Financial Stability Team
Note: If you want to go straight to downloading the White Paper entitled "Ideas to help reduce the chance of another Global Financial Crisis," please scroll down to the very bottom of the page.
How the Financial Stability Team started
Our Financial Stability Team was launched at a Transparency Symposium held on 13th September 2017 entitled “It must never happen again!”
The event was all about the Global Financial Crisis and the date on which it was held was significant; it marked the 10 Year anniversary of the collapse of Northern Rock.
The speakers shared their thoughts on the causes of the Global Financial Crisis and what might be done, that hasn’t yet been, to prevent a similar disaster occurring again. Many excellent presentations were given, outlining a range of ideas worthy of further consideration.
We invited speakers and participants to volunteer to become members of a new volunteer team, the Financial Stability Team, with the intention that it would capture the valuable thought leadership shared during the speeches and discussion that day and present those ideas at the House of Commons on 7th February 2018.
Leandros Kalisperas, now Global Head of Pensions at Aberdeen Standard, was invited to Lead the Team and he accepted. The team started with seven members but through word of mouth it has grown.
The White Paper that we have produced can be downloaded at the bottom of this page.
Please see immediately below:
Click on the button below to access a web page that contains a spreadsheet showing the individuals involved in TTF's various Teams. Sort on the column relating to the Financial Stability Team to see who is in it.
Our White Paper:
“Ideas to Help Reduce the Chance of Another Global Financial Crisis”
Team members joined the collective effort to work on an entirely voluntary basis, freely sharing their ideas and insights such that we could capture and articulate ideas that will hopefully help to avoid another Global Financial Crisis.
The team has operated with a strong sense of purpose since day 1 and it has become an excellent example of what can be achieved when a group of concerned citizens freely volunteer their time, effort, experience and insight for the common good.
It is to be presented to a range of stakeholders including parliamentarians, The Bank of England, the Financial Conduct Authority, the Financial Conduct Authority, The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and so on; at the House of Commons on 7th February 2018.
Building consensus and forming an overall collective view has been a very important part of the process. Over a period of several months and after continued enhancements the Paper is now finished, to a high standard; on time and on budget (the budget was £0.00 as we have no resource).
A substantial amount of work has been done, entirely by volunteers. The paper completely dispels the myth that all that can be done to reduce the chance of another Global Financial Crisis has been done.
We are pleased with the thought-provoking nature of the Paper, which can be downloaded at the very bottom of the page.
Initiating the launch of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Financial Stability
During the process of creating the Paper it became increasingly obvious that there would be tremendous value in initiating the launch of an All Party Parliamentary Group on Financial Stability.
Wanting to achieve financial resilience is not a party-political issue: the quest for greater financial stability is an issue that appeals to people of all political persuasions. Indeed, it could be one of several unifying aspirations at this time, with a common bond of establishing what more can be done to enable the financial services sector as a whole to find and embrace a true sense of purpose which can act as a North Star in guiding the way it functions.
Given the cross-party interest in the topic there is huge value to be had in building a much-needed line of constructive communication between not just parliamentarians but also academics, practitioners, regulators, Civil Society Groups, relevant government departments, enlightened market participants and so on; and that an All Party Parliamentary Group on Financial Stability would be the ideal forum for the kind of analysis, debate and consensus-building that is needed.
The plan is that the Financial Stability All Party Parliamentary Group will be a safe and suitably informal environment, conducive to considering constructive and creative policy initiatives that may help to mitigate the risk of another Global Financial Crisis.
The Financial Stability All Party Parliamentary Group has the potential to become an outstandingly useful forum for a wide range of stakeholders and we are hopeful that it will lead to candid yet collegiate conversations about the stewardship of our economy and the financial ecosystem as a whole.
The ultimate purpose of the Transparency Task Force’s Financial Stability Team is to influence policymakers to develop and promote policies that align with the achievement of greater financial resilience and thereby help mitigate the risk of future financial crises. Our White Paper is a significant first step in galvanizing interest in and support for the All Party Parliamentary Group on Financial Stability which has excellent potential to be a “force for good” for the benefit of all.
Market crashes are man-made disasters; there is nothing natural about them and they do not need to happen. They are not typhoons, tornadoes or tsunamis; they are the manifestation of opacity and policy failures; they are the consequence of errors of judgement and mistakes. However, given the extreme complexity and inter-connectivity of the world’s financial ecosystem which is riddled with uncertainties and risks of all kinds, many of which are literally invisible, there is no surprise that mistakes were made by many policymakers, right around the world.
Nevertheless, the work of the Transparency Task Force is about finding solutions, not apportioning blame and it has been with a sense of noble intent and civic duty that our Financial Stability Team has embarked on this volunteer-driven initiative to try to make a difference, to the best of our ability, despite having no resource or support of any kind.
We believe our White Paper completely disproves any notion that “everything that should be done to mitigate the risk of another Global Financial Crisis has been done,” and we therefore believe the Paper has merit in its own right as a thought-provoking discussion document.
However, the real test of the efficacy of this Paper is whether it achieves its underlying objective – to attract the interest of Parliamentarians who inhabit one of the oldest and most responsible democracies in the world, in the hope that it inspires them to become founding members and leaders of the new Financial Stability All Party Parliamentary Group; thereby enabling them, in turn to carry out their noble and civic duty to the best of their ability.
For all enquiries about our Financial Stability Team and the All Party Parliamentary Group on Financial Stability please connect through
Comments of support:
“There is universal shared interest in avoiding another Global Financial Crisis so I am pleased to play my part in supporting the new All Party Parliamentary Group on Financial Stability. We wish to consider ideas from a wide range of stakeholders; the strongest ideas will be developed into fledgling policy proposals for consideration by Regulators, Government Departments and so on. Hats off to the Transparency Task Force for their compelling White Paper on the topic and for suggesting the new APPG be formed.”
Anneliese Dodds MP:
“Ten years after the financial crisis, we are still living with its after-effects. It is more important than ever that we learn the lessons of the crisis and make sure that future financial markets are safer and more transparent. The APPG on Financial Stability will offer a very helpful forum for parliamentarians to come together with experts in the field to discuss how we can work cross-party to buttress the resilience of our financial system. It is great that the APPG will be supported by the Transparency Task Force, which has already done a lot to bring together people and ideas, to promote a safer and more sustainable financial system.”
"Ten years on from the great financial crisis it has earned its place in history for having profound social and generational consequences.
"The post-crisis financial reforms patched up the system but failed to address its deeper flaws. An APPG on financial stability will help policymakers to identify deeper problems in our financial system before the next financial crisis hits. Finance Watch looks forward to supporting the inclusion of civil society viewpoints in the work of this group."
Andrew Mills, Director, Insight Financial Research:
“Policy responses to the last crisis will shape the next one. Bank balance sheets are better managed, but risk is building up elsewhere. In particular, investors are using non-bank lending to satisfy their thirst for yield. The growth of this opaque credit channel poses a number of potential systemic risks.”
Michael and Constance Erlanger, Founders and Managing Principals, Marketcore:
“There can be no doubt that harnessing the transformational powers of both transparency and technology can help provide the world with the financial stability we all crave. We have unique technology skills, technology insights and technology solutions that will complement the TTF’s outstanding work on transparency in helping to rid the financial ecosystem from the curse of market crashes. Doing so is not an impossibility. We’re committed contributors to the collective effort that is underway through the TTF.”
Stuart Woollard, Managing Partner/Co-Founder Maturity Institute and OMS LLP:
"Financial stability is a whole system issue, with multiple facets that require ongoing attention. The Transparency Task Force White Paper and APPG initiative is of critical importance in ensuring that government, regulatory bodies and wider stakeholders are aware of underlying causes and all possible solutions that can improve financial stability in a UK context. In bringing our own expertise and evidence on issues of governance and culture, the Maturity Institute has been delighted to have been part of a multi-disciplinary team of experts, who have built a solid foundation for which we believe real progress can be made under the auspices of a new APPG.”
David M. Rowe, Ph.D.
President, David M. Rowe Risk Advisory
"It is less than 10 years since the Global Financial Crisis began in earnest in September 2008. Sadly, politicians, regulators and financial market professionals appear to be repeating the mistakes that led to those destructive events of a decade ago. As The Economist stated recently (see the Free Exchange column, Jan 27-Feb 2 issue): 'If this time is different, it is only because the lessons of history have been discarded so quickly.'
Open Letter to:
Her Majesty The Queen,
London SW1A 1AA.
[Copies sent by Email to Prime Minister Theresa May and leaders of other Political parties for their information; and to my media contacts to whom I have given permission to reproduce this letter in whole or in part.]
I am writing to you because it has become something of folklore amongst academics, economists and others that you were not given a satisfactory answer when you enquired as to why so few experts saw the Global Financial Crisis coming.
Ten years on from the Crisis, it is a timely moment to reflect, refocus and reconsider what else can be done to prevent something similar happening again. I raise this matter with you as I am leading a meeting at the House of Commons on 7th February that will help initiate the launch of a new All Party Parliamentary Group, on Financial Stability.
Financial stability is a precious public good that warrants nurturing and protecting; and thinking about financial stability through the clear-eyed lens of transparency offers an opportunity to cut through to the policy initiatives needed to help create the financial stability we all want. I and many others believe that a lack of transparency in the financial ecosystem (including within the banking, pensions and investment sectors) is problematic.
It might be that our collective efforts achieve nothing at all; alternatively, we might help to avoid you needing to ask the question “Why didn’t anybody see it coming?” all over again.
I have enclosed a copy of our White Paper “Ideas to reduce the chance of another Global Financial Crisis” which will be discussed at the 7th February meeting. It would be an honour to update you on the outcome of the meeting, if you so wish; and I would welcome your general thoughts on this volunteer-driven initiative.
I have the honour to be, Madam, Your Majesty’s humble and constructively concerned citizen, volunteering to ‘do my little bit’ alongside many others.
Founding Chair, the Transparency Task Force www.transparencytaskforce.org
“Helping to fix financial services by harnessing the transformational power of transparency.”
Click below to download the Transparency Task Force Financial Stability Team's White Paper entitled "Ideas to reduce the chance of another Global Financial Crisis."
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: