BBA plans to clean up industry with new register of bankers

BANKERS could be forced to gain approval from a professional body to work in the City under proposals being put forward by trade association the British Bankers’ Association (BBA).

The lobby group’s chief executive Anthony Browne said last night that the BBA may push for an independent sector regulator “with teeth” that would be able to fine or bar bankers from the body if they fail to live up to a set of standards.

“It’s very early days, but this is a proposal submitted by Barclays and there’s a lot of interest among banks in the industry,” Browne told City A.M. last night. “There’s a lot that would still have to be done.”

New Barclays chief executive Antony Jenkins submitted the idea to the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards – set up in the wake of the Libor scandal – in September, proposing it as a way to restore trust in bankers and the financial system.

The independent regulatory body, similar to the Institute of Chartered Accountants, could see bankers struck off a register if they break the rules.

The topic will be under discussion at today’s BBA annual conference, where restoring bankers’ reputation will be high on the agenda.

The association will also announce that Sir Nigel Wicks, a former aide to Margaret Thatcher, will become the new chairman, replacing ex-Barclays chair Marcus Agius, Sky News reported yesterday.