Restoring Trust in the Banking System

Lord Griffiths delivers the Mais Lecture at Cass Business School.

Cass Business School was delighted to welcome Lord Griffiths of Fforestfach on Wednesday to deliver the 31st Mais Lecture on the subject of Restoring Trust in the Banking System.

The lecture examined the challenges of restoring trust in commercial banks and the reforms which have been made to the regulation of the banking system and to preserve the independence of central banks.

Speaking on Wednesday, Lord Griffiths said:

“If a modern advanced economy is to function effectively it needs a sophisticated financial system which is trusted by the public. They must believe that it benefits society as a whole, and not just bankers.

“They must believe that the services sold by banks are appropriate to their needs and competitively priced. They must have faith in the competence and integrity of bank leadership, and respect for banks’ corporate cultures.

“The financial system must be seen as making a contribution to society, not being an island within it.”

Lord Griffths used his lecture to examine explore the three challenges which he said must be met if trust is to be restored and maintained in the banking system - Preserving Central Bank Independence, Regulation in a World of Radical Uncertainty and Culture and Leadership.

Lord Griffiths established the Centre for Banking and International Finance at City in 1977 before becoming Dean of the Business School in 1982.  He left Cass in 1985 to serve as Head of the Downing Street Policy Unit under Margaret Thatcher.

From 1991-1993 he was chairman of the School Examination and Assessment Council and from 1991-2000 chairman of the Centre for Policy Studies.

Since then, Lord Griffiths has been an international advisor to Goldman Sachs International and more recently a Board Member of the Goldman Sachs International Board.

He is also the chairman of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lambeth Trust and has written extensively, and lectured on, ethics and business.

About the Mais Lectures

The annual Mais lecture is the City of London’s foremost event for the banking and finance community and is attended by senior practitioners and academics.

Since its inception in 1978, the Mais has maintained a tradition of prestigious speakers including Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, Mark Carney, Mervyn King and George Osborne.

The lecture was established to honour Lord Mais, a former Lord Mayor of the City of London and Chancellor of the University. Lord Mais played a key role in establishing the Centre of Excellence for Banking and Finance at Cass.

The Centre is now part of the wider Cass Faculty of Finance, one of the largest and widely recognised in the world.  The Faculty comprises over 50 full-time faculty and about 20 visiting faculty, with over 1200 undergraduate and more than 900 postgraduate students.

The 2017 Mais lecture represented the personal views of Lord Griffiths and not those of Goldman Sachs.  You can read the full text of his speech here.

Find out more about events at Cass Business School here.