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Bank takes on equivalent of Hippocratic Oath

Bank takes on equivalent of Hippocratic Oath

A challenger bank has commited bankers to swear an oath aimed at restoring consumer trust.

Chris Jolly, chairman of CivilisedInvestments, the financial services company set up to launch CivilisedBank, said: “After years of turmoil we believe that the UK deserves a more civilised approach to banking.

“This oath encapsulates how we want to do business and we would not employ anyone who is not willing or able to abide by it.”

The oath focuses on areas including confronting impropriety, considering the financial security and wellbeing of customers and conducting business in an ethical manner.

Last year, thinktank ResPublica published a 36-page report, Virtuous Banking: Placing Ethos and Purpose at the Heart of Finance, urging bankers to adopt an equivalent of the Hippocratic Oath as well as codes of conduct and tougher shareholder fiduciary duties.

ResPublica director Phillip Blond said: “The bankers’ oath represents a remarkable opportunity to fulfil their proper moral and economic purpose and finally place bankers on the road to absolution.”

Adviser view

Jim Lawson, formerly of Cheshire-based JA Lawson Health and Life Insurance, who previously devised a one-page Financial Practitioners’ Oath, said: “We have had various different forms of regulation, from the FSA to the FCA and so on, but introducing an oath would be another way to make a difference. The medics have used an oath system for a long time and it works. Advisers should be doing the same thing. You apply a version of the medics’ oath to finance – it could not be simpler.”

Mr Lawson’s oath would make advisers pledge to use their know-ledge and experience of financial matters “for the sole benefit of my clients”, not to give advice outside their area of expertise, not to divulge client information, and to treat clients fairly at all times.