Sir Richard Lambert has published his report, outlining his idea of what a Banking Standards Review Council would look like.
The BSRC is already being set up, and should be operational in time for the new year; Sir Richard says that, while it will take time to raise behavioural standards throughout an industry the size of the financial services sector, momentum should be “maintained and accelerated”, and work begin immediately.
Katja Hall, deputy director general of the Confederation of British Industry, welcomed the publication of the report and said it makes sense that there should be a focus on ensuring banks serve their customers well, particularly as momentum gathers within the UK economic recovery.
“With the political and regulatory spotlight now firmly on conduct, a swift and positive response from the banks to these proposals, combined with changes already underway, should help to rebuild trust in this important sector over time,” she said.
She added that good levels of customer service will also be good news for the banks themselves in the coming months, as competition increases and new entrants come into the financial services market, making customer retention more important for the existing big players.
The publication of Sir Richard’s Banking Standards Review marks the culmination of a process that began in September 2013, when he was asked by the chairmen of the biggest banks in the UK to develop a professional body with the intention of promoting high standards in the sector.
In compiling his report, Sir Richard and his colleagues spoke to executives throughout the financial services sector, in both banks and building societies, as well as representatives of government, academia and industry, regulatory bodies, training providers, trade associations, and consumer and employee groups.