Lord Mayor Alan Yarrow's letter to the Independent on the reputation of the banking industry


The banking industry has been up there with politicians when we talk about reputation being dragged through the mud in recent years. But to say that the public are immune to the scandals associated with the sector is a step too far. (James Moore, Business, 24 April)

To some it might seem we can barely go a week without some new issue coming out into the public domain and the regulators imposing another fine - but we are nearing the point when relentlessly revisiting past scandals and using them to attack the industry in the present day becomes a futile exercise.

Banker-bashing is an easy sport and a quick win especially in an election period. But we must not forget that the financial and professional services sectors are essential for Britain’s economic growth and employ over 2 million people nationwide. All those people need local services – so the ‘multiplier effect’ could benefit 6 million people indirectly.

Stronger processes are now in place to detect and correct misbehaviour. As I have said many times, I condemn anyone who, in an act of greed, wilfully puts themselves first and their responsibility to their clients and financial stability second. Bad behaviour is not acceptable, and is not the norm. We need to apply what we have learned from the past to build a robust and healthy economic future.

Alan Yarrow

Lord Mayor of the City of London

London EC4