Many thanks to

for hosting:

"How can we accelerate the rebuilding of trust and confidence in financial services?"

and thanks to our sponsors:

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:

When and where is the meeting?

 

Registration is at 9AM for a 9:30AM  start; ending at 4PM

on Tuesday 10th September at:

 

King & Spalding:

2nd Floor,

1700 Pennsylvania Ave

NW Suite 200,

Washington, DC 20006

If you already know you want to attend

 

Click on the button below to secure your place and note that you have 3 ticket options: Standard, Reduced and Free. 

 

To explain:

 

The Transparency Task Force is a not-for-profit and we are desperate for funds to help keep our efforts going - we’re just about surviving, but it isn’t easy. 

 

If you can afford it, please select the Standard Ticket Price ($245) but if that is genuinely beyond your budget, not to worry - select the Reduced Ticket price option and pay what you are comfortable with. Furthermore, if for any reason you do not want to make a contribution at all, select the Free Ticket option.

 

Regardless of which ticket option you select you'd be equally welcome to attend.

 

You can pay through PayPal or invoice. 

 

Thank you!

What can you expect at your meeting?

 

You can expect to be amongst progressively-minded and collaboratively-minded people who are keen to understand how they can get involved with a truly pioneering project that is dedicated to reforming the financial services industry.

 

We are working together to help rebuild trust and confidence in financial services and help consumers get a better deal.

 

You will learn all about the project - how it started; what has happened so far; what is going to be happening in due course and so on. 

 

In particular, you will be able to learn about and feed into the creation of a “Framework for Finance Reform.” At the heart of the “Framework for Finance Reform” are “The 12 Finance Development Goals.”

 

The 12 Finance Development Goals are a similar concept to the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals but instead of dealing with issues such as hunger, climate change, access to clean water and gender equality; they deal with well-known financial services problem areas such as conflicts of interest, the “profits before principles” mindset, the need for better governance and the desperate need for greater transparency.

 

The development of the Finance Development Goals (FDGs) is bringing together a very wide cross-section of stakeholders, right around the world, including politicians, policymakers, financial regulators, financial trade bodies and professional associations; plus many commercial organisations, leading academics and think tanks etc. 

 

You will learn how the project is gaining traction amongst a wide cross-section of stakeholders including policymakers, politicians, regulators, professional associations, trade bodies, academics, thought leaders, commercial organisations; plus investment, insurance, banking and pension professionals, and so on.

 

There will be presentations from individuals with interesting insights and experiences to share; plus a panel session.

 

There will be ample scope for discussion and debate so that all attendees will be able to share their views and ideas.

 

You can expect the meeting to function as a highly interactive and highly engaging workshop, where everybody gets the opportunity to participate as much as they would like to.

 

We know that using that approach we will be able to harness the camaraderie, collegiality and willingness to collaborate that the project is already cultivating, right around the world. 

Here's the programme, so far*

 

09:00 

Registration, refreshments and networking

 

09:30

Welcome to the event by 

Dixie L. Johnson, Partner, Securities Enforcement and Regulation; Special Matters and Government Investigations, King & Spalding

 

09:35

Andy Agathangelou, Founder of the Transparency Task Force to introduce the Transparency Task Force and set the scene for the event; explaining the overall rationale for this major international project; and how we plan to make it a success. 

 

Andy will shine a light on:

  • What the trust deficit is and why it must be dealt with
  • Why all stakeholders should be working together
  • "The Framework for Finance Reform"
  • "The 12 Finance Development Goals"
  • "The book that is much more than just a book"
  • "The Subject-Matter Experts"
  • "The Scientific Committee
  • The output so far from meetings in Europe and the USA

 

10:40

Presentation by

Dixie L. Johnson, Partner, Securities Enforcement and Regulation; Special Matters and Government Investigations, King & Spalding

 

11:00

Refreshments and further networking

 

11:30

Keynote presentation delivered by

Knut Rostad, President, Institute for the Fiduciary Standard 

 

“The Tattered Reputation of the Finance Industry 

In the United States Matters; Finance Executives 

Alone Can Fix it”

 

Political winds have shifted (again) in Washington. Democrats are mounting efforts to reign in Wall Street. Socialism is fashionable. AOC is “in”. Bernie and Elizabeth have new clout. The president’s party is in disarray. Serious professionals speak of needing to defend capitalism. The reputation of finance is in tatters. Federal regulation is not the answer. Adam Smith can be. Finance leaders, alone, can fix its reputation.

 

12:10

Presentation by

Allan I. Mendelowitz Ph.D, President, ACTUS Financial Research Foundation; former Chairman of the Federal Housing Finance Board; and Co-Leader of the Committee to establish the National Institute of Finance

 

12:30

Presentation by

Sander Eijkenduijn, Co-Founder at Scorpeo; and Jonny Ruck, CEO at Scorpeo who will show how technology can "be a friend to transparency" cover a case study that will show the desperate need for culture reform and better alignment of interests within the financial services sector

 

12:50

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

 

13:00

Lunch and networking

 

14:00

Presentation by 

Jim Hofheimer, Executive Vice President and Director of Wealth Practice, Toroso Advisors

Jim will be discussing Conflicts of Interest and Transparency issues with Corporate Retirement Plans and the rise of litigation because of it.

 

14:20

The Power Panel, where selected participants will have the opportunity to share their reflections on the presentations and discussions; and to share their thoughts on our primary question:

 

"How can we accelerate the rebuilding of trust and confidence in financial services?"

 

Our Power Panellists are:

 

 - Samantha Ross, Founder, The Investors’ Consortium for Assurance

 

 - Chris Tobe, Principal, Stable Value Consultants; Ambassador of the TTF

 

 - Stefan Pagacik, Founder, AI 4 Impact; Ambassador of the TTF

 

 - Bart Naylor, Financial Policy Advocate, Public Citizen

 

 - Andrew Park, Senior Editor, S&P LCD News

 

 - Clark Gascoigne, Deputy Director, The FACT Coalition

 

14:50

The Open Debate; where all attendees, panellists and speakers will have the opportunity to freely discuss the key issues raised through the course of the symposium.

 

We will be considering question such as:

 

 - Which individuals and organisations govern the way the financial system works?

 

 - What should we have learned from the past? …and have those lessons actually been learned?

 

 - What more could the government and the financial regulators be doing to create a financial services market that the public can have trust and confidence in?

 

 - Which non-government and non-regulatory organisations have the potential to play a part in driving the change that we want to see?

 

 - Are there forces at work slowing down or even preventing the progress that is needed?

 

15:25

Andy Agathangelou, Founder of the Transparency Task Force to cover off key conclusions and suggested next steps

 

15:30

Refreshments and further networking

 

16:00

Final close

*The programme will continuously evolve so is subject to change

For more detail about the project...

 

Click on the button below to get to a special web page that provides a full and detailed explanation of the project:

Places are limited; to secure yours:

 

Click on the button below to secure your place and note that you have 3 ticket options: Standard, Reduced and Free. 

 

To explain:

 

The Transparency Task Force is a not-for-profit and we are desperate for funds to help keep our efforts going - we’re just about surviving, but it isn’t easy. 

 

If you can afford it, please select the Standard Ticket Price ($245) but if that is genuinely beyond your budget, not to worry - select the Reduced Ticket price option and pay what you are comfortable with. Furthermore, if for any reason you do not want to make a contribution at all, select the Free Ticket option.

 

Regardless of which ticket option you select you'd be equally welcome to attend.

 

You can pay through PayPal or invoice. 

 

Thank you!

Further information about us

 

You can click on the button below to read about the 130+ 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.

Bios of key participants

provided thus far

Andy Agathangelou FRSA,

Founder, 

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 the collaborative, campaigning community that is the Transparency Task Force.

 

Our activity is is built on the idea that 'Sunlight is the Best Disinfectant' and our guiding "North Star" question is "what is best for the consumer?"

 

The mission of the Transparency Task Force is

 

"To help protect consumers' financial interests by reforming the financial services industry around the world, through harnessing the transformational power of transprency"

 

We have many Special Interest Groups made up of subject-matter experts working collaboratively:

https://www.transparencytaskforce.org/teams-of-volunteers/

 

We are building a global network of Ambassadors:

https://www.transparencytaskforce.org/ttf-ambassadors/

 

We are working hard to rebuild trust and confidence in financial services through creating a Framework for Finance Reform built on the Finance Development Goals:

https://www.transparencytaskforce.org/rebuilding-trust-confidence-in-financial-services/

 

We have a highly credible Advisory Board:

https://www.transparencytaskforce.org/about-1/advisory-board/

 

Andy is also:

  • Chair, the Interoperability Steering Group
  • Governor, Pensions Policy Institute
  • Fellow, the RSA
  • Former Chair, Pensions BIB
  • Former Founding Chair, Friends of Auto Enrolment
  • Former Founding Chair, Friends of the Association of Member Nominated Trustees

Allan Mendelowitz,

President, 

ACTUS Financial Research

 

Allan I. Mendelowitz is the President of the ACTUS Financial Research Foundation. 

 

Previous positions include Chairman and Member of the Board of Directors of the Federal Housing Finance Board; Executive Director of the Congressional Trade Deficit Review Commission; Executive Vice President of the U.S. Export-Import Bank; Managing Director, USGAO; and Brookings Institution Economic Policy Fellow. 

 

His published articles have appeared in the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, The National Tax Journal, Journal of Risk Finance, and The Journal of Business, among others.  He has testified before the U.S. Congress as an expert witness 150 times and has lectured widely on financial and economic topics.

 

He holds an A.B. degree in Economics from Columbia College, Columbia University, and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Economics from Northwestern University.

Bart Naylor,

Financial Policy Advocate, 

Public Citizen

 

Former chief of investigations, US Senate Banking Committee.

 

Former director, Teamsters Corporate Affairs division 

Dixie Johnson,

Partner, Securities Enforcement and Regulation, Special Matters and Government Investigations.

King & Spalding

 

Dixie brings to her clients solid judgment and strategic insight from over 30 years of experience in representing public companies, financial institutions, investment managers, broker-dealers, public accounting firms, boards of directors and boards of trustees, law firms, corporate officers and others. She is widely recognized as a legal industry leader in securities enforcement, regulatory compliance, corporate governance and crisis management.

 

Board committees call on Dixie to investigate accounting and disclosure-related whistle-blower allegations and look to her for guidance in times of crisis. She regularly interacts with lead directors, presiding directors, and non-executive board chairs from many of the largest companies in the world.  She is a Fellow of the American College of Governance Counsel and, for five years, was a member of the Lead Director Network. 

 

Public companies and regulated entities seek Dixie’s representation in complex securities-related government investigations. C-Suite officers and other professionals look to Dixie for representation in internal and SEC or other investigations when their careers are on the line. She is a lawyer's lawyer, representing law firms and lawyers under scrutiny. Her bench is deep and highly skilled. She analyzes lessons learned and especially enjoys counseling clients on how to avoid problems in the future.

 

Chambers USA, Legal 500, Benchmark, Who’s Who, Best Lawyers and others all consistently rank Dixie as a leading lawyer, and Chambers included our practice on the 2017 short list of firms for Securities and Financial Services Regulation Chambers has noted that she is "a very strong and thoughtful lawyer with an encyclopedic knowledge of securities laws," (2019), she “wins praise across the board for her ‘terrific relationship with the SEC.’” (2018) and she leads an “expert, broad-based enforcement practice.” (2017) Dixie also has served in multiple leadership roles within the American Bar Association, including as Business Law Section Chair and as Chair of the Federal Regulation of Securities Committee. Before becoming a lawyer, Dixie served for six years as a public school teacher in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Andrew Park,

Senior Editor,

S&P, LCD News

 

Andrew is a Senior Editor at the S&P Leveraged Commentary & Data (LCD News) publication covering the leveraged finance and collateralized loan obligation (CLO) markets.

   

He has published a number of pieces detailing who the post-financial crisis investors are in those various asset classes which include overseas banks, insurance companies, asset managers, hedge funds, and private equity funds. Andrew has also spoken at a number of industry events about the issues surrounding covenant-lite, earnings adjustments known as "EBITDA add-backs", and the similarities/differences we are seeing today from 2007.

   

Prior to S&P LCD, Andrew was at Thomson Reuters covering residential mortgage backed securities. This included writing about the lesser known ongoing post-crisis litigation from a number of mortgage bond investors against trustees of those securitizations for failing to further investigate contractual failings and fraudulent origination practices.

Samantha Ross,

Founder,

The Investors' Consortium for Assurance

 

Samantha was the PCAOB's first chief of staff, serving in that role throughout the term of Chairman William J. McDonough. She was special counsel to Chairman James R. Doty since he joined the PCAOB in February 2011. She also served as the top staffer to former Board Member Charles D. Niemeier, including during his time as acting chairman. Over 15 years, as the PCAOB grew to more than 800 employees, she played an integral role in the establishment, growth, management and direction of the PCAOB.

In her capacity advising PCAOB chairmen, she had a significant role in most of the PCAOB's major policy initiatives, including development of the PCAOB's:
— Center for Economic Analysis;
— modernization of the auditor's reporting model;
— rule on audit transparency, providing for disclosure of engagement partners and other firms that participate in audits;
— auditor independence initiatives, such as the PCAOB's rules prohibiting auditor involvement in designing tax shelters and other tax services; and
— Audit Committee Dialogue publication and podcast series.

In the PCAOB's first year, she also played a key role in developing a plan for a joint inspection regime in negotiation with representatives of the European Commission. That work laid the foundation for the PCAOB's bilateral agreements with 20 audit regulators in Europe and elsewhere with whom it continues to conduct joint inspections. She also testified on behalf of the PCAOB before the Financial Services Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives on that dialogue with non-U.S. regulators.

Before joining the PCAOB, she was special counsel to the chief accountant of the Securities and Exchange Commission's Division of Enforcement. Earlier in her career, she was a law clerk to the Hon. John E. Sprizzo, federal judge for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, and an associate at the law firm of Sullivan & Cromwell. 

Clark Gascoigne,

Deputy Director,

The FACT Coalition

 

Clark Gascoigne is the deputy director of the Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency (FACT) Coalition, a non-partisan alliance of more than 100 state, national, and international organizations in the United States working toward a fair tax system that addresses the challenges of a global economy and promoting policies to combat the harmful impacts of corrupt financial practices.

 

Mr. Gascoigne oversee’s the FACT Coalition’s outreach to policymakers and the media and serves as the main liaison to the coalition’s international allies. He has more than a decade of experience working on tax and transparency issues, both in the United States and around the world. He currently represents FACT on the Coordination Committee of the Global Alliance for Tax Justice as well as on the Policy, Research, and Legislative Committees of Americans for Tax Fairness. Mr. Gascoigne previously served a stint as FACT’s Interim Executive Director from November 2015 to April 2016.

 

He joined FACT in 2015 after several years at Global Financial Integrity. Mr. Gascoigne has presented at numerous conferences and events worldwide — in locations as varied as Brazil, France, Mexico, Norway, Panama, Peru, the Philippines, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States. He has been published by numerous publications, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Fortune; he is routinely quoted by media outlets such as Bloomberg, Reuters, and Politico; and he has appeared on National Public Radio, Marketplace, and Radio France Internationale.

Chris Tobe,
Founder
Stable Value Investments
 
Chris Tobe is a global   leader in Transparency and fighting
Corruption in U.S. state & local government pension plans and
investments in general, including state regulated insurance products.
 
He is working on his 5th book on transparency entitled Wall Street Corruption in State & Local Governments targeted to a broad US Audience. This is a related book to Kentucky Fried Pensions 2018 targeted to Kentucky and Public Pensions Secret Investments targeted to Trustees, Staff, regulators.
 
His 1st book “Kentucky Fried Pensions” was cited by Pulitzer prize winner Gretchen Morgenson of the NY Times and Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone. He has been quoted and works regularly on public pension corruption stories with Neil Weinberg of Bloomberg, David Sirota of YoungTurks, Travis Waldren of
the Huffington Post, and currently Gary Rivlin formerly of NY Times now with the Intercept.
 
His other book “Consultants Guide to Stable Value” is on fixed income 401(k) insurance based investments in the U.S.
 
Chris does legal expert work in the areas of investment corruption and excess fees in both US Public & Corporate pension plans. He also serves as Chief Investment Officer for a  Pension consulting firm out of New Orleans the Hackett-Group where he has provided project consulting to a number of public pensions in MD, NC and TX.
 
From 2008-2012 he served as a Trustee and on the Investment and Audit Committees for the $14 billion Kentucky Retirement Systems.  From 2008-2009 he was a Sr. Consultant with New England Pension Consultants and worked with a number of public pension plans in Oklahoma, Missouri, Michigan and the District of Columbia. From 1997-1999 with the Kentucky State Auditor he published a 40 page report on the investments of both major Kentucky Pension plans.
 
National Public pension speaking engagements include the National Council on State Legislature National Association of State Treasurers, the Public Pension forum at the Ohio State Law School, DePauw University in Chicago, and at the National Press Club for Governing Magazine.  
 
As a public pension trustee he completed the Program for
Advanced Trustee Studies at Harvard Law School and Fiduciary College held at the Stanford University.   He holds a BA in Economics from Tulane University, and an MBA in Finance & Accounting from Indiana University – Bloomington. He is the past president of the CFA Society of Louisville. He has the taught the MBA investment course at the University of Louisville and finance and accounting classes at Bellarmine and Webster.

Jim Hofheimer

Partner and Head of Wealth Practice,

Toroso Investments 

 

Jim is the director of the wealth advisory practice for Toroso Advisors, a division of Toroso Investments, LLC. Toroso is an ETF research and investment management company, developing and launching ETFs in addition to managing client wealth, both corporate retirement plans and families. 

 

He is focused on advising corporations and people on all financial planning matters and has spoken to industry groups on the need for transparency in Retirement Plans.

 

Before joining Toroso, he was with Rothschild as Vice President, Senior Institutional Consultant and Corporate Retirement Consultant. Previously, he was at Salomon Brothers and Morgan Stanley covering large institutional portfolios.

 

Jim has an MBA degree from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, is a graduate of the Certified Investment Management Analyst program at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, the Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF) program at the Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh, and a Certified Retirement Planning Specialist.

 

Jim is also a past member of the Board of Directors of the Chicago Board of Trade, Home Federal Bank, Highland Park Hospital, Blythedale Children’s Hospital, the Executive Board of The Forward Association, and a current chairperson of FINRA Dispute Resolution.

Knut Rostad

Co-Founder & President,

Institute for the Fiduciary Standard

 

Knut A. Rostad is the co-founder and president of the Institute for the Fiduciary Standard. The nonprofit formed in Falls Church, Virginia in 2011 to advance the fiduciary standard through research, education and advocacy. Previously Rostad served as the regulatory and compliance officer at Rembert Pendleton Jackson, an investment adviser in Falls Church, Virginia.

 

The Fiduciary Institute’s papers, op-eds and programs seek to advance fiduciary conduct in advisor – client relationships of trust. The Institute spear-headed the 2012 John C. Bogle Legacy Forum; established “Fiduciary September” and the Frankel Fiduciary Prize. The Institute has developed Real Fiduciary™ Practices and an affirmation program for advisory firms to demonstrate adherence to the practices.

 

The Institute is honored to have many industry luminaries serve on its Board of Advisors. Tamar Frankel, Boston University School of Law Professor Emeritus, Brooksley Born, former Chair of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Luis Aguilar, former SEC Commissioner, and Phyllis Borzi, former Assistant Secretary at the Department of Labor. See www.thefiduciaryinstitute.org.

 

Rostad has testified before lawmakers and met with regulators and speaks at industry conferences. He has authored numerous articles, papers and comment letters to the SEC and DOL and has been cited in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Reuters. Rostad edited The Man in the Arena: Vanguard Founder John C. Bogle and His Lifelong Battle to Serve Investors First, by Wiley.     

 

Rostad earned a BA in Political Science at the University of Vermont and an MBA from the Norwegian School of Management. 

Stefan Pagacik

Co-Founder,

AI4Impact

 

Stefan Pagacik’s career has spanned several industries and roles, most recently as co-founder of AI4Impact, an artificial intelligence platform focused on building next generation impact financial products. Previously, he built two impact themed cloud and mobile platforms (8 of 9 LLC and my4.com) for retail and institutional investors interested in aligning their values and criteria with their portfolios. His prior entrepreneurial experience involved starting a marine science accelerator in Southeastern Massachusetts (the Regional Technology Development Center of Cape Cod) that commercialized scientific developments in partnership with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and the Marine Biological Laboratory.


His work in the impact space started with a project building a model for an energy transition solution from fossil fuels to biofuels for the government of Chile. He also designed a social enterprise plan for the city of Detroit aligning entrepreneurs and city agencies to stimulate business opportunities for blighted areas of the city including a sustainable food corridor and an incubator focused on women and minorities.


Stefan’s technology background includes retail sales consulting for Apple Computers in the Northeast and building a channel strategy for an emerging leading-edge motion graphics software company (The Company of Science and Art) that was later acquired by Adobe. He opened the Boston office of IT consulting firm Eclipse Information Systems that was later acquired by Century Services of Washington, D.C.


Stefan also has an active speaking practice centered around his experience in building innovation teams in large and small companies. You can find more information at his website: www.direct-ly.net


Professional Affiliations:
Board member, New England Impact Investing Initiative (current)
Ambassador, The Transparency Task Force (current)


Education:
B.A., English, Harvard College
MBA, Marketing and Finance, Suffolk University


Advisory Skills:
Impact and sustainability mapping and measurement, building and managing diverse teams that drive innovative solutions, communication strategies to build trust and transparency, product design and development, entrepreneurial leadership

Sander Eijkenduijn,

COO,

SCORPEO US LLC

 

Sander Eijkenduijn is co-founder and board member of the SCORPEO Group and COO of Scorpeo US LLC.

 

He is responsible for directing and overseeing all financial, legal and operational activities of the firm. Before founding SCORPEO, he was responsible for Delta One Structuring at Nomura, having joined from Barclays Capital where he was Vice President.

 

Sander began his career at PWC in Amsterdam. He then moved to London as a senior manager in the PWC FS Tax Group where he advised on cross-border investment structures.

 

He also headed the Financing Sustainability initiative for FS Tax. Sander holds a Master’s Degree in Tax Law from the University of Amsterdam, and a post-doctoral in European Tax Law from the Erasmus University Rotterdam.

 

He has published various articles in Dutch law reviews. Sander is an FCA Approved Person.

Jonny Ruck

CEO,

SCORPEO US LLC

Jonny Ruck is co-founder and board member of the SCORPEO Group and CEO of SCORPEO US LLC.

 

Jonny has 15 years’ experience in all facets of corporate actions trading before founding SCORPEO.

 

He was the head of corporate event arbitrage for Nomura and his previous roles include corporate event trading at Paloma Partners and Lehman Brothers.

 

Jonny holds an LLB and LPC in Law from the University of East Anglia. Jonny is an FCA Approved Person.

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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