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UK banking sector “lost its moral compass”

Which? chief executive, Peter Vicary-Smith, has written an open letter to the newly-installed British Bankers’ Association (BBA) chief executive, Anthony Browne, urging him to restore consumer trust in the UK banking sector.

According to Mr Vicary-Smith, the sector has “lost its moral compass” to the extent that almost three-quarters of Britons don’t think UK banks have learnt their lesson from the financial crisis (up from 61% in September 2011).

The Which? chief goes on to outline five actions that the BBA should prioritise to change the practices and culture of the industry, as follows:

Put customers first – help your members to prioritise customer service in everything they do.

Drive up standards – champion practices that improve behaviour, and push the banks to be more accountable for bad practice.

Establish the BBA as a credible voice – acknowledge the scale of reform and resist pressure to defend the indefensible.

Demonstrate leadership – be positive about reform, and ensure the BBA’s stance doesn’t simply reflect the position of the lowest common denominator.

Up the pace of reform – help the banks to make changes now, rather than wait for the regulator or the Government to force them to act.

The advice comes alongside new figures from High Street banks showing sharp rises in customer complaints.

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