Triodos Bank calls for wider debate around banking reform
- ICB report will fail to address fundamental banking sector issues
- Second debate needed on the role of banks in society
With the Independent Commission on Banking (ICB) set to publish its final recommendations around banking reform next week Charles Middleton, Managing Director at leading ethical bank Triodos, comments on the changes and where the debate should now be taken.
"The first step we would hope to see from the ICB’s final report is the full separation of banking functions, although we understand this level of separation represents a huge task for the industry. However we must not stop there.
"Whilst Triodos recognises the need to ensure stability within the banking system, this report will likely miss a trick by not also addressing the broader, more important questions around the role banks have to play in society and how this huge and influential sector can become a force for good in uncertain times. In the aftermath of the banking crisis, consumers want and deserve far more from their banks. If the industry is to win back the support and trust of the British public, it needs to adopt fundamentally different approaches to lending and borrowing.
"Research conducted by Triodos shows consumers believe banks should take more responsibility and help society with nearly two thirds (64%) wanting banks to do more to support community and society groups. The potential for banking to bring positive societal and environmental change is huge, and must be recognised by the world’s financial regulators and institutions.
"The debate between the Government and the banking industry around the severity and speed of reforms will no doubt continue to rumble on long after the report has been published. We urge regulators and policy makers not to lose sight of the broader debate we should be having – namely the bigger role banking should play in society."
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Notes to editors
Opinium Research conducted research on behalf of Triodos Bank between 26th and 29th August 2011 with 2054 Nationally Representative UK adults aged 18+.
For further information, please contact:
Jemma Green/ Duncan Skehens
020 7294 3642 / 020 7566 9732
About Triodos Bank
The bank only finances enterprises which create social, environmental or cultural added value. Key sectors include organic food and farming, renewable energy, social housing, and fair trade. Transparency is a core value: customers are informed about the bank's lending.
A range of personal savings accounts is offered, and full banking services are available for businesses and charities. Triodos Bank is an independent bank founded in the Netherlands in 1980. Its principles and independence are protected through a special shareholding trust. The first UK office opened in 1995. Offices are located in Bristol, London and Edinburgh.