the world’s largest single asset mandate (£189bn) for Lloyds Banking Group where he was also co-Lead if it’s Responsible Investing framework for the Insurance division.
As a Non Executive Director (NED) JB continues to be a vocal campaigner for better fund governance and value. A campaigner for professionalism and better standards in fund investing and due diligence; as Emeritus of the Association of Professional Fund Investors he previously led a global team to tackle issues arising from transparency, sustainability and technology. As Author of ‘#NewFundOrder’ and Co-Author of ‘The WealthTec Book’ and ‘Paytech Book’ JB has been a thought leader in the digitalisation and sustainability of asset management, speaking and writing globally.
A dedicated educator, JB is a guest lecturer at Stirling and Herriot Watt Universities and has written textbooks up to NQ Level 7 for the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investments, with which he is Chartered and a member of its disciplinary panel. He is a member of the Stirling Student Investment Managed Fund oversight committee and a NED for Royal London and SVM Limited.
"I’m excited to be a part of TTF’s Advisory Board. This is a great opportunity to lead and reform the asset management industry. Finance is capable of delivering a sustainable and purposeful capital model yet frequently falls short of the fiduciary test when poor practises are left to fester in the shadows."
Margaret is a Pensions Professional and experienced Non-Executive Director, focused on good outcomes and high-quality services that don’t cost the earth.
She is a Non-Executive Director of the Pensions Regulator and an Independent Non-Executive Director of XPS Pensions Group plc. She is also an Independent Non Exec Director of the Phoenix Group With Profits Committees, having previously served as a Member of their IGC for almost three years. She previously held Partner and Director level positions with leading employee benefit and financial services companies.
She is Chairman of the Pensions Administration Standards Association and also Chair of the Monitoring Board on Incentive Exercises and chairs the Pension Scams Industry Group that developed the Combating Pension Scams Code of Good Practice. She is a Governor and member of the Council of the Pensions Policy Institute and is a Fellow and former Vice President of the PMI as well as Fellow and past Chairman of The Pensions Advisory Service. She has recently joined the Pensions Advice Taskforce set up by the PFS to improve ethical standards in transfers advice through a Code of Good Practice.
Margaret was an independent member of the Steering Group for the original HM Treasury Pensions Dashboard project and continues to advise DWP on the topic.
Margaret was appointed an OBE in 2010 and was, uniquely, for seven years running named as one of the Top 50 Influential People in Pensions and was awarded for her outstanding contribution to the pensions industry by the PMI in 2012. In 2013 she was listed as one of the Top 100 Women in Finance in Europe, in 2014 was named Pensions Personality of the Year and in 2017 was voted “Industry Champion”. In 2018, she was voted the inaugural Pensions Woman of the Year.
“I’m pleased to be a part of TTF’s Advisory Board because transparency is the key foundation for consumers, whether big or small, to be able to make informed decisions. Without transparency, there can be no honesty and therefore no trust, so to restore confidence in the financial sector, we all must do our utmost to be clear and open."
David Weeks was elected as Co-Chair of the Association of Member Nominated Trustees (AMNT) in 2016. He has served on the committee since 2014.
"I am pleased to be part of TTF's Advisory Board because of the significant work that the organisation started, and continues to carry out, in putting the important topic of costs and charges under scrutiny”
Head of Thought, Contexis Index CIC,
CEO, Contexis Ltd
John believes passionately in the power of clear purpose and entrepreneurial thinking to unlock the potential and performance of people and organisations.
John’s companies work with business leaders in big organisations to clarify and implement strategy and transform the way their organisations think. John writes and speaks on purpose, ethics and entrepreneurship and has been a guest lecturer at Cranfield, Henley and Cambridge Judge Business Schools. He has authored two books on entrepreneurship and, a long time ago, was runner-up in IoD Director of the Year.
His main interest in recent years has been to pursue the ‘holy grail’ of measuring the commercial impact of purpose and showing exactly how it drives performance in real businesses in real time.
He has worked closely with leading academics at Cambridge and Plymouth Universities to deliver this ambitious goal, the Contexis IndexÒ, through a social enterprise company.
"I am pleased to join TTF’s Advisory Board because, over a 30-year career spent in both global corporations including Unilever and Diageo and as CEO of several of entrepreneurial and start-up businesses, I have observed that effective, agile and entrepreneurial leadership, able to execute strategy and inspire organisations to deliver it comes from a clear sense of purpose, executed with courage, transparency and integrity."
House of Lords
Ros Altmann is a pensions expert with over 35 years’ experience in all aspects of pensions. She was elevated to the House of Lords by David Cameron to become Minister of State for Pensions after the 2015 General Election and served until July 2016.
She was the UK Government’s Business Champion for Older Workers from 2014 to 2015 and was Director General of over-50s specialists Saga from 2010 to 2013. Ros was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2014 for services to Pensioners and Pension Provision.
For many years, Ros has championed pensions justice and led a successful campaign to help 150,000 people receive compensation when their occupational pension schemes collapsed. Her work was instrumental in setting up the system of UK pension protection.
She appears regularly in the media and writes and comments on economics, pensions, later life and consumer matters. She has won numerous awards, including Pensions Personality of the Year (twice) and Industry Guru of the Year.
Initially working as an academic analysing occupational pensions and pensioner income, she then began a City career managing pension fund assets. She ran the international equities investment operation at Chase Manhattan Bank, London and was a Director at N.M. Rothschild and NatWest.
After having her children, she started an independent consultancy, advising Governments, the pensions industry and pension funds on policy and investment strategy, including sitting on several pension fund boards and investment committees.
Ros has a Ph.D. in Economics from London School of Economics and was a Kennedy Scholar at Harvard. She also has two honorary doctorates awarded for her work on pension investment from Westminster University Business School and Newcastle University.
"As transparency and good governance are so important to members’ pension outcomes, I am pleased to be part of the TTF Advisory Board."
UN Global Compact UK
Steve is the Executive Director of the UN Global Compact Network UK; a position he has held since 2007. The Global Compact is the UN’s corporate sustainability initiative. It calls upon participants to align their operations and strategies with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption.
The UK Network coordinates UN Global Compact activity for 185 UK-based member organisations. The Network facilitates learning, knowledge exchange, and networking, while promoting the UN Global Compact and advocating for business engagement in sustainable development.
Previously, Steve was a Programme Director at the International Business Leaders Forum where he contributed to projects across a wide range of themes including: business & human rights, water stewardship, fighting malaria, inclusive business, social enterprise, and climate change. He was also the Managing Director of a successful retail sporting goods venture.
Steve attended the University of British Columbia where he earned a Bachelor of Commerce. He also completed Imperial College’s MSc in Environmental Technology programme, completing the Business and the Environment specialisation with distinction.
“I’m pleased to be a part of TTF’s Advisory Board because I believe TTF can be an effective driver of much needed change in the financial services sector."
Director of Policy,
Heather Buchanan is the Director of Policy for the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Fair Business Banking.
The APPG is one of the largest cross-party parliamentary groups, with over 120 members.The Group is currently campaigning to reform the dispute resolution landscape for businesses in the UK, including calling for the establishment of a Financial Services Tribunal, and for a public inquiry into the treatment of businesses in turnaround units.
Heather is also the lead on commercial finance for the Transparency Task Force’s (TTF) Banking Team and is a member of the panel of TTF’s Financial Stability Team. Heather was on the Steering Committee of the Banking Futures project and is a member of the UK Finance SME Advisory Group.
She has also contributed to the Lending Standards Board Standards of Lending Practice for Business Customers, and regularly advises MPs, peers, Government departments, regulators, trade bodies and civil society on the commercial relationships between businesses and their lenders.
“I’m pleased to be part of TTF’s Advisory Board because I have seen first-hand the human consequences of the lack of transparency in the commercial lending market. The TTF will be a key driver to change this in the future.”
Cambridge Judge Business School
David is Co-Author of ‘The Purpose of Finance’, ‘What they do with your Money’ and several other books. He Co-Chaired the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative, and led the Royal Society of Arts Tomorrow's Investor Project. David is the Treasurer of Oxfam, a Board-member at NESTA and is recognised globally as a leading thinker and practitioner in the field of responsible investment and business practice.
David is a winner of the Transparency Trophy and his ground-breaking work on 'Purpose' was the initial inspiration behind the creation of Team PISCES. David is a frequent speaker at TTF events.
Gavin explores the impact of data and the web on business, society and culture.
Amongst many other things he is involved with important, pioneering work that is highly relevant to the mitigation of climate change risk; highly relevant to the topic of financial stability.
Gavin has co-created over a dozen data-driven organisations to bring multidisciplinary leadership to the digital age. These have addressed data infrastructure, policy, science, communications, innovation and skills across fintech, climate change, supply-chain management, modern slavery, the circular economy, digital media, telecoms, machine learning, blockchain and the internet of things.
He co-chaired the development of the Open Banking Standard and was founding CEO of the Open Data Institute.
He is currently convening federated partnership programmes to help address the Sustainable Development Goals; is Advisory Board Chairman at blockchain company, Provenance.org; Non-exec at circular-economy IoT company, CupClub; Trustee at environmental charity, Blue Ventures; Chairman at Rinse Media Group; strategic advisor to governments, for-profit and non-profit companies who create global impact with data.
Gavin was the Open Data Institute's founding CEO, working with Sir Nigel Shadbolt and Sir Tim Berners-Lee. Under his leadership, it unlocked over $100M of direct economic impact, incubated over 50 companies, launched franchises across 20 countries, trained 6,000 people, recruited a world-class board and team, and grew its turnover to $7M/y in under three years.
In 2015, at the request of HM Treasury, he co-chaired the development of the Open Banking Standard, laying the foundations for regulation and catalysing international innovation.
He served on the Data, Science and Evidence advisory board of the Ministry of Justice and the Smart London Board reporting to the Mayor’s office.
He has been creating businesses for over 20 years, leading projects with organisations such as Arup, Cap Gemini and the World Bank. He has been recognised as one of the most influential people in data: winning awards for his innovation and expertise, and providing Parliamentary Select Committee evidence.
He is a regular international speaker on the topic of the web of data and its impact on society.
His previous ventures include: organising the world’s environmental data and standards into an open web-service, AMEE, raising over $10M from leading VCs (sold 2015); chairing development of the first Gold Standard Carbon Offset; building the world’s leading digital music distributor, CI, the first company to deliver digital products to iTunes, and sent Amazon 25% of its download store at launch; creating award-winning streaming media company, Tornado in 1999 (sold 2003); joining Branson’s Virgin Net as employee #5 in 1995 to deliver Virgin Net (now Virgin Media).
At Jodrell Bank Radio Observatory, Gavin helped develop systems designed to map and interpret the Universe. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, created courses and lectured in Engineering and Music at Glasgow University, and has degrees in both Astronomy and in Electronic Music (on which he has published research & released ab album) He converted a century-old ship to live aboard and built a cooperative historic harbour on the Thames to put it on.
“I’m pleased to be on TTF’s Advisory Board because transparency not only builds trust, it creates more stability around our core infrastructure and, in the digital age, opens up potential for global innovation”
Business Development Director,
First Actuarial and also Founder of Pension PlayPen
I’ve been an advocate for transparency and the Transparency Task Force since its inception. I demonstrate this through my eponymous blog (henrytapper.com), First Actuarial, Pension PlayPen and most recently AgeWage.
I got an MA from Cambridge in English Literature and after a short spell in the Icelandic Merchant Navy I’ve worked all my life in financial services; - as an adviser, salesman and latterly an entrepreneur.
I have variously worked as an IFA, a benefit consultant and as the Head of Sales for Zurich Assurance. I see myself as mid-career.
I have been an enthusiastic adopter of social media where I am thought “well connected”.
"I’m pleased to be on TTF’s Advisory Board because transparency is the best way to restore people’s confidence in financial services - pensions in particular."
Julia is known for her longstanding experience in and passion for retail, sustainable, responsible and ethical investment. She now runs her own business, SRI Services, that specialises in raising the profile of this area. Much of this work focuses on Fund EcoMarket the open to all, whole of market, (fund manager sponsored) fund tool that brings together information on SRI, ESG and related funds.
Its primary purpose is to help financial services intermediaries to understand these funds options and help users match funds to diverse client aims. Her other work includes consultancy, events, media and responding to policy consultations.
Julia was recently re-elected to the UKSIF board director and is on the TTF advisory board.
Julia’s career in financial began at NPI in 1989. She later moved to Friends Provident where she worked for 12 years as SRI (Sustainable & Responsible Investment) Marketing Manager. She served on the UKSIF main board from 2002 – 09 where she chaired their highly successful retail sub-committee and helped set up Good Money Week. Her work was Highly Commended in the Corporation of London Sustainable City awards in 2015.
As Executive Director, Fran has led the UK and international expansion of Positive Money, a non-profit think tank, which campaigns for systemic change of the money and banking system to support a fair, sustainable, and democratic economy.
Positive Money Europe launched in 2018, and Positive Money US will launch in early 2019. Committed to wider financial reform, she is also a Director of Finance Watch, and a Senior Fellow at the Finance Innovation Lab.
Fran was also recognised as one of the most 'Inspirational Women in the City' 2017 by Brummell Magazine. Fran has an MSci and PhD from Cambridge University in Geophysics. Fran has also worked at various international organisations including the UN, Greenpeace, and BP.
The People's Pension
Sue is an independent Board member and consultant. She is a Trustee Director at The People’s Pension, a leading UK multi-employer scheme. She is also a Trustee of UK national charities StepChange debt charity, the FairBanking Foundation and Surviving Economic Abuse. Until December 2018, Sue chaired the Financial Services Consumer Panel, an independent statutory body that advises the UK Financial Conduct Authority on consumer issues in financial services regulation.
Sue is a member representative on the EIOPA Occupational Pensions Stakeholder Group, and was previously a member of of the European Commission’s Financial Services User Group. She is also a consultant specialising in financial education, financial inclusion and consumer protection regulation, working with international organisations such as the OECD and Alliance for Financial Inclusion.
Sue was previously a senior civil servant, working in HM Treasury, the Cabinet Office and Department for Education.
Sue has a B.Sc degree in Mathematics and a Masters degree in Statistical Methods.
Leader of the Ark Pension Scam Group, A leader of the Transparency Task Force's Anti-Scams Special Interest Group, Director of Reborn Recycling
Sue Flood has worked in the Television Industry since 2001, starting out at Television Centre and progressing through a successful TV programme-making career that included various roles such as Researcher for Top of the Pops, Celebrity Guest Liaison, Location Sourcing, Production Budget, Sales and Promotions (including through BBC Worldwide with responsibility for selling all BBC Programmes to all 130 Global TV Stations Worldwide).
Her roles at the BBC meant she worked with a wide range of household name VIP celebrities including Muhammed Ali, Robert Redford, Mel Gibson, Richard Gere, Terry Wogan, Chevy Chase, Joan Collins, David Bowie, Cher, Bob Monkhouse, Madonna, Kylie Minogue, Tom Jones, Debbie Harry, Donna Summer, Linda Ronstadt, Stevie Nicks, Van Morrison, Seal, Bryan Adams, Bette Midler, Lenny Kravitz, Mariah Carey, Cliff Richard, Paul Weller, Bruce Springsteen, Jamiroquai, Robbie Williams, The Spice Girls, Rowan Atkinson, Kate Bush, Joanna Lumley, Queen, Elton John, UB40, The Who, Rod Stewart, various Presidents of the United States of America and many, many more.
Sue has also had senior roles at BUT Music Group, and her volunteer roles have included raising awareness for disabled models for inclusion in the Fashion, Industry and raising awareness for retired Polo Ponies with CEO Sarah Coleman.
More recently, Sue flood has become a key figure in helping to prevent people falling victim to pension fraudsters, having become a victim herself. Sue lost here entire pension fund; along with over 500 other victims of the Ark Pension Scandal. Her response was to set up a campaign group which she has tirelessly supported ever since. She is now also involved in supporting numerous other pension scam victims and pension scam support groups.
She has unique insight and experience in the pensions scam prevention and support space and her relentless campaigning has led to interaction with the House of Commons, the House of Lords and the Financial Conduct Authority – watch this space.
Sue is also highly supportive of the Transparency Task Force; for which she is a central figure in our Anti-Scams Special Interest Group, an Ambassador and a member of the Transparency Task Force Advisory Board.
The inaugural meeting of TTF's Advisory Board took place on 25th September 2018, as explained in the press release below:
Press Release issued 26th September 2018
Transparency Task Force Announces Advisory Board
The Transparency Task Force (‘TTF’) yesterday held the Inaugural Meeting of its Advisory Board in the heart of the City of London.
TTF is the collaborative, campaigning community, dedicated to driving up the levels of transparency in financial services, right around the world. It currently has 45 ambassadors and over 350 volunteer members from across the UK and global financial services sector.
Chairman of TTF’s Advisory Board, John Howard (former Chair of the FCA’s Financial Services Consumer Panel and presenter of BBC Radio 4’s pro-consumer You and Yours programme) has described the Advisory Board as a ‘Dream Team’.
Talking about the Advisory Board, John Howard said:
“There is a universal shared interest in having a transparent and fair financial services sector that works hard to deliver value for money to consumers whilst also encouraging changes in the behaviour of market participants that will rebuild trust. It is therefore only right and proper that the Transparency Task Force’s Advisory Board be highly diverse but totally united in wanting to positively reform the system.
“We have deliberately set out to create an ‘all walks of life’ Board and we’re confident we have done that. The Board’s diversity has already led to meaningful discussion and debate, for example in exploring key questions such as what the Transparency Task Force should aspire to become. In my view, the organisation has enormous potential as a force for good and for the sake of the integrity of the financial system we have a collective duty to realise as much of that potential as possible. We are all volunteers in the wider TTF community, who are motivated to initiate a much-needed cultural shift in financial services.”
The members of the Advisory Board are:
Advisory Board Inaugural Meeting Agenda
Time and place:
16:00 to 18:00 (with optional networking and refreshments after) on Tuesday 25thSeptember at the Board Room of Newgate Communications, Sky Light City Tower,50 Basinghall Street, London EC2V 5DE
2. General thoughts about the TTF - open discussion
3. General thoughts about what the TTF should aspire to become - open discussion
4. General thoughts on what the TTF Advisory Board should focus on - open discussion
5. AOB - open discussion
5. Scheduling the next meeting
6. Confirmation of agreed actions, if any
7. Optional networking and refreshments through to 18:30
The Great Divide
You can read the speech by Andrew G. Haldane, FAcSS (the Bank of England's Chief Economist and Executive Director of Monetary Analysis and Statistics) that he gave on 18th May 2016 at the New City Agenda Annual dinner.
The speech is entitled The Great Divide and it is a first class explanation of why the trust deficit really matters and why it makes sense to try to do something about it.
Please click on the green button to access it; if you're not convinced of its relevance to our initiative, here's part of it:
..."The most important and compelling message the Bank received at the Open Forum came in the first session. The Bank had conducted some polling of perceptions of the financial sector – for example, by asking people what one word best described the future of financial markets. Among the Bank’s usual contacts, including those in the financial sector, the most used word was “regulated”. Many of us will have heard that message from financial insiders concerned about the perils of over-zealous regulators.
For me, the more revealing responses came from the general public, from the customers, rather than the producers, of financial services. The word most used by them when describing financial markets was a rather different one: it was “corrupt”. Not far behind were words like “manipulated”, “self-serving”, “destructive” and “greedy”. I am sure many of you have heard those messages too. They are certainly ones I have encountered frequently on my visits around the country."...
Please click the green button below to access the full speech. If you need to read another piece first, here it is:
..."At least until recently many economists like me, when faced with this evidence, might have shrugged our shoulders. Social capital had no real role in our models of economic growth, unlike physical capital and human capital. Trust did not butter our parsnips and nor did it enter our production functions.
Recently, however, that orthodoxy has changed and the importance of trust has become clearer.
Evidence has emerged, both micro and macro, to suggest trust may play a crucial role in value creation. At the micro level, there is now ample evidence the degree of trust or social capital within a company contributes positively to its value creation capacity.
At the macro level, there is now a strong body of evidence, looking across a large range of countries and over long periods of time, that high levels of trust and co-operation are associated with higher economic growth.
Put differently, a lack of trust jeopardises one of finance’s key societal functions – higher growth.
Those social capital effects appear to be particularly potent when it comes to financial decisions. Evidence suggests that a lack of trust leads people to retreat from the stock market and banks and to move towards cash holdings and informal sources of credit, such as payday lenders and loan sharks. That jeopardises the second key benefit of finance to society – improved risk-sharing by households and companies.
So a lack of trust in finance potentially hobbles both economic growth and financial stability.
That lack of trust is the mirror-image of the perception gap between the financial sector and wider society, the Great Divide.
The Great Divide matters because it signals a pronounced and protracted erosion of social capital. It puts finance on notice for losing its social licence. And, unaddressed, that jeopardises future wealth and well-being."...
Please click on the green button to access the full speech. If you're not yet convinced you should, here's a final snippet:
..." As a survey in 2013 of financial professionals found, rather remarkably, that over half believed their competitors engaged in illegal or unethical behaviour. A smaller, but still high, fraction of 24% believed their own company engaged in such practices. Similar percentages believed their industry did not fulfil its fiduciary function of putting clients’ interests first.
The significance of these findings is not the precise percentages, as striking as these are.
More fundamentally, it is because of what they reveal about finance’s perception of itself, the mirror it holds to the social identity of finance."...
Click onto the button below to access the full speech; you'll be glad you did, it's profoundly thought-provoking for anybody interested in the future of the financial services industry:
If you are not already on the right page and want to read about our major international project to help rebuild trustworthiness and confidence in financial services, click on the orange button below: