Bankers should have to swear oath of office, think tank claims

Bankers should have to swear oath of office, think tank claims

Bankers should have to swear an oath of good service in the same way as doctors, a think-tank said today.

Rather than solely focusing on rules or macro-economic issues, regulators need to consider the personal conduct of bankers, said ResPublica, an independent UK think-tank that looks at social, economic and cultural problems.

ResPublica called on the British trade bodies British Bankers’ Association (BBA), the Building Societies Association and the new Banking Standards Review Council to adopt an oath it has drawn up for members.

The think-tank’s banking oath is based on the Hippocratic Oath doctors swear, which dates back 2,500 years to Greek medical pioneer Hippocrates.

ResPublica director Phillip Blond said: “As countless scandals demonstrate, virtue is distinctly absent from our banking institutions.

“Bankers lack a sense of ethos and the institutions they work for lack a clearly defined social purpose.

“The bankers’ oath represents a remarkable opportunity to fulfil their proper moral and economic purpose, and finally place bankers on the road to absolution.”

Part of ResPublica’s banker’s oath says: “I will do my utmost to behave in a manner that prioritises the needs of customers. It my first duty to provide an exemplary quality of service to my customers and to exhibit a duty of care above and beyond what is required by law.”

Another part of the oath adds: “I will confront profligacy and impropriety wherever I encounter it, for the conduct of bankers can have dramatic consequence for society.”

More in this Section

Survey finds huge drop last year in firms leasing flexible office space in DublinSurvey finds huge drop last year in firms leasing flexible office space in Dublin

Business leaders warn of workers shortage in NI under new UK immigration rulesBusiness leaders warn of workers shortage in NI under new UK immigration rules

Investor BGF opens Cork office to target Munster firmsInvestor BGF opens Cork office to target Munster firms

Ryanair appeals jury’s decisionRyanair appeals jury’s decision


Lifestyle

Bonnie Ryan couldn’t be happier.On a roll: Why Bonnie Ryan couldn't be happier

From Ireland to America and fashion to homeswares, designer Helen James is developing interiors products for the high street with an emphasis on sustainability, beauty and function, writes Carol O’CallaghanConsider this: Meet Helen James

Laura Harding goes on location to see where the new adaptation of Jane Austen's Emma was shotBehind the Scenes: Getting the inside story on the movie Emma

More From The Irish Examiner