Professional bodies and banking standards

March 23 2015


  • Simon Culhane (CISI)

  • Alan Brener (Banking Standards Review Council)

  • Everlyn Hunter-Jordan (Retail Banking Academy)

  • Keyur Patel (CSFI)


Barely a week goes by without ethical standards in banking coming under fresh scrutiny. Part of the industry’s answer is the Banking Standards Review Council (BSRC), a new voluntary body funded by banks which is intended to support the work of existing professional bodies. But unsurprisingly there’s a lot of scepticism about banking’s ability to self-regulate – especially because unlike in most other professions, a large majority of the half-million people who work in UK banking do not hold a professional qualification.

In December the CSFI published a report on how professional bodies could lead the banking industry’s efforts to reclaim professional standards – but only if they had greater employer recognition and credible teeth. As the BSRC finalises its role under the chairmanship of Dame Colette Bowe, there are important questions to discuss. How do we raise the value of professional qualifications in banking? Are existing qualifications rigorous enough for employers to get behind them? Are voluntary membership bodies sufficient, or do they need some kind of statutory powers? And where does a new bureaucracy fit into the picture?

To discuss these issues, we are delighted to welcome along:

  • Keyur Patel, author of the CSFI report Setting Standards: professional bodies and the financial services sector. He is also the author of a parallel 2013 report on trade associations, and co-author of the CSFI’s latest Banana Skins surveys in banking and insurance.
  • Simon Culhane, chief executive of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment. He joined CISI from Deutsche Bank, where he served as a director in the chairman’s office. Before that, he spent three years as deputy director in the Prime Minister’s Efficiency Unit.
  •  Alan Brener, currently on secondment from Santander UK helping to set up the Banking Standards Council. He has worked at Santander UK since 2005, covering, at various times, compliance regulatory policy, retail legal and improving customer service. He previously served as director of compliance for the retail banking business at NatWest/RBS.
  • Evelyn Hunter-Jordan, chief executive of the Retail Banking Academy - a for-profit educational and professional body which believes that retail banking should be an internationally recognised profession, like accountancy and law. Before that she spent seven years managing the Lafferty Group, a London-based retail banking research and publishing house.