Many thanks to Morningstar for hosting this important event.

This event is part of the '10 years after' series of events. See here for further information.

"It must never happen again!"

This important event is taking place exactly 10 years after (to the day) that Northern Rock collapsed. 


It is on 13th September at:        



1 Oliver's Yard,

55 City Rd,

London EC1Y 1HQ 

If you have already decided that you wish to attend you can book your place by using 'CLICK AND REGISTER' below or read on to learn about the event's content and our cracking line-up of speakers. 


Please note: If the ticket price of £150 is genuinely beyond your budget please Email me at and we'll look to sort something out for you if you're not too late - we don't want cost to prevent people genuinely engaged with the subject matter from being able to participate - but please be quick as we only have a limited number of reduced price tickets available.

13th September 2007 was the day that the shocking news broke that Northern Rock had sought emergency funding from the Bank of England in its capacity as ‘lender of last resort”.

Reckless risk-taking by banks around the world magnified the market failings of the financial impact, globally. Massive bail-outs of financial institutions and other palliative monetary and fiscal policies were employed to prevent a possible complete collapse of the world financial system. The crisis was nonetheless followed by a global economic downturn, the Great Recession and a catastrophic crisis in the banking system of the European countries using the euro.


Capitalism was in complete crisis; just as communism had been some 18 years earlier.

In the USA, the Dodd-Frank Act was enacted in the aftermath of the crisis to "promote the financial stability of the United States" and the Basel III capital and liquidity standards were adopted by countries around the world.


There is so much to be looked at when considering the causes and consequences of the Global Financial Crisis; and even more importantly the big question: 


“Has enough been done to ensure that it cannot happen again?”

Consider these factors, that most agree played a part in the disaster:

 - Over-easy credit conditions

 - Weak and fraudulent underwriting practices

 - Predatory lending

 - Growth of the housing bubble

 - The subprime mortgage bubble

 - Financial over-innovation and over-complexity

 - Collateralized debt obligations

 - The commodities boom

 - Over-leveraging by institutions around the world

 - The ‘Too big to fail’ mind-set

 - Deregulation

 - Incorrect pricing of risk

 - Boom and collapse of the shadow banking system

 - The inherent instability and systemic risks of crises within capitalism

 - Widespread failure of economic forecasting - economists ‘asleep at the wheel’

 - The shouts by those who did see it coming not being heard; or perhaps even worse - heard but completely ignored

 - Governance failures

 - Conflicts of interests

 - Debt dependancy

 - The human conditions of fear and greed; behavioural finance issues

 - Opaque credit markets and the shadow banking system

 - A misunderstanding of the organic nature of contagion risk

 - The role of the media

 - Short-termism

 - Poor stewardship of capital

 - Over-leniency towards those who are to blame

 - A lack of court proceedings and prosecutions


Here's an interesting question: 


"How many of those factors have a lack of transparency as an integral part?"

The socio/political fallout of the Global Financial Crisis has been staggeringly impactful. Consider these issues:


 - The freeze on public sector pay

 - Austerity

 - Trump

 - Brexit? ...and so much more.


The consequences of the Crash have been unimaginably far-reaching, with a devastating impact on many aspects of life around the world. 


We'll be taking a look at key questions such as:


 - What really caused the crash?

 - Who was 'asleep at the wheel?

 - Have the lessons been learned?

 - Have the Regulators done enough to prevent a repeat?

 - Who is actually responsible for preventing another Crash?

 - Could it happen all over again?

 - Could greater transparency reduce the chances of it happening again?

 - Will it happen again?

This really is shaping up to be an absolutely cracking event. You can book your place through 'CLICK AND REGISTER' below or read on to learn about the speaker line-up. 


If the ticket price of £150 is genuinely beyond your budget please Email me at and we'll look to sort something out for you if you're not too late - but please be quick as we only have a limited number of reduced price tickets available.

Here's the programme:

9:30 Registration, refreshments and networking


Jackie Beard,

Director of Manager Research

Services, EMEA,



“The Primary Drive for Transparency Across Financial Instruments & Markets"


Jackie Beard is the Director of Manager Research Services for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at Morningstar. She leads Morningstar’s engagement with the due diligence teams of institutional investors who engage with Morningstar for external support in the evaluation of active and passive funds, investment strategies and asset management firms.


Jackie joined Morningstar in September 2008 as Director of Fund Research for Morningstar UK, leading the roll out of Morningstar’s qualitative fund research and ratings for funds available for sale to UK investors.


From mid-2010, Jackie focused on the UK investment trust market, and in 2012 led the launch of Morningstar’s qualitative research and ratings on closed-end funds for the UK. She is a leading industry voice on investment trusts and has pioneered greater transparency from closed-end funds on their holdings, authoring the paper “Investment Trusts: Why Transparency Matters”. She is a regular presenter to fund boards, investors and advisors.


Before joining Morningstar, Jackie spent seven years at Forsyth Partners where her role included fund research, the management of the group’s broker client funds, and the development of proprietary research and information tools.


Jackie started out in the financial services industry in 1991, initially at private bank Hill Samuel before moving to stockbrokers Albert E Sharp and Quilter, where she switched from private client management into fund research.


Jackie is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investment and an MSI Diploma holder. 


Jackie is also an Ambassador of the Transparency Task Force


Andy Agathangelou, 

Founding Chair,

Transparency Task Force


Andy will be Chairing the Symposium. His overall objective is to highlight the part that a lack of transparency in the world's financial ecosystem has played in causing the Global Financial Crisis and therefore how greater transparency might help mitigate something similar happening again.


Andy formed the Transparency Task Force following a meeting he led at Senate House, University of London on 6th May 2015. The meeting was about how the Financial Services sector seems to have a pre-disposition to reputational self-harm, through displaying untrustworthy behaviour; and the part that greater transparency could play in fixing some aspects of what is wrong in financial services. Andy believes that  and 'sunlight is the best disinfectant'. 


Since 6th May 2015 and without any backing he has recruited, organised and mobilised over 250 volunteers around the world into 9 Teams: 


 - The Banking Team

 - The Foreign Exchange Team

 - The Market Integrity Team

 - The Costs & Charges Team

 - The Stewardship & Decision-Making Team

 - The Scams & Scandals Team

 - The International Best Practice Team

 - Team PAM (Progressive Asset Managers)

 - Team PISCES (Purpose; Impact Investing; Sustainability; Corporate Social Responsibility; Environment, Social & Governance; Socially-Responsible Investing)


The 9 Teams are the 'engine room' of the Transparency Task Force's work. Each Team is focused on a particular set of opacity-related challenges whereby subject-matter experts work together on a completely voluntary basis to develop and implement strategies to overcome those challenges.


Andy is also:

  • Founding Chair, the Technology Task Force
  • Chair, the Interoperability Steering Group
  • Governor, Pensions Policy Institute
  • Fellow, the RSA
  • Chair, Pensions BIB,
  • Member, Investment Association Advisory Board on Cost Disclosure
  • Former Founding Chair, Friends of Auto Enrolment
  • Former Founding Chair, Friends of the Association of Member Nominated Trustees


Andrew Clare,

Professor of Asset

Management and Associate Dean,

Cass Business School; and former Senior Research Manager in the Monetary Analysis wing of the Bank of England.


“The GFC – was it different this time?”


Financial innovation seemed to be at the heart of the GFC.  Some commentators laid the blame for the chaos and global recession on relatively new and untested financial instruments like CDOs and CDSs, and on the unregulated hedge fund industry.  But how accurate is this as a narrative?  An alternative narrative is that the crisis had the same characteristics as nearly all previous financial crises.  If we can accept the alternative narrative that we will discuss in this session, I believe that we will be in a better position to avoid a repeat of those dark days of ten years ago.”


As well as the roles outlined above, Andrew also spent three years working as the Financial Economist for Legal and General Investment Management (LGIM), where he was responsible for the group's investment process and where he began the development of LGIM's initial Liability Driven Investment offering. He is the co-author of “The Trustee Guide to Investment”, and has published extensively in both academic and practitioner journals on a wide range of economic and financial market issues.  Andrew serves on the investment committee of the GEC Marconi pension plan; he is a trustee and Chairman of the Investment Committee of the Magnox Electric Group Pension Scheme; and he also serves as an independent member of Old Mutual’s Investment Oversight Committee.


Tony Greenham,

Director of Economy,

Enterprise and Manufacturing,





“Finding GOD – Governance, Ownership and Diversity in the UK banking system”


One plausible way of understanding the financial crisis is as a catastrophic failure of governance. If this was an important factor, have we sufficiently transformed governance to make the system more safe and deliver better against its fundamental purpose? What is the relationship between ownership and governance, and which models are best suited to banking? Last but not least, what is the significance of diversity, or lack thereof, within the UK domestic banking system and what can we do about it?


Tony is a chartered accountant and former investment banker with experience both in business and with social and environmental NGOs. Tony's career has ranged from blue-chip professional services and banking experience with PwC, Barclays Bank and Credit Suisse, through small business start-ups and environmental NGOs to economic policy research. He is author and co-author on many books and reports on economic social reform including People Powered Prosperity: Ultra-local approaches to making poorer places wealthier; The Reality of Now: How social processes drive organisational behaviour; Stakeholder Banks: the benefits of banking diversity and the best-selling economic textbook Where Does Money Come From - A guide to the UK Monetary and banking system

Tony holds a number of positions in addition to his role at the RSA including: Non-Executive Director at the Greater London Mutual, Senior Fellow at the Finance Innovation Lab, Advisory Committee for Lion Trust Investments, Trustee of Solidarity Economics Education and Research, Trustee of Transition Network, a global grassroots movement for social and environmental change.





David Pitt-Watson,

Executive Fellow,             

London Business School. 


"How could they have got it so wrong?"



In 2007, the IMF and others believed that financial markets in advanced countries were "fundamentally sound”. (IMF performance in the run up to the financial and economic crisis, IMF Independent Evaluation Office, 2011). 


That judgment was based on the work of the best economists and thinkers around the world, the best possible data and sophisticated analysis.


How could they have got it so wrong? 


And if today we use the same expertise and the same techniques of analysis, isn’t there the danger that we might do the same again?


In this talk, David will ask whether there might be a better, and simpler logic for how we organize the Financial Services industry, based on defining its purpose, and ensuring it is designed to fulfill its purpose well. Intriguingly, such a logic not only makes sense of much academic thinking which is currently considered radical; it also encourages us to focus on the basic requirements for markets to work well, one of which is transparency


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 the Transparency Task Force's Team PISCES.


Presentation of

The Transparency Task Force awards a Transparency Trophy to individuals who are helping to 'lead the way' towards a more transparent financial services sector. They and their organisations are key to demonstrating exemplary behaviour to the rest of the market. 


The Transparency Trophy is star-shaped; in keeping with the theme of navigating the industry towards a more transparent state.


Previous winners:


 - February 2016: Tomas Wijffels, Pensioen Federatie

 - April 2016: Rachel Haworth, ShareAction

 - June 2016: Jackie Beard, Morningstar

 - September 2016: Gina & Alan Miller, the True & Fair Campaign

 - October 2016: Robin Powell, Evidence-Based Investor

 - November 2016: Daniel Godfrey, The People’s Trust

 - December 2016: Ralph Frank, Cardano

 - February 2017: Con Keating, Brighton Rock Group

 - May 2017: David Pitt-Watson, London Business School

 - July 2017: Mike Barrett, The Lang Cat


Who'll be winning the Transparency Trophy at this Symposium?

12:10  Lunch and networking


Leandros Kalisperas


"Has the Global Financial Crisis Served to Obscure Rather than Illuminate the Nature of the System?"
Much of the work looking at the Global Financial Crissi either links it theoretically to the long-term nature of finance generally (Minsky type arguments about systemic instability) or to the shorter-term policy trends that were a consequence of globalisation and debt accumulation etc. There is a need to blend these two - some actual theory about the 'plumbing' within finance, as well as consideration about what accommodated the crisis. The GFC reveals a commercial banking crisis first and foremost: it is here that leveraged purchasing power is transparently created but seemingly hidden in plain sight, with layered derivatives being merely amplifiers of that original sin. The sin was only possible because of the changes in the international monetary system in the 1970s, which allowed the basic plumbing of finance to assert itself without resort to questions of excess savings gluts and loose monetary policy. There is a danger that focusing on interesting headlines has served to obscure the duller truth: GFC is a fairly natural result of the end of the Bretton Woods framework, which was not adequately replaced.  

Leandros has worked in banking, asset management and pension fund environments over the last 15 years. He was most recently Head of Credit at USS, the largest UK occupational pension scheme. Leandros decided last year to take some time to reconnect with academic research and policy work, and has just written The Two Tap State: Rewriting the Left's Political Economy. Leandros holds an MBA from INSEAD and an MA in PPE from Oxford.


Andrew Mills,

Expert Financial Analyst

and Writer;


Insight Financial Research





"Rock of Ages - History may not Repeat itself, but it Rhymes" 


The collapse of Northern Rock was the defining moment of the financial crisis in the UK. Whilst in some ways it was a very ‘old school’ bank failure, in other ways it had unique and distinctive features. 


Whether a similar crisis is imminent is anybody's geuss but many of the same underlying factors that led to the Global Financial Crisis are with us today, and that's got to be a concern. 


Once again we have cheap money, excessive complexity, misunderstanding of liquidity, herd behaviour and huge balance sheet risk.


Have been a banking/asset management analyst for nearly 20 years Andrew now works as a freelance consultant with a range of clients including global banks, major consultancies, and investment managers both large and small. It is worth noting that Andrew conducted expert analysis for a major lawsuit relating to the financial crisis.


Martin White BSc FIA,

Board Director,

UK Shareholders Association.

"Who was asleep at the Wheel?"


Pretty well everyone was asleep at the wheel. Bank boards clearly failed in their duty of stewardship to customers and shareholders, and the accounting standard-setters totally let us down.

Governments were stupid enough to believe the banking sector was a money tree; a bit less greed for tax revenues and a bit more concern for systemic risk and the subtle, or not so subtle, impacts the whole financial sector has on the rest of the economy would not go amiss.  The “ownerless corporation”, a short term mindset, and getting rich at everyone else’s expense all need some very deep thinking to tackle. 


Finally, governments are creating the next crisis by stoking up asset levels, instead of facing up to the fact of unsoundly financed governments and institutions, especially in the EU.


Martin studied electrical engineering at university, then decided to become an actuary. He started work at a life insurance and savings company, followed by a consulting actuarial firm advising on final salary pensions (yes, it was some time ago). Then he moved into general insurance, being the first actuary to be employed by the Corporation of Lloyd’s, and has worked in general insurance ever since. He is an active contributor to the research work of the actuarial profession.

Some time in 1992 Martin spotted a letter in the FT by Donald Butcher about a small new working group of private investors, contacted Donald and joined the working group which subsequently became the UK Shareholders’ Association. His experience within the financial sector has taught him what a bad deal individual savers get, unless they are particularly well informed and know how to avoid or minimise expenses and charges. Martin believes that this situation is not going to improve unless these messages are more widely understood and acted on. Apart from this, his other big concern is the lack of real pressure on company managements to act in the long term interest of their underlying owners. Martin’s own investment style is to try and identify a limited number of companies he likes and to hold them for as long as possible, not worrying about market ups and downs.


Markus Krebsz - FRSA, GCRP and Chartered MSCI.


"Have all the lessons been learnt?"
Markus will outline 10 lessons that should have been learnt in relation to the misuse of credit ratings during the Global Financial Crisis; but have they? He will be providing a constructive criticism of Credit Rating Agencies' role in the GFC and suggest a more sensible use of Credit Rating Analysis going forward, to help mitigate the risk of yet another Crash. 
Markus is a seasoned Risk specialist and Government advisor with 25 years’ experience in global financial markets, thereof almost 20 years in managing risk.


Executive director and Board member of a new UK challenger bank. Previously, as Interim CRO, instrumental in launching/ establishing a high-profile capital markets/ lending institution start-up for the UK government and playing a pivotal role in achieving its strong investment-grade ratings. Current member of a United Nations working party on risk & regulation; previously advising the World Bank, the European Commission, the European Central Bank (ECB) and the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC).


Co-Founder and acting Chairman of the Culture & Conduct Group, Chairman (ex-officio) of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI) FinTech Forum. Ambassador of the Transparency Task Force, member of its Banking team and contributor to the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Fair Business Banking. Mentor/ member at Google Campus.


Well regarded thought-leader and lecturer with some of the world’s best academic institutions and frequent appearances at Industry’s top speaking circles. Published author/ editor of several books, incl. on the Global financial crisis as well as other technical publications. Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA).

15:00 Refreshments and networking 


Geoff Tily,

Senior Economist,

Economics and Social Affairs Department,                                 TUC.


"There must be a better way".


The totality of the Global Financial Crisis was about how a crisis of the global financial system morphed into a crisis of government spending. Economic decline resumed, with severe damage to most countries. Furthermore, because of the political response to the GFC in the UK there has been unprecedented decline in real earnings, the rise of insecure work and in-work poverty.

No brave new world happened after 2007. Radical, progressive debate seemingly ended when austerity began and that's been a missed opportunity. With political crisis following economic crisis, there are signs of a more constructive (rather, less destructive) debate.

Given the scale of the self-evident dysfunction, the overall response has fallen far short of the potential to drive positive, transformational change.

There must be a better way: an economy oriented at production and good work rather than speculation and the interests of the wealthy.  


Geoff Tily has been the TUC’s senior economist since 2014, following 25 years in the government’s economics and statistical services (including HM Treasury macro under George Osborne). He is the author of Keynes Betrayed, and has a PhD from UCL.


Henry Leveson-Gower,

Founder and Chief Executive,

Promoting Economic Pluralism;

Editorial Director of The Mint;

Creator of ther 10 Years after Network.



Henry has been a practicing pluralist economist and policy analyst for almost 25 years. He has worked on issues from international trade and environment to economic and environmental regulation design. He is recognised internationally as an expert on water policy.  He has particular expertise on Agent Based Modelling and advises departments across the UK Government and the OECD.  He is also a Research Fellow at the Centre for Evaluation of Complexity Across the NexusFellow of the RSA and a qualified chartered accountant.



The 10 Years after Network:

We are a network of organisations, national and international, who are working to rethink our economic systems to make them more sustainable, fairer and more resilient. We want to use the 10 year anniversaries of The Crash to increase awareness of these issues and our work, and build a wider dialogue on the changes needed to our economic systems to achieve these objectives.


The Great Big open debate:

Our Great Debate will enable attendees to reflect on the key themes that the Symposium has brought to the surface. It's an opportunity to define differences of opinion but also to build consensus on the key questions, such as:


- What's the likelihood of another Global Financial Crisis happenning?

 - What else could and should be done to mitigate that risk?

 - What part can greater transparency in the financial system play in averting another Crash?


The Great Debate will feature input from all attendees, plus our panellists:

Marloes Nicholls,

Innovation Programme Manager,

Finance Innovation Lab.


Marloes is Innovation Programme Manager at the Finance Innovation Lab, where she runs the Lab Fellowship - supporting financial entrepreneurs with a social or environmental mission.


Before working at the Lab, Marloes worked at the think tank Meteos. There, she led the research for BankingFutures, a unique, multi-stakeholder dialogue that asks: how can we rebuild a healthy banking sector in the UK? She also directed Money Comms Lab, a collaborative research project to understand the most effective ways to engage and communicate with the public on issues relating to money and the financial system.


Marloes has a wealth of experience working in social change, including co-founding the campaign Move Your Money UK and working at Oxfam on global campaigns and policy.


Marloes continues to participate in grassroots, creative activism in the UK, and is particularly interested in drawing on the arts and community organising to create accessible ways for the public to engage with money and the financial system. 


An economist by training, Marloes graduated from Nuffield College, University of Oxford, with a Masters of Philosophy in 2011 and received a first class bachelors in Philosophy and Economics from the University of Bristol in 2008.



Fran Boait,

Executive Director, Positive Money.


Fran Boait is Director of Positive Money, a research and campaigning organisation championing reform of the money and banking system.


Fran studied Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge. She went on to complete a PhD in climate change mitigating technology during which she became interested in money and banking after the 2008 financial crisis.


Fran has worked at various international organisations including the United Nations, Greenpeace and BP.



Ashley Kovas,

Senior Regulatory Intelligence Expert, Thomson Reuters.




Ashley Kovas has worked in regulation and compliance since 1987. He has worked in compliance roles in asset management, insurance and in banking.  He worked for eight years for the FSA, latterly as Manager of the Collective Investment Schemes Policy Team.

Ashley holds Bachelors and Masters degrees in Law from the University of London.  He is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investment (CISI) and a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute. He combines his role at Thomson Reuters with part-time regulatory consulting.



Stuart Woollard, 

Managing Partner,

OM Services LLP; and Co-founder and Council member at the Maturity Institute.





Stuart is Managing Partner of Organizational Maturity Services LLP and co-founder and Council member at the Maturity Institute. Stuart leads pioneering work with the investment community to integrate human governance and human capital management capability into company valuation and investment decision-making.


He also advises business leaders on developing insight that both enhances value and manages business risk with respect to human capital. Stuart has published research on human capital management in international mergers and acquisitions, on HCM in a global context and was appointed an Innovation Fellow at King’s College London in 2010. He was previously Director of King’s and Cornell University’s executive program on global HCM, was part of the international leadership team at E*TRADE Financial and UK MD, and led advisory businesses, both independently and at Arthur Andersen. Stuart studied Economics and Politics at the University of Warwick.



In our view that's a first class line-up of speakers and panellists, who are very well placed to examine the issues from various angles - we're sure you'll find their insights highly illuminating.

16:55 Key conclusions, wrap-up and close to the formal proceedings, but, what about further networking afterwards?


Well, there's good news on that front because immediately after the formal proceedings have been concluded, we have, courtesy of 

...networking, beer, wine, soft drinks and nibbles through to 19:00, for those that want it.  


Post-event networking is actually more important than it might seem, because having run 11 Transparency Symposia so far we know that there is nothing better for the creation of lasting connections and the formulation of compelling campaign ideas than relaxed, sociable discussion after a full-on conference.

Please use 'CLICK AND REGISTER' below to book your place or read on for suggestions about who should attend.


If the ticket price of £150 is genuinely beyond your budget please Email me at and we'll look to sort something out for you.

Who should attend?


This event will appeal to a very broad range of people including:


 - Economists

 - Asset Managers

 - Investment Consultants

 - Retail and Institutional Investors

 - Industry Observers, Commentators, the Media in general

 - Academics and Researchers

 - IFA's

 - Campaign and Civil Society Groups

 - NGOs

 - Parliamentarians and their research colleagues

 - Policymakers

 - Fiduciaries, Trustees, Fiduciary Managers 

 - Members of the Department for Work & Pensions

 - Members of the Financial Conduct Authority

 - Members of the Competition & Markets Authority

 - Members of the Prudential Regulation Authority

 - Members of the Bank of England

 - Members of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

 - Bankers and representatives of Banking organisations

 - Risk Management Professionals

 - Compliance Professionals

 - Legal Professionals

 - Pension Professionals 

 - Actuaries; and many more....

What value new connections?


Of course, as well as the value of the presentations and the discussions that they will initiate the event represents a tremendous opportunity to make new friends, contacts and acquaintances, and who knows what dialogue and opportunities that might lead to...

Use 'CLICK AND REGISTER' below to secure your place. If you have any difficulties making your booking contact me through


Remember, if the ticket price of £150 is genuinely beyond your budget get in touch quickly.


Thank you!



Slides - Transparency Symposium - It must never happen again! 13th September 2017
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Press Release - TTF Launches Financial Stability Team
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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:

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