Payment for Introductions
The TTF Mission and our “North Star” question
The Mission of the Transparency Task Force is:
Helping to protect consumers’ financial interests by reforming financial services, so the public get a better deal; and trustworthiness and confidence can be restored.
We do this in many ways, such as:
Everything we do is in keeping with what we call our “North Star” question; it’s a question that guides all our actions and all our thinking.
Our North Star question is as simple as it is important; and it is:
“What’s best for the consumer?”
How would the Payment for Introductions Initiative work in Practice?
From time to time we encounter individuals and organisations that are doing something that is authentically aligned with what the Transparency Task Force is all about.
Sometimes, we feel genuinely enthusiastic about what they do, because one way or another it is or has the potential to help drive the positive, progressive and purposeful market reform that we and our community as a whole want to see.
We routinely and very frequently make introductions within the TTF community in the hope and belief that by making such connections we can bring together like-minded people that may have a common interest or a particular reason to want to be aware of each other.
We enjoy making these connections, it’s a positive thing to do and we know our role in bringing people together is always appreciated.
Sometimes, there is the potential for financial gain for the TTF as a consequence of such introductions, for example if a sale is made as a consequence of the introduction; and the organisation that makes the sale is happy to pay a commission/introducer’s fee or similar to the Transparency Task Force for the part it played in making the connection.
Such payments would require an introducer’s agreement to be in place.
This initiative is about the idea that subject to certain conditions we are happy to enter into what amounts to a commercial agreement with organisations that have products and services that are authentically aligned to what the TTF is all about and where we are well-placed to help promote what they do to relevant contacts.
What are our motivations for developing this initiative?
Our motivations for developing this initiative and being involved in a commercial manner with certain organisations are:
#1. We need to develop as many legitimate revenue streams as we can to help keep us afloat financially. The simple truth is that we cannot achieve our aims and objectives if we don’t exist and if we don’t raise enough money to operate, we cannot survive; it’s as simple as that. The opportunity to generate funds quite easily and in a time-efficient way is obviously very appealing, so long as there are no downsides
#2. We genuinely encounter individuals and organisations with great ideas that really do have the potential to make a positive difference. In such circumstances, it is natural for us to want to help raise awareness of what they do. We have always been making introductions since the Transparency Task Force started – the difference now is that we hope to generate desperately-needed funds when we do so.
The Guiding Principles we will abide by
We are very mindful of the potential for money to cloud judgement and to corrupt a cause; and we obviously do not want that to happen to the Transparency Task Force.
Therefore, we will only enter into commercial agreements with individuals and organisations if all of the following guiding principles are met:
1. The over-arching principal is that we are to be transparent in all we do
2. The product/service being promoted genuinely has the potential to make a positive difference that aligns with what the Transparency Task Force is all about
3. We will not enter into any exclusive arrangement i.e. if two or more competing organisations in the same market want to pay us for making successful introductions, we will oblige to the best of our ability with however many organisations want us to raise awareness of their offering. Our loyalty is to the TTF mission and not the commercial success of any particular organisation.
4. Our involvement does not create any conflicts of interests. In the event that there is a potential conflict of interest our conduct and decision-making will align with what is true to the long-term success of the TTF mission. We are very mindful that the prospect of short-term financial gain should not jeopardise TTF’s integrity
5. In the interests of transparency we will publish on our website:
- The existence of any and all the commercial arrangements we may have
- The running total of all financial payments made to us by any and all organisations we have received a payment from
- Any Consulting, Advisory or Non-Executive roles any of TTF’s Directors or Staff may have (regardless of whether such arrangements do or do not include a payment for introductions element)
6. Our role is to affect an introduction; we are not in any way to become liable for the product or service that may be provided as a consequence of our introduction
7. All the Directors and Staff of the Transparency Task Force warrant to not receive any payment for introductions in a personal capacity; i.e. all payments and revenues we receive that are in any way related to the Transparency Task Force are to be accounted for through the Transparency Task Force bank account
8. Any reasonable request for further information or details about particular arrangements will be provided
We hope this explanation covers most if not all the questions you may have about this important initiative but please do not hesitate to get in touch if you want to know more or have thoughts you would like to share.
Please get in touch if:
1. Your organisation has a product or service that authentically aligns with the TTF mission and you may wish to pay the Transparency Task Force for introductions we make to potential clients
2. You have any feedback on how we can improve this initiative; including any additional Guiding Principles that you would like us to work to
Please get in touch through
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: