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Mistrusted banks ‘desperately need’ reform

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Consumer body Which? has called for ‘desperately needed' reforms of the banking sector following research indicating widespread lack of trust among consumers.

The Which? research indicated just one in ten consumers trust bankers to act in their best interests. 

The same research indicated that two thirds of consumers (67%) think that bankers are unlikely to lose their job if they lie or cheat.

A similar proportion think bankers are unlikely to lose their job if they fail to comply with industry codes of conduct (63%), deliver consistently poor service (64%) or receive a high number of complaints from customers (64%).

More people say they distrust bankers than estate agents (65% compared with 51%) and just one in ten (10%) think that bankers are well regulated.

Following these findings, Which? has launched a campaign calling for bankers to put customers before sales and to introduce pay and bonus schemes that prioritise customers.

It also says bankers should comply with a code of conduct independent of the banking industry and should be struck off for where malpractice occurs.

Similarly, it argues that senior executives should be held accountable for mis-selling and poor conduct, with stronger criminal sanctions up to board level and a function that enables the retraction of bonuses.

Which? said: “The banks need to listen to the public and make sure consumers’ best interests are at the heart of these reforms which so desperately need to be made.” 

Which? executive director Richard Lloyd added: ‘We thought we’d seen banking at its lowest point when the public were forced to bail out the banks but since then we’ve seen the Libor rate-rigging scandal and continued mis-selling.

“All the while the bankers who presided over corruption continue to enjoy hugely inflated pay and bonuses.”


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