Report Considers Fundamentals of ‘a Good Bank’

Five years on from the bankruptcy on 15 September 2008 of Lehman Brothers, the largest failure in history, The Economist Group poses the question ‘What does it take to be a Good Bank?’ in a special report.

‘The Good Bank’ report is published by The Economist Intelligence Unit and sponsored by Credit Suisse, Mazars and SAP and supported by Capgemini. It brings together the results of a live webcast debate, online discussion and research featuring the contributions of senior banking executives and financial services experts.

Rather than provide a blueprint, the Good Bank initiative has provoked debate with the hope of finding common ground for change. The research report shows that while discord certainly exists among contributors, there is also a surprising amount of consensus, particularly around the need for banks to maintain profitability while downplaying the metric of return on equity, too often fuelled through leverage. It is telling that not a single participant in the discussions was willing to defend the status-quo.

The discussions revolved around what are seen to be the pillars of a Good Bank:

  • Trustworthiness: How can banks regain the trust of a still sceptical public?
  • Innovation: A majority (52%) of those polled during the live, webcast debate believes that the most valuable innovations in banking are coming from outside the banks themselves.
  • Effectiveness: Can banks provide the credit that economies require to grow and satisfy the needs of shareholders, regulators, depositors and the wider public interest?

The full report is available free to download at: http://www.managementthinking.eiu.com/good-bank.html-0 

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