Bishop accuses finance of being a cuckoo in the nest for Britain

City A.M. Reporter
THE frontrunner to replace Rowan Williams as Archbishop of Canterbury told an audience of financiers in Zurich on Friday that finance in Britain “was in fact the cuckoo in the nest that pushed all the other fledgling industries out to die”. The Right Reverend Justin Welby, who was appointed Bishop of Durham in September 2011, is a member of the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards and was an oil executive before he joined the church.

Urging replacement, rather than repair of business as usual for financial services, Welby said: “Government support should be limited only to those banks and financial institutions that have a clear and explicit social value.” He added that all banks “must be allowed to fail, the process of defining resolution is if anything more important than defining regulation.”

“There is no longer confidence in banks as safe, in banks as virtuous, or in bankers as being part of the same world as the rest of us and with the same values and desires as the rest of us. That loss of confidence may be unfair – in many cases I would argue that it is – but it is a reality”