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BBA proposes new council and code of conduct to improve banking standards

The British Bankers Association (BBA) has proposed establishment of an independent organization, Banking Standards Review Council (BSRC), to improve standards of banking practices and trust, which was eroded after several banking scandals.

The proposed council will be independent from the industry and will be headed by a non-banking chairman and a majority of non-banking members, including customers.

Submitting the recommendations before the British Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards (PCBS), BBA chief executive Anthony Browne said that banking oversight and enforcement mechanisms should be rejuvenated and unethical bankers and bad practice should be thwarted.

Strengthening the existing regime to cover all people involved in customer-facing activity and significant wholesale market transactions or dealing as well as increasing the independent oversight of professionalism and training was also proposed.

The financial lobby group also floated the idea of enforcing a new code of conduct, which will take into account expectations on company boards, senior management, controls, systems and remuneration structures.

An independent conduct of business regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), may be responsible for oversight and monitoring of the code, while ensuring adherence to the code by banks and their employees would be overseen by the BSRC.

Developing a blacklist of employees to prevent individuals from working in either banking or the financial services sector was also recommended as an option.