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"IT MUST NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN! - HOW CAN WE REDUCE THE RISK OF ANOTHER FINANCIAL CRISIS?"
If you haven't been to a Transparency Symposium before you can use the link below to read some testimonials:
When and where is the event?
Why are we running this symposium?
This Transparency Symposium is an important thought leadership event dedicated to discussing and debating what more can be done to reduce the risk of another financial crisis.
It is now 10 years since Lehman Brothers collapsed; an event so shocking that it that sent the world economy into cardiac arrest.
Hundreds of thousands of pages of analysis have been published about the Global Financial Crisis; perhaps the most shocking statistic is that according to Oxford University research it resulted in an additional 100,000 suicides - caused by the consequences of people losing their jobs, homes, and resultant family break-ups.
Reckless risk-taking by banks around the world had magnified the market failings of the world’s financial ecosystem. 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 across Europe.
Capitalism was in complete crisis; just as communism had been some 19 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:
“Can we be sure that enough been done to prevent another crisis?”
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
- 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 dependency
- Behavioural finance issues and the underlying human conditions of fear and greed
- Opaque credit markets and the shadow banking system
- A misunderstanding of the organic nature of contagion risk
- Poor stewardship of capital
- Over-leniency towards those who are to blame
- A lack of court proceedings and prosecutions
Here's a couple of interesting questions:
"How many of those factors are rooted in a lack of transparency?”
"How many of those factors are actually still with us today?”
The socio/political fallout of the Global Financial Crisis has been staggeringly impactful. Consider these issues:
- Austerity policies being implemented around the world
- The rise of Donald 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?
- What has been the true impact of Quantitative Easing - and who will realy pay the price for it?
- Could greater transparency reduce the chances of a reoccurrence?”
Our overall purpose for the event is to shine a very bright light onto this important topic; in keeping with the TTF’s mission which is to help fix what’s wrong in financial services by harnessing the transformational power of transparency.
What's the format going to be?
To provide the maximum opportunity for all delegates to get fully involved we have structured the event around presentatons, hot topic Power Panels and The Great Big Open Debate; all of which will help create a useful forum for sharing thought leadership and exploring ideas to help mitigate the risk of another financial crisis.
Here's the programme thus far:
(Note that you can scroll down to see participants' bios.
Get in touch if you would like to be considered for inclusion)
Registration, refreshments & networking.
- Welcome to Newgate Communications and the symposium; by Alistair Kellie, Managing Partner, Newgate Communications.
- About the Transparency Task Force and the new All Party Parliamentary Group on Financial Stability that is being formed; by Andy Agathangelou, Founding Chair, Transparency Task Force; setting the scene for today's symposium.
FYI the provisional draft Purpose Statement of the new APPG on Financial Stability is:
"To respond to the universal shared interest in avoiding another Financial Crisis by providing a helpful forum for parliamentarians to work cross-party, developing fledgling policy initiatives to buttress the resilience of our financial system; supported by participation from industry, academics, experts, think tanks, civil society, campaign groups and regulators.”
Presentation delivered by Professor Charles Goodhart, Director of the Financial Regulation Research Programme, The London School of Economics and Political Science
Power Panel #1 - The Economists, Academics, Governance Gurus, Subject-matter Experts and Risk Management Professionals
- Gavin Starks, Founder, DGen
- Michael Kumhof, Senior Research Advisor, Research Hub, The Bank of England
- Stuart Woollard, Council Member at The Maturity Institute
- Will Price, Global Pensions Consultant
- Alistair Kellie, Managing Partner, Newgate Communications
- Deborah Hargreaves, Chief Executive, The High Pay Centre
Lunch and networking break
The Comedy Sketch; a semi-serious message wrapped in something that's a tad funny. If you find yourself thinking whilst laughing then it's worked!
Presentation of the Transparency Trophy – who’ll be this symposium’s winner?
Power Panel #3 - The Campaign and Civil Society groups; plus The Politicians and The Regulators
- Baroness Ros Altmann, former Pensions Minister
- Neil Esslemont, Head of Industry Liaison, The Pensions Regulator
- Geoff Tily, Senior Economist, the TUC
- Matt Mayer, Co-founder, Economy for the Common Good
- Tom Burgess, Executive Director, Progressive Policy Unit
Refreshment and networking break
The Great Big Open Debate
The Great Big Open Debate will enable all 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 Financial Crisis happening?
- 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 Big Open Debate will feature input from all attendees, plus our panellists; it will be a great chance to share what you realy, really think.
- Stephen Clapham, Founder, Behind the Balance Sheet
- Simon Hill, Chief Investment Officer, Investment Consulting, Buck
Note: other panellists being added!
Key conclusions, wrap-up and close
Drinks, nibbles and networking
Note: the Programme will continuously evolve and is therefore subject to change.
Who shouldn't miss this symposium?
This symposium is going to bravely attempt to deal with questions of immense importance to everybody. We're expecting it to be a very stimulating, engaging and thought-provoking session of very special importance to
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
Members of the Government Actuarial Department
Bankers and representatives of Banking organisations
Risk Management Professionals
Financial Services Trade Bodies and Professional Associations
Actuaries; and many more...
About the key participants thus far:
(Others being added; and get in touch if you would like to be considered for inclusion in the programme)
Professor Charles Goodhart CBE FBA,
Director of the Financial Regulation Research Programme,
The London School of Economics and Political Science
Charles Goodhart is a highly acclaimed economist.
His career has alternated between academia (Cambridge, 1963-65; LSE, 1967/68; again 1985-date), and work in the official sector, mostly in the Bank of England (Department of Economic Affairs, 1965/66; Bank of England, 1968-85; Monetary Policy Committee, 1997-2000).
He has been a specialist monetary economist, focussing on policy issues and on financial regulation, and has written more books and articles on these subjects than any sane person would want to read.
Professor Goodhart was a member of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee from June 1997 to May 2000.
He is the developer of Goodhart's law, an economic law named after him and phrased by Marilyn Strathern as: "When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure."
Baroness Ros Altmann, CBE
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.
Senior Research Advisor, The Research Hub,
Bank of England
Michael Kumhof is Senior Research Advisor in the Research Hub. He is responsible for co-leading this new Bank of England unit, and for helping to formulate and carry out key parts of its research agenda.
His previous position was Deputy Division Chief, Economic Modelling Division, IMF, where his responsibilities included the development of the IMF’s global DSGE simulation model. His main research interests are the quantitative evaluation of monetary reform proposals, modelling the role of banks in the macro-economy, the role of economic inequality in causing imbalances and crises, and the macroeconomic effects of fossil fuel depletion.
Michael taught economics at Stanford University from 1998 to 2004. He worked in corporate banking for Barclays Bank from 1988 to 1993.
His work has been published by AER, JME, AEJ Macro, JIE, JEDC, JMCB, EER, and Journal of Macroeconomics, among others.
Geoff Tily PhD
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).
His subject-matter expertise covers economic policy, economic and labour market analysis, the global economy and jobs and pay.
Geoff is the author of Keynes Betrayed.
He has a PhD from UCL.
Head of Industry Liaison,
The Pensions Regulator
Neil and his team are responsible for engaging with pension providers, payroll providers and other suppliers of pension related products, services and advice, as well as employers.
Our aim is to help them fully understand the rules around workplace pensions – including their own or their client’s duty to automatically enrol eligible workers into a pension scheme - and the duties of pension scheme managers /trustees, in both public and private sector.
Neil has over 30 years’ experience in dealing with large companies in the private and public sectors. Neil has previously worked as a client director for BT and Siemens, and as a management consultant for PriceWaterhouseCoopers.
Neil has a technology background in computer software engineering, gained after graduating from Exeter University with a Maths & Physics BSc.
Iain Pickard co-founded Strategia Worldwide in 2016. Iain is a former COO of Marsh’s UK domestic business, COO of a leading Lloyds of London broker, Change Director for AON’s wholesale/specialty division, Operations Director of Aspen Re, Head of Financial Services at RSM – the global advisory firm – and a UK Financial Conduct Authority authorised ‘Skilled Person’ for Risk and Governance.
He has advised a wide variety of FS firms on managing regulatory risk and, latterly, was COO/CRO of a London based Fintech firm.
Iain focuses on all aspects of the operations of Strategia Worldwide enabling its strategic growth and also managing complex projects and service delivery for our clients. He fuses 20 years of military experience of campaign planning with relevant financial, insurance and commercial risk management experience.
Economy for the Common Good UK
After a successful career in hotel management, Matt Mayer decided to leave the corporate world and pursue a new career in the charitable sector.
While working for the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation he returned to university to complete a master’s degree in Political and Social Science. For his dissertation Matt developed the ‘Theory of Socio-Economic Alignment’ – an analysis into the use of rationality in the economic sphere.
In 2016, when he came across the Economy for the Common Good movement, he found that this new economic blueprint incorporated the basic concept behind his theory.
Matt consequently helped to bring the Economy for the Common Good to the UK as co-founder of ECG UK.
Progressive Policy Unit
Tom Burgess is Executive Director, Progressive Policy Unit and author of the 2016 book: Frome Here to Prosperity, a practical policy agenda for a sustainable economy and greater social justice was published by Shepheard-Walwyn as part of their Ethical Economics Series.
He is a Technical Adviser to Tax Justice UK, a consultant to The Equality Trust and a Senior Fellow of Radix, a radical centre think tank, as well as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA).
Tom had a successful entrepreneurial career in media and communications; his last role was CEO of an international public relations firm. Having once been a full time student leader, a founding member of the SDP and twice stood for public office, he has also worked as journalist, editor and broadcaster.
While in California he was a volunteer on the Bernie Sanders 2016 campaign and subsequently communications adviser to the national movement to form a new peoples party.
He now seeks to work with organisations involved in minimising inequality and promoting an inclusive political agenda.
Trustee and Founding Director,
High Pay Centre
Deborah was the Chair of the independent High Pay Commission, and Founding Director of the High Pay Centre from 2011 to 2015.
She is the former business editor of the Guardian, a post she held from 2006 to 2010.
She has written extensively about executive remuneration and other business issues both in print and online. She previously worked at the Financial Times where she was news editor and before that, financial editor. She held a variety of posts over 19 years at the FT including personal finance editor and as a foreign correspondent in Brussels and Chicago.
Global Pensions Consultant
William Price is a global pension consultant who has worked for the World Bank, UK Treasury, UK Pension Regulator and in collaboration with the OECD, IMF and International Organization of Pension Supervisors (IOPS).
He works with governments throughout the world to design systems that improve pension outcomes, focussing on regulation and supervision, market structure and investment strategy among other areas.
In addition to country engagements in developed and developing countries he works to research and develop global best practice. He co-created the Outcomes Based Assessments (OBA) and Outcomes and Risk Based Supervision (ORBS) models for pensions and has published extensively on a wide range of pension issues including the recent book “Saving the Next Billion from Old Age Poverty”.
An economist by training, his career included three Budgets as Private Secretary to Gordon Brown and leading the Assets, Savings and Wealth team at the UK Treasury. His financial policy expertise combines with past roles on development, macroeconomics and growth including a spell in the IMF/World Bank policy division in the Department for International Development. He was previously Head of Policy at the UK's Pensions Regulator, vice-chair of the IOPS Technical Committee and was the UK Regulator’s representative on the Board for Actuarial Standards.
In addition to leading consulting projects, he is a Program Leader and Advisory Board member of the Insurance and Pensions programme of the Toronto Centre for Global Leadership in Financial Supervision and speaks regularly at seminars and conferences.
He gained his first degree from Oxford University and has a Masters in Economics from University College London. He is a member of the Royal Economic Society and Chartered Institute of Insurance.
Behind the Balance Sheet
Behind the Balance Sheet is an investment research consultancy, which produces bespoke research for a small group of institutional clients.
Steve has more recently started a training business which is focused on improving institutional equity investors analytical skills. He has recently been in the press on City AM and on the Today programme on BBC Radio 4 Today, talking about how earninsg manipulation and fraud among companies is on the rise.
Steve spent 20 odd years as an equity analyst at different investment banks, covering various sectors, and was consistently rated in the top 10 in his sector in Extel, II and Reuters surveys.
He moved to the buy-side in 2005 and was a partner and head of research at two multi-billion dollar hedge funds, based in London; he specialised in using a deep dive research approach to identify special situation opportunities.
Steve has also worked with a $5bn+ AUM wealth management firm, picking international equities, running high return concentrated global equity portfolios and sitting on the main Investment Committee.
Steve trained as an accountant and has two young sons. He lives in London and enjoys reading, yoga, and skiing and is interested in investment theory, wine and classic cars.
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.
The Maturity Institute
Stuart Woollard is Managing Partner of OMS LLP and co-founder and Council member at the Maturity Institute (MI).
Stuart is leading pioneering work using MI’s OMINDEX to show how the very best organisations are able to serve society, build effective human value systems and provide the greatest benefit for all stakeholders.
With the investment community, corporations, policy makers and academia, Stuart advises on improving Total Stakeholder Value through OMINDEX’s whole system diagnosis of organisational health. Stuart has published research on the management of people in global contexts and is co-authoring a forthcoming book "The Mature Corporation: a Model of Responsible Capitalism" (Cambridge Scholars Publishing).
Stuart was appointed an Innovation Fellow at King's College London in 2010 and set up King’s and Cornell University executive programs on global human governance. He was part of the international leadership team at E*TRADE Financial and UK Managing Director, and previously led advisory businesses, both independently and at Arthur Andersen.
Stuart is a regular conference speaker and teaches on MBA and graduate programmes. He studied Economics and Politics at the University of Warwick.
Alistair is a Founding Partner of Newgate Communications and heads the Corporate Reputation Practice, focused on financial and professional services.
He has over 22 years' experience advising financial services organisations both in the UK and internationally and has worked on many high-profile transactions and award-winning campaigns.
Clients have ranged from boutiques and family offices to international fund managers, pensions and annuity providers and trade associations.
Alistair is currently advising the Board of Trustees of a number of FTSE100 pension schemes, as well as a leading pension covenant advisory firm.
Chief Investment Officer
Simon Hill is CIO at Buck, responsible for the firm’s economic and investment thinking, as well as advising a number of pension fund and institutional clients on investment strategy and manager selection.
He chairs the Investment Committee and is a member of the Economic Assumptions Group, the Manager Rating Review Committee, and the DC Solutions group.
Having trained as an economist and financial journalist, he has over 35 years’ experience in the investment management industry, including investment advisory, fund management, product and business development roles.
His career has encompassed senior positions at major City and global institutions including Citibank, NatWest, Franklin Templeton and Mercer Investment Consulting.
Simon joined Buck in 2007 from the London investment arm of Swiss private bank Sarasin, where he was Head of Institutional Business and managed the Risk & Performance function.
He is a graduate of Balliol College, Oxford University, and is an individually chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investments.
Martin Gorm Pedersen
Founder & CEO
Grit, hard work and a great idea took Martin from a farm in rural Denmark to the lofty heights of Level 39 in Canary Wharf.
Martin learned to code at the age of 10 and he formed his first software business at the age of 15. His passion for technology was apparent from an early age. At 19, turned down by IBM for not having a Ph.D., Martin’s passion led him to Maersk to work on one of the world’s largest military projects.
Martin founded RequirementONE in Silicon Valley and later relocated to London. Martin launched RequirementONE’s enterprise software offering in late 2015 helping firms around the world automate their business processes using AI.
Today, RequirementONE counts some of the largest names in insurance, law, banking as well as the US government as clients and continues to go from strength to strength in helping professional teams utilise best-in-class technology to manage their compliance management activities.
Andy Agathangelou FRSA,
Transparency Task Force
Andy will be Chairing the Symposium. His overall objective is to galvanise support for the idea that greater transparency in financial services can drive positive, transformational change for the benefit of all.
Andy formed the Transparency Task Force following a meeting he led at Senate House, University of London on 6th May 2015. The meeting was the about the trust deficit that is impacting financial services and how harnessing the transformational power of transparency can drive the change that is needed.
That meeting set off a chain of events that led directly to the creation of our collaborative, campaigning community which is built on the idea that 'Sunlight is the Best Disinfectant'.
Since 6th May 2015 he has recruited, organised and mobilised over 300 volunteers around the world into 13 Teams:
- The Banking Team
- The Foreign Exchange Team
- The Market Integrity Team
- The Costs & Charges Team
- The Scams & Scandals Team
- Team PAM (Progressive Asset Managers)
- Team PISCES (Purpose; Impact Investing; Sustainability; Corporate Social Responsibility; Environment, Social & Governance; Socially-Responsible Investing)
- The Financial Stability Team
- Team APAC
- Team EMEA
- Team Americas
- Team GTI (Global Transparency Index)
- The AE Team
Our 13 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:
Please click on the PDF icon below to download the slides that were used at the event.
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: