Teams of Volunteers

Please note:

 

You can scroll to the bottom of the page to:

  • Download a spreadsheet showing who is involved with each of our Teams
  • View a table that shows when each Team has its next Team Session; they are quarterly

 

How the TTF Teams started

 

The first Transparency Task Force meeting was held on 6th May 2015 at Senate House, London University. The meeting was about the need for the financial services industry to rebuild trust in the sector; and about the correlation between transparency, truthfulness and trustworthiness. 

 

The message delivered was that those of us who truly care about the importance of the Financial Services sector and the people it serves can, and should, work together to help put things right.

 

We referred to the famous Margaret Mead quote: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has" and our call for right-minded financial services professionals to ‘“stand up, not stand by” landed well – people volunteered to get involved.

 

Since then, through word of mouth, through our Transparency Symposia, through our coverage in the press including the Financial Times and Radio 4, through publication of the Transparency Times and through many speaking slots in the UK and overseas, many more people have heard about our aims and objectives and stepped forward as volunteers.

 

The response to what the Transparency Task Force is all about has been profoundly positive – many people align very naturally with our ‘North Star’ question: “What’s best for the consumer?”

 

Volunteers have been organized and mobilized into Teams; with each Team being made up people with relevant subject-matter expertise who feel strongly about particular issues.

 

We started off with a handful of teams but we now have 13, with several others "on the drawing board." We now have well over 300 volunteers in 16 countries.

 

Our volunteers are a 'coalition of the willing', working together to be 'part of the solution'. Each team is focused on a particular set of transparency-related issues and desired outcomes. Here's a very short overview to explain what each Team is seeking to do but you can read more information about each Team by clicking on the links on the left hand side (scroll up):

 

The Foreign Exchange Team

 

The Foreign Exchange market is full of opacity that adversely affects consumers and even institutional investors. Our FX Team published a constructive critique of the Global FX Code in July 2017, explaining why the Code doesn’t go far enough to make costs in FX sufficiently transparent. The White Paper drew acknowledgement and response from the Competition & Markets Authority and the Economic Secretary at HM Treasury. The Team continues to shine a light on the reforms needed to help create a fair, transparent, competitive and efficient FX market that delivers value for money to the individuals and institutions that use it. 

 

The Banking Team

 

Our Banking Team has been campaigning for the Banks to treat their business and retail customers in a more transparent way; for example, by changing the way Banks describe their ‘free if in credit’ current accounts and how charges are applied. The highlight so far has been the publication of a well-received White Paper on our reform proposals, presented at special meeting held at the House of Commons in June 2017 and Chaired by Lord Cromwell. The event and White Paper was covered by The Times. Very good progress has been made on the opacity of costs and charges front; and the Team is now looking at what more can be done for Banks to properly support those that have been scammed. 

 

One of the Team’s leaders, Heather Buchanan, is Director of Policy & Strategy at the All Party Parliamentary Group on Financial Stability; which the team actively supports.   

 

The Market Integrity Team

 

The Market Integrity Team consists of over 50 senior executives from Financial Services Trade Bodies, Professional Associations, Standards Boards and similar; all working together to improve the overall effectiveness of the UK’s Financial Services Codes of Conduct, with a view to positively impacting market behaviour. The ground-breaking work of this Team will help to improve outcomes for consumers and help restore confidence in the Sector by raising the bar in terms of the standards of ethics, professionalism, conduct and integrity. The team has been liaising with the Financial Conduct Authority, which has an inherent interest in the topic if market integrity.  

 

The Costs & Charges Team

 

Transparency on costs & charges is so important because it will encourage a more competitive and efficient market and thereby generate better net results to savers and investors, particularly pensions savers. The highlights so far was a very special meeting held at the House of Commons in September 2016 that was Co-Chaired by Tom Tugendhat MBE MP. The event was the first ‘Transparency Strategy Summit’ in the World, and dealt with the question: “What can we collectively do to help protect the UK’s pension savers from hidden costs and charges?” 

 

We presented our research on costs and charges; and it even got covered on the front page of the Financial Times. The Team continues to campaign for pro-consumer reform and has been highly engaged with the relevant UK Regulators and Government Departments, particularly the Financial Conduct Authority, the FCA’s Institutional Disclosure Working Group, The Competition & Markets Authority, The Pensions Regulator, The Financial Reporting Council, the Department for Work and Pensions and the Work and Pensions Select Committee. 

 

The Pensions Team

 

The AE Team is focusing on issues in the Pensions Auto Enrolment market. It was launched at our Transparency Symposium dedicated to the topic of Pensions Auto enrolment held on 8th March 2018. Team AE will be looking to shine a light on issues within the AE market that might jeopardize the success of this critically important strategy to help solve the UK’s pensions crisis; issues such as:

  • Error rates
  • Technology issues and opportunities e.g. interoperability
  • Scheme selection issues
  • Value for money issues
  • The Net Pay/Relief at Source scandal
  • Scheme governance issues
  • Sub-optimal communication
  • Miss-selling issues

 

The Financial Stability Team

 

The Financial Stability Team was launched on 13th September 2017, at a Transparency Symposium held in London entitled “It must never happen again!”. The event was all about the causes and consequences of the Global Financial Crisis and in particular the part that a lack of transparency played. The date of the event was chosen because it marked the 10-year anniversary, to the day, that Northern Rock collapsed. 

 

The Financial Stability Team has been working together to establish what more can be done by Governments and Regulators around the World to build greater resilience into the financial ecosystem. This is important work because the overall conclusion from our 13th September event is that despite the fact that we are ‘10 years on’ from the Global Financial Crisis there are many risks that have still not been mitigated fully. We want to shine a light on that, in a collaborative, constructive and consensus-building way.

 

The Team produced a White Paper entitled “Ideas to help reduce the chance of another Global Financial Crisis” which we presented at the House of Commons on 7thFebruary 2018. The meeting went very well; so much so that it has initiated the creation of an All Party Parliamentary Group on Financial Stability; we are very proud of that – over 20 Parliamentarians will be involved in developing fledgling policy initiatives for subsequent evaluation by organisations such as The Bank of England, The Financial Conduct Authority, The Financial Reporting Council and so on. 

 

Team APAC

 

Team APAC is for people in Asia Pacific that want to work together to deal with opacity-related problems in their part of the world’s financial ecosystem. It is a new team, still at the early stage of developing its campaign objectives. 

 

Team EMEA

 

Team EMEA is for people in Europe, the Middle East and Africa that want to work together to deal with opacity-related problems in their part of the world’s financial ecosystem. It is a new team, still at the early stage of developing its campaign objectives. 

 

Team GTI

 

Team GTI is for people that are involved in developing our Global Transparency Index. This will highlight pro-transparency best practice around the world. It will allow countries to benchmark themselves against others in terms of how transparent their financial services ecosystems are (particularly their pensions industries). The Global Transparency Index is designed to be an invaluable resource for Governments and Regulators. Our initial focus is the UK, USA, Canada, Australia and the Netherlands and the GTI will be a ground-breaking development that will accelerate the rate at which the Financial Services industry around the world moves to a more transparent state; and therefore a fairer and more efficient state, enabling better outcomes for millions of people globally.

 

Team Americas

 

Team Americas is for people in The Americas, (North and South) that want to work together to deal with opacity-related problems in their part of the world’s financial ecosystem.

 

Team Americas is particularly focused on campaigning for the widespread adoption of the Fiduciary Standard, which is all about advisers putting the interests of their clients before themselves. 

 

The Anti-Scams Team

 

This Team’s work is of profound importance to the reputation of the Financial Services sector as a whole but also to the well-being of members of the public being who are literally at risk of having their pension schemes defrauded from them. People are being tricked into transferring their pension funds into criminals’ pockets. This is a grotesque wrong that is taking place ‘under our very noses’, right now. Real lives of real people are being ruined by the awful, scandalous fraudulent activity of scammers that seemingly cannot be stopped by the Regulators, or the Police. We are campaigning to raise awareness of the issue and have been liaising with The Financial Conduct Authority, the Work & Pensions Select Committee, Project Bloom and other interested parties. 

 

Team PISCES:

 

This Team is about the world’s capital markets becoming a ‘force for good’. To explain the name of the team: the P is for Purpose; I is for Impact Investing; S is for Sustainability; C is for Corporate Social Responsibility; E is for Environment, Social and Governance; and S is for Socially Responsible Investing. There is tremendous scope for the way the financial services sector influences what happens in our world and this Team has several campaign initiatives underway; each and every one can make a positive difference. The lead campaign is what we call “Mandatory Fact-Finding,” an idea that financial advisers should establish whether their clients have any values-based preferences (for example, to not invest in a manner that worsens climate change) before recommending a suitable investment fund. 

 

Team PAM:

 

This Team is about encouraging the world’s Asset Managers to behave in a more progressive and pro-consumer way; to be more determined to put their clients’ interests first, wherever possible. The P is for Progressive; the A is for Asset; the M is for Managers. The overall purpose is to facilitate collaboration between asset managers that have a more enlightened and progressive approach than most, to drive better outcomes for their clients. The Team was launched in response to the Financial Conduct Authority’s Asset Management Market Study which was justifiably critical of the way some Asset Managers have been operating. 

 

The leading campaign initiative has been to re-energise the idea that asset managers should work to a high ethical code of conduct, centred around looking after the interests of their clients as best as they can. 

 

Our Teams are not just ‘talking-shops’ or a ‘whinge-fests’ – they are pragmatically undertaking work that can, will and already has made a difference.

 

They are a consensus-building 'coalition of the willing', working together to be 'part of the solution'. We are proud of our collective efforts to make a difference; especially given how little resource we have to work with. 

 

Each Team has at least one campaign project underway, designed to harness the transformational power of transparency to drive the much-needed change that the consumer deserves and the reputation of the Sector needs.

 

Given how much needs sorting in Financial Services we’re obviously going to be busy for a long, long time and we’re always on the lookout for people that want to help.

 

So if you would ‘rather stand up than stand by’ and would like to know more about how you can get included and do your bit please contact me through andy.agathangelou@transparencytaskforce.org

 

Credit where credit's due

 

We can’t even begin to thank our Team Leaders and our 300+ volunteers enough for what they are doing; we really don’t know if there has been anything like the Transparency Task Force's collaborative, campaigning community ever before. We’re punching above our weight, especially when you consider how desperately under-resourced we are.

 

HUGE heart-felt thank you to all our Team Members, Team Leaders and our Ambassadors.

 

You can download the spreadsheet below to see who they are, and beneath that there is a table showing where/when/how each Team has its meetings/conference calls: 

All TTF Team Members and Ambassadors as at 7th August 2018
All TTF Members and Ambassadors as at 7t[...]
Microsoft Excel sheet [40.5 KB]

The table below sets out the relevent dates, times and dial-in details for all of the TTF Teams sessions:

 

Team

Format

Date

UK Times

FX

Team

Conference call*

Tuesday 2nd October

9:00 to 9:30 UK

 

 

 

 

Banking

Team

Conference call*

Tuesday 2nd October

11:00 to 11:30 UK

 

 

 

 

Market

Integrity

Conference call*

Tuesday 2nd October

13:00 to 13:30 UK

 

 

 

 

Costs & Charges

Team

Conference call*

Tuesday 2nd October

15:00 to 15:30 UK

 

 

 

 

The Pensions Team

Conference call* Tuesday 2nd October  17:00 to 17:30 UK
       

Team

APAC

Conference call**

Wednesday 3rd October

02:00 (2AM) to 03:30 UK

 

 

 

 

Team

EMEA

Conference call**

Wednesday 3rd October 

10:00 to 10:30 UK

 

 

 

 

Team

GTI

Conference call**

Wednesday 3rd October

12:00 to 12:30 UK

 

 

 

 

Team

Americas

Conference call**

Wednesday 3rd October

17:00 to 17:30 UK

 

 

 

 

Anti-Scams

Team

Conference call*

Thursday 4th October

9:00 to 9:30 UK

 

 

 

 

Team

PISCES

Conference call*

Thursday 4th October

11:00 to 11:30 UK

 

 

 

 

Team

PAM

Conference call*

Thursday 4th October

13:00 to 13:30 UK

 

 

 

 

Financial Stability

Team

Conference call*

Thursday 4th October

15:00 to 15:30 UK

       

Conference Call Dial-in Details:

*For all ‘UK Teams’: Dial in: 0333 44 33 44 3 Room number: 78371389# PIN: 7188# 

**For all ‘International Teams’: To see your country's dial-in click this link: http://www.buzzconferencing.co.uk/services/international-conference-calls.php

IMPORTANT: Call the UK number if your country isn't listed (+44 845 545 5055) as this works from anywhere in the world. 

Participant PIN is 3904336

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