New research shows that customers are demanding more rigorous ethical standards and practice from the banking industry, as figures released today shows that trust in the banking sector is at an all time low.

The findings released by consumer group Which? show that only 4% of people think that bankers act ethically, whilst less than a third of people think that banks serve their needs well.

The findings come at a critical time for banking reform, as Parliament prepares to consider amendments to the government’s key legislation to clean up the industry.

Responding to the news, Laura Willoughby MBE, chief executive of campaign website, said:

Every day people are switching banks because they feel cheated about the way their money is being used to fund big bonuses and bogus business practices.

But whilst these results come as no surprise, they show that the Banking Reform Bill doesn’t go far enough to reassure consumers, or to reign in Britain’s broken banks.

The current proposals neither carry the confidence of the public, nor provide the protection we need from another banking crisis. As a result, it is essential that the public pressures MPs to clamp down on the corrosive bank behaviour that crippled our economy.”

The research will come as a boost to Labour MP Chris Leslie, who has been pushing for amendments to the bill that would force bankers to be licensed to practice. Under the proposals bankers would be “struck off” for wrongdoing, an idea that 93% of the public support, according to today’s research.

Despite the amendments, many actors in civil society still feel that the proposals don’t go far enough to prevent another crisis. Some have argued that the bill does not resolve the too-big-to-fail problem, [1] whilst others argue that the reforms would do nothing to prevent another credit-fuelled financial crisis.

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Laura Willoughby MBE continued:

MPs will only strengthen the bill if they feel the heat from ordinary people like you and me. That’s why we’re calling on customers to switch who they bank with and to tell their MP why on our website.

MPs need to hear what’s wrong with the banking system and what they should do to improve it – otherwise the best chance in a generation for real banking reform risks becoming just another missed opportunity.”


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