In this guest post for Which? Conversation, Pat McFadden MP explains how the government has tasked the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards to investigate the state of British banking…
In recent months, standards in banking have been questioned more than ever. The mis-selling of financial products and the manipulation of Libor have, quite understandably, generated a wave of anger throughout our society.
The Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards was established at the request of the leaders of all three main political parties to consider and report on the professional standards and culture of the UK banking sector and the lessons to be learned about corporate governance, transparency and conflicts of interest.
We will be making recommendations for legislative action later this year and reporting on other matters as soon as possible thereafter.
Day-to-day experience of banking
The way in which you are treated by your banks – whether as a business or an individual – is central to the Commission’s work.
That is why the Commission decided to form a panel of its members, which I am leading, to look specifically at issues arising from the consumer and business experience of banks.
The aim of this panel is to gather evidence so that the Commission may better understand how you feel about banks and whether you think you’re being treated fairly.
Banks are absolutely crucial to the functioning of a modern economy. When we have a situation where some banks have collapsed, where businesses cannot get the finance that they need, and where trust in the whole sector has been eroded, then that matters a great deal.
Erosion of trust in banks
But however much trust has been eroded, it is crucial that we have a banking sector that works for the whole economy – that provides finance to back great ideas, supports great businesses and helps the economy grow.
I was keen that the panel get out of Westminster to hear directly from small businesses and consumers and that’s why we started our work in Birmingham, listening to the views of business people and taking part in a consumer event organised by Which?.
I’m aware that a number of you also submitted your views online prior to the event. Thoughts captured here and on the night will be considered carefully when we report back to the full Commission. The entire process, from the Commission’s initial evidence sessions right through to the publication of our final report can be followed at www.parliament.uk/bankingstandards.
How do you feel your bank treats you? Is there something you’d like the Commission to look into during its investigations?
Which? Conversation provides guest spots to external contributors. This is from Rt Hon Pat McFadden MP, a member of the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards. All opinions expressed here are Pat’s own, not necessarily those of Which?.