As the evidence of malpractice in the big high street banks continues to grow, individual savers and small businesses are desperately in need of alternative ways to get the financial services they need. Britain’s banking system is dominated by the universal banks of HSBC, Barclays, RBS and Lloyds, all of whom have business models geared towards making their profits from the investment banking world of global deals, big transactions and speculative trading. These are a world apart from their UK customer base of individual savers and small businesses needing working capital. The market should be an encouraging place for new financial service providers to come up with better offerings for the ordinary people and businesses of Britain. The problem is that policy makers and regulators are mesmerised by the big banks and have their work cut out preventing the bad banking behaviour, meaning not enough time and resources are devoted to encouraging the good. For the system to change, we need both, and The Finance Innovation Lab is supporting amendments being put forward in the Financial Services Bill to redress this balance.
The Good Banking Forum includes a unique range of leading figures from academia, finance, politics, the law, trade unions, consumer and civil society groups that are demanding real reform of the banking sector.
The Forum emerged from the Good Banking Summit, organised by nef (the new economics foundation) and Compass in May 2011. The Forum challenges the limited scope of the Independent Commission on Banking, will mobilise public pressure for ‘Good Banking,’ and is campaigning to break-up the banks as a necessary first step.
Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
It is getting on for four years now since the global financial crisis of 2008. There have been significant reforms, most notably the Dodd-Frank Act in the United States and the proposals of the UK’s Independent Commission on Banking. The policies coming out of these lengthy reviews are aimed at making our banks safer and less prone to instability. But will they actually make the banking system more socially useful and help us create sustainable growth?
This week Gudrum Gumb from KfW Bankengruppe came to London to explain the vital role that the German state investment bank plays in Germany’s economy and society. You can watch an excerpt from the seminar below.
The Vickers Commission has forced the banks to make substantial reforms, but most of us are still tied into banking with the big financial behemoths. A local, approachable and public-spirited alternative is much needed.
Make the Break written by banking expert Ismail Erturk of Manchester Business School on behalf of the Good Banking Forum argues that ring fencing retail banking from investment banking will add another layer to the self-serving and socially useless complexity in banking without achieving its objectives of financial stability and customer-focused bank competition in the UK.
It’s only a week to go before Sir John Vickers publishes the ICB’s final report on bank reform and the debate is heating up spectacularly. The banking lobby has gone into spin overdrive and is pumping out arguments against change in various newspapers, on the BBA blog and behind closed doors to government officials, including David Cameron it seems. At the same time, a few brave City figures like David Pitt-Wilson are putting the other side of the argument.
The debate continues to rage today over possible structural reform of the UK banking system in the wake of the conclusion of the Vickers Commission, due on September 12th.
As reported in City AM this morning – the banking lobby are putting pressure on George Osborne to ignore any recommendations from Vickers that involve structural reform of the big banks.
The banking lobby is arguing that this is the wrong time to embark on structural reform as economic growth is anaemic. Last week we pointed out the absurdity of this argument.
However, the article is a reminder that the ultimate decisions on the future of banking regulation will be taken by the Cabinet Committee on Banking, chaired by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Rt Hon George Osborne MP, with the Rt Hon Dr Vince Cable MP, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills as Deputy Chair.
Secretary of State for Business, Vince Cable has challened the ICB to demonstrate that ring fencing retail and investment banking can be as effective and delivered at a lower cost than full separation.
The Independent Commission on Banking led by Sir John Vickers, which has been charged with the task of coming up with a range of recommendations for the Government to adopt is coming under intense lobbying from the banking sector. In essence they are using bailout money to lobby for the right to be bailed out again.
We want the Commission to hear the voices of the people, ordinary tax-payers who bailed out the banks to the tune of billions. We therefore need you to send an email in support of our call for Good Banking. It will take less than 2 minutes of your time, but could make a huge difference.