British banks have been given a three-year deadline to repair the banking reputation and restore trust among customers, according to a plan outlined by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) former head Sir Richard Lambert.
According to Lambert, the plan should enable in regaining the public trust in banks, which suffered huge damage from the financial crisis and from the series of scandals unfolded by regulators recently.
"Over time the ambition would be to encourage the development of banking as a profession, along the lines of accountancy or the law.
"The credibility of the new body will be built on the independence of its board, and on widespread industry participation. Its first task will be to define standards of good conduct, and to help drive these into all business activities," Lambert added.
Some of the standards that need to be followed by banks include publish data on number of cases of whistleblowing at individual banks and outline the number of staff with professional industry qualifications, among others.
CBI competitive markets director, Matthew Fell, said restoring trust in their banking system is fundamental to the future of the UK economy.
"With its emphasis on standards and ethics, Sir Richard’s review is an important piece of the jigsaw to help reinforce a culture change that puts the customer at the heart of everything banks do. Transparent reporting of performance is important so that banks don’t just sign up to these new standards, but live and breathe them.
"Good conduct and ethical behaviour should be important to future career mobility, so the transition to a professional body with individual membership is appealing," Fell added.