Testimonials from previous attendees
Our events are an integral part of our strategy for driving change, which is is to bring together two types of people:
#1, Those with a sense of ‘passion & purpose’ about what needs to change; and
#2, Those with the ‘power & position’ to help make change happen
The testimonials below from previous attendees will help explain the aims and objectives of our Transparency Symposia - they aren't ordinary events:
Head of Policy Development,
Pensions, Investments and Workplace,
Wealth & Insurance,
Lloyds Banking Group
"I’ve been to a number of Transparency Symposiums over the last 2 years, considering subject matter such as Transaction Charge Disclosure, the Asset Management Market Review and more recently the FCA’s Platform Study.
These symposiums are a melting pot, where all sorts of interested parties express and share views. With regulators and policymakers attending alongside those with commercial interests and those championing the consumer and other causes, this is a great forum to express your views if you want others to see things from your perspective and of course a great opportunity to see things from other people’s perspective."
Andrew D. Esctruth,
Associate Director for External Relations,
Center for Retirement Research at Boston College
"I would urge anyone concerned with improving the relationship between the financial industry, regulators, and consumers to attend a Transparency Task Force (TTF) symposium. This superb organization was started in the United Kingdom and has quickly established an impressive track record for raising awareness of the benefits of greater transparency in the provision of financial services, a prerequisite for building trust with consumers. The TTF events bring together a diverse group of experts with one common goal: to help the financial industry thrive by putting its clients first. This mission is vital in today’s environment in which the risk and responsibility for attaining retirement security has shifted away from institutions and to individuals."
"Thinking about what's next";
Co-Founder of The People's Trust;
Former Chief Executive of the Investment Association
"Transparency Symposiums are a place where people who care about financial services and the important role they have to play can come to support and shape the future of transparency"
Dr. Kara Tan Bhala,
President and Founder,
Seven Pillars Institute for Global Finance and Ethics
"I attended and spoke at the Transparency Symposium in Boston on September 28th. The quality of speakers and the content of their talks were impressive in depth, scope and relevance of knowledge. The symposium provided a space for professionals to present their ideas and for everyone to meet and speak frankly with others who share the same purpose of improving financial practice and policy. Presenters were high-level executives, directors, and presidents of their companies. Attendees belonged in the top echelons of their fields. I forecast this and future symposia will lead to the fulfillment of Transparency Task Force goals, pushing financial services to new heights of ethical advancement. In sum, the symposium was a well-organized, friendly, and illuminating gathering of thought leaders and social justice advocates."
Associate Director and
Senior Fellow, Programs on Corporate Governance and Institutional Investors, Harvard Law School
“TTF is all about equipping the capital market and its participants with tools they need to adapt to forces of change. Transparency is coming to the corporate and investor worlds, as it has hit other fields, as a result of public, regulatory, NGO, and social media pressure. TTF convenes professionals from diverse disciplines for collective brainstorming on how to make transparency into an asset.”
The Institute of Life Planning
“Transparency is the major issue society faces today in both democracy and finance. The Transparency Task Force is doing a terrific job highlighting this issue by bringing together a wide range of experts to provide intelligent insight and deep thought for everyone involved.
The symposium stimulated me to become even more active in my effort to shed light on opacity through my blogging and my new book A Golden Civilization. I’m very excited to see what The Transparency Task Force does moving forward"
Investor Responsibility Research Institute
"The Transparency Symposium provides a unique and valuable lens through which to examine how to improve both the efficiency and resiliency of the financial system, for the good of investors, the industry and society. The speakers are good, but it’s the interaction with the other attendees and the sense of purpose which differentiates it from every other financial meeting.
The symposium cuts across the normal siloes in the financial sector, so that we can learn from each other, including a number of perspectives that often are not heard… but should be."
Senior Polocy Advisor,
The Federation of Dutch Pension Funds
The importance of cost transparency:
Cost transparancy is of the utmost importance to the Federation of Dutch Pension Funds.
We believe that the pension industry is morally obliged to be transparent.
Pension funds have to provide an adequate retirement income at an acceptable price (contribution). The level of costs is crucial because it affects pension savings during an accrual period of several decades. Therefore costs have a significant impact on the eventual retirement income.
Cutting costs is not the primary goal. Costs should be evaluated in the context of risk and return on investment. This triangle should be taken into account by the management board of a pension fund during the entire decision making process.
The Federation of the Dutch Pension Funds published its most recent recommendations on costs in 2016. Cost transparency is no longer voluntary but also a legal obligation for pension funds in the Netherlands nowadays.
A next step should be to reach international agreement on how asset managers should calculate the level of costs and how they present this information to their clients. For this reason, we fully support the initiative of the Transparency Task Force. Together we can lift cost transparency to an even higher level.
"It was the lack of transparency coupled with corporate greed that lead to the financial crash that ruined so many peoples lives and aggravated the continuing rise in inequality. We must learn from our mistakes and take strong action
The Transparency Task Force and the symposia that are organised are a very useful way of educating those in business and beyond of the potential threat of inaction in this area. They are a valuable lesson in what we need to do to make sure we do not allow such disasters to happen again."
"TTF events cover critical issues facing the financial and wider corporate community, bringing together thinking, perspectives and approaches from a diverse range of important stakeholders. A transparent financial services sector has never been more necessary and can only be achieved on whole system basis, with the participation of all relevant actors. TTF provides the perfect conduit to help make this happen".
“I recently attended the Task Force March 2019 event in Boston and was very impressed with the information, quality of presentations and the depth of knowledge present in the room. The dialogue was constructive and action oriented; in a refreshing change from other symposiums that I have attended, this was not about making sales pitches. It was strictly to encourage roundtable discussions that focused on areas of financial malfeasance and what can be done to rectify these atrocities. Each participant contributed information, insights and potential solutions that went beyond his or her own particular role in financial services, technology or other industry. I came away energized and ready to contribute my time and resources to support Andy’s mission and vision for the Task Force.
I would strongly urge you to consider joining the mailing list, attending a future event and getting involved to help us re-establish trust and transparency in our global financial and economic ecosystem.”
Director of Policy,
The TTF has established itself as a key forum for stakeholders to engage in productive, challenging discussions about issues facing the financial services industry.
The conversations are refreshingly frank and thrive under Andy's incisive lead, and I very much look forward to the next one.
Association of Member Nominated Trustees
Transparency Task Force run well prepared and well attended symposia.
Member nominated trustees find that the gatherings put into clear context the issues that are involved. They also provide opportunities to exchange views. We think that AMNT and TTF have complementary roles.
The TTF offers a brilliant cross-sectional view of financial services industry challenges by the deep and refreshing talent of committed volunteers.
Problems are discussed in a constructive manner. Improvements are explored with multi-disciplinary inputs.
TTF offers a fruitful and friendly learning environment.
The lack of transparency in financial services is a problem we need to tackle from the inside and out. To do this we need to be able to bring together people who can see the problem from different angles – and that’s exactly what TTF does.
I think the TTF is going to play a huge part in making the financial services industry work for the people it’s actually supposed to serve.
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: