This event has now taken place.

If you wish to download the slides scroll to the bottom of the page. 

Many thanks to

for hosting:

"Time for Transparency and Authenticity in Financial Services Comms"

When and where is the symposium?


Tuesday 14th January:


We start with registration and lunch at 12:00; the meeting proper starts at 13:00 and we wrap up the session at 17:00; and then for those that want to continue we have drinks and further networking through to 18:00. 



58 Great Sutton Street,  
London EC1V 0DG

If you already know you want to attend


Click on the button below to secure your place and note that there are 4 ticket options: Standard, For TTF Fellows, Discounted and Press Pass. The notes you get to will explain the ticket options.

Queries to


Thank you!

What can you expect at the symposium?


The overall purpose of this particular event is to shine a bright light onto the importance of effective communications in the financial services sector; and to explore what can be done to improve its authenticity, transparency and credibility.


We already know that the financial services sector as a whole has a significant reputation problem - the key takeaway for us from the Edelman Trust Barometer is 


“…at 57 percent trust among the general population, financial services remains the least-trusted sector measured by the Trust Barometer.”


…and that’s obviously a major issue for a sector that has to be trusted to function succesfully; if you take trust out of financial services there really isn’t very much left. 


We suspect that part of the problem is the way in which the financial services industry tends to communicate. 


Perhaps this quotation sums up part of the issue very nicely:


“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place”


 - George Bernard Shaw. 


Our symposium is going to create an opportunity for communications professionals to discuss and debate question such as:

  • What needs fixing in the way the finance sector communicates?
  • How dominant a factor are the “Treating Customers Fairly” regs to comms strategy?
  • To what extent are regulatory requirements a barrier to effective comms?
  • Is it true that regulatory requirements are sometimes used as an unjustified excuse for poor comms? – is there a tendency to “hide behind the lawyers?”
  • How do organisations deal with regulatory requirements internally? What’s the process? Is it effective?
  • Is the use of impenetrable language ever acceptable? If, not why does it sometimes get used?
  • What are the best ways to present data and information clearly and intelligibly?
  • What can be done for communication to lead to better engagement?
  • Communicating investment costs and performance figures are particular challenges; what’s the latest thinking of the best way to do it in a compliant yet effective manner?
  • In the ESG space, is “Greenwash” as big an issue as some say; if so, what should be done about it?
  • How can positive PR and Reputation Management help to minimise the adverse publicity that continuously impacts the reputational integrity of the sector?
  • How mindful should comms professionals be of the key learnings from the world of behavioural finance?
  • How can we capitalise on merits of ideas such as The Simplified Annual Pensions Statement?
  • What’s it going to take for the finance industry to communicate with integrity, credibility and authenticity?
  • Do some organisations have a comms culture that makes it unlikely they will ever be as creative or as imaginative as they could be? If so, is that because of some kind of tension between comms and legal?
  • Is a chronic lack of diversity in the sector adversely influencing the way it communicates?
  • Does the development of a comms strategy sometimes start “in the wrong place” i.e. starting with a commercial/sales/marketing objective as opposed to considering what the prospect/client thinks about and cares about?
  • What changes would we want policymakers and regulators to make to help advance the cause for better and more authentic comms?
  • What might be the benefits of developing a set of protocols, or guiding principles, or Best Practice Guide that could be adopted by the sector, on a voluntary basis?
  • Who would like to be included in developing the thought leadership around the idea?
  • Could such an idea develop into some kind of “Comms kite mark” for the finance industry; whereby comms that meets agreed criteria is acknowledged in some way?


On the basis that “progress begins with realism” we intend to facilitate the kind of candid yet constructive discussion that is surely needed to help move matters forward.


We are using the symposium to create an environment where delegates can “say it as they see it” in the hope and expectation that we can work together to make a worthwhile difference.

Here's the programme, so far*



Registration, lunch and networking



Welcome to the symposium and setting the scene by

James Endersby, CEO, Opinium; Advisory Board Member, Progressive Centre, UK; Board Trustee, My Life My Say; Board Member, Fairer Finance.


...and Andy Agathangelou, Founder, Transparency Task Force; Governor, Pensions Policy Institute; former Founding Chair, Friends of Automatic Enrolment; former Founding Chair, Association of Member Nominated Trustees.



Presentation #1

Henry Tapper, CEO, Age Wage; Founding Editor, Pension PlayPen



Presentation #2

David Butcher, MD & Founder, Communications and Content; Associate, The Hoxby Collective; former Head of EMEA Communications, Manulife Asset Management; fromer Head of Institutional Investment Content, M&G Investments.



Presentation #3

Aftab Siddiqui, Director, Innovalue Consult; former Marketing and Campaigns Manager Intermediary, Prudential UK; former UK Marketing Manager Institutional, Allianz Global Investors; former Vice President Marketing Defined Contribution, BlackRock.



Presentation of the Transparency Trophy; a special trophy is awarded to a champion of transparency and finance reform at each of our symposia around the world



Refreshments and further networking



Team photo, with the Transparency Trophy and its winner



Power Panel leading into Open Discussion & Debate on:


“What's it going to get take to get transparency and authenticity in financial services comms?"




Sue Lewis, Trustee Director, The People's Pension; Chair, Financial Services Consumer Panel; Trustee, Step Change Debt Charity; Consumer Advocate Member, Professional Standards Board, Chartered Insurance Institute; Owner, STL Consultants


James Daley, Director, Fairer Finance; Columnist, Telegraph Media Group; Independent Consumer Representative, Chartered Insurance Institute


Meredith Gibson, Managing Director, Meredith Gibson Advisory Ltd; Counsel, Jordan & Jordan; former Advisory Partner, Leading Point Financial Markets; Counsel, Deutsche Bank; former Counsel, BNY Mellon


Ben Goldby, Principal Associate, Gowling WLG; former Trainee Solicitor, Wragge & Co; former Journalist, Trinity Mirror Group



Key conclusions and close to the formal proceedings

Andy Agathangelou, Founder, Transparency Task Force; Governor, Pensions Policy Institute; former Founding Chair, Friends of Automatic Enrolment; former Founding Chair, Association of Member Nominated Trustees.



Drinks and further networking



Final close

*The programme will continuously evolve so is subject to change

To secure your place:

Click on the button below to secure your place and note that there are 4 ticket options: Standard, For TTF Fellows, Discounted and Press Pass. The notes you get to will explain the ticket options.

Queries to


Thank you!

Further information about the TTF


You can click on the button below to read about the 150+ Transparency Task Force Ambassadors. The list includes world class academics and highly respected thought leaders from right around the world. 

You can click on the button below to read about the Transparency Task Force Advisory Board, which is Chaired by the former Chair of the Financial Conduct Authority's Financial Services Consumer Panel.

If you want to read testimonials...


If you haven't been to one of our events before you can use the link below to read some testimonials:

To secure your place:

Click on the button below to secure your place and note that there are 4 ticket options: Standard, For TTF Fellows, Discounted and Press Pass. The notes you get to will explain the ticket options.

Queries to


Thank you!

Slides used at January 14th 2020 symposium
TS London January 14th 2020 PDF.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [1.2 MB]

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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