Former CBI boss tasked with restoring banking's image at head of professional standards body

Former head of the CBI and ex-editor of the Financial Times, Sir Richard Lambert, is to head up a new banking standards body designed to repair the image of Britain's banks.

Lambert's appointment was first revealed by Sky News, and he is considered a suitably heavyweight candidate for the role.

The form CBI boss quit his job at the Financial Policy Committee of the Bank of England in May 2011.

I have decided, with great regret, that I do not wish to take up my position ... I wish to devote my time to a wider range of aspects of public policy. And membership of the committee could place constraints on my ability to do so.

Lambert has a track record of defending Britain's banks, in October 2010 defending them against bashing, saying that politicians were "making matters worse" and has previously described politicians who characterise investment bankers as gamblers as "irresponsible".

This back and forth between the politicians and the bankers – what you might call Vince Cable versus Lombard Street – is not constructive.

The crisis had many causes. Individual greed and errors of judgment on the part of the bankers were one. But there were much more powerful forces driving the way to catastrophe. They included badly designed policy frameworks, errors of judgment on the part of government, central banks, and regulators, and bad macroeconomic management.

Anthony Browne, chief executive, British Bankers' Association on the new body that Lambert will lead:

If it is done right, such a professional body could be a major force for cultural change in the industry. Lord Turnbull, a former cabinet secretary and a Commission member, suggested this week that the new professional body could be the conduit through which good principles are more than just fine words but embedded throughout the industry.

(Full article)