Industry body joins bosses in fight to repair banks’ image

Tim Wallace
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THE BRITISH Bankers' Association (BBA) will take the fight to the enemy, its new boss announced over the weekend, vowing to proactively promote the industry rather than just defend banks when they are under pressure.

Anthony Browne is taking up the push spearheaded by Lloyds chief executive Antonio Horta Osorio and RBS head Stephen Hester, who have sought to clean up the bailed-out banks and compensate mistreated customers as quickly as possible.

And new Barclays chief executive Antony Jenkins and incoming chairman Sir David Walker have begun their time at the top of the bank by announcing tough plans to clean up the banks' culture.

"It is incredibly important that the customers feel that the banks are on their side. It is absolutely essential that the industry does what it can to stop, for example, mis-selling," Browne told the Sunday Telegraph.

"I want to show that banking is part of the solution rather than part of the problem. Having a strong banking sector is essential to having strong economic growth in the UK."

That chimes with the view of Barclays' new bosses, who have spoken at length about the need to change the culture at the bank to focus on the consumer, and commissioned top lawyer Anthony Salz to write a new code of conduct for the bank's staff.

And Horta-Osorio last week explained he wants Lloyds to become a "boring," sensible bank once more.