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Making banks fit for purpose

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Abstract:

An obsession with shareholder value means that the banking system delivers little social value and instead operates 'for itself'. Bankers seek to define the parameters of debate by lobbying for their view of the problem – the need to sustain an industry that is vital to the economy. This view is demonstrably incorrect, however, since banking has been a major drain on the taxpayer over the last period, and its focus on short-term returns has led to misallocation of capital away from production. There is a need put forward an alternative narrative of what banking is for: its role should be seen as that of providing sustainable circuits between credit and debt. These are the kinds of analysis that Labour should be actively disseminating. Four principles for action are put forward, designed to increase the accountability of financial elites and the transparency of their activity, as well as to transform retail mass marketing:

Keywords: BANKING; CREDIT; DEBT; LABOUR POLICY; SHAREHOLDER VALUE

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3898/136266210791036719

Publication date: March 25, 2010

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