Can codes of conduct help rebuild trust in the UK Financial Services Industry?

Riley, Neil (2012) Can codes of conduct help rebuild trust in the UK Financial Services Industry? [Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)] (Unpublished)

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Abstract

This MBA project is a company hosted management project. This work has been commissioned by the Question of Trust Campaign. This recently-launched campaign aims to improve the levels of trust within the UK financial services industry. The campaign approach involves concern over ‘soft controls’ within the industry, related to ethics and values. The position of the campaign is that too much emphasis has been placed upon ‘hard controls’ such as regulation; ‘compliance’ is not necessarily the same as ‘doing the right thing’.

The remit of this project is to investigate and assess codes of conduct, and to discuss the potential role that codes of conduct may play in increasing levels of trust within the UK financial services industry. Recent banking scandals affecting the industry have highlighted the salience and importance of this topic. A picture has emerged whereby lack of trust has led to a lack of engagement of consumers with the industry. This in turn creates a societal problem given that many consumers do not adequately invest in pension plans or other forms of financial life-stage planning.

The Question of Trust campaign board commissioned this report in order to investigate whether academic theory could assist the campaign in achieving its objective to rebuild trust in the industry. A significant element of this project has involved creating an in-depth academic literature review on the subject of codes of conduct. Findings from this literature review were summarised though creation of a campaign ‘policy report’ on the subject of whether codes of conduct can help rebuild trust in the UK financial services industry. Furthermore, specific recommendations have been provided for the Question of Trust campaign based on research findings.

In terms of methodology, this project can be seen as a form of ‘action research’. Whilst the project aims to deliver a practical client solution, client reaction and feedback is also recorded as results of the project activity. In this way, reaction of a small number of business leaders is recorded as a means of evaluating practitioner views on academic theory.

This project document argues that codes of conduct can help rebuild trust in the UK financial services industry. Academic theory on the topic does however illustrate inherent difficulties and challenges. Codes of conduct are seen as the most important element within a wider programme of business ethics management. The project policy report offers practical recommendations as a means of summarising and applying academic theory on the topic. This project document recommends the Question of Trust campaign create infrastructure to assist companies in developing their own codes of conduct, and further recommends that the campaign play a role in developing ethical training programmes to further support the UK financial services industry.

Item Type: Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)
Keywords: Business Ethics, Code of conduct, Code of Ethics, Ethics, Financial industry regulation, Honesty, Retail banking, The Question of Trust campaign,Trust, UK Bank industry, UK financial services industry, wealth management industry
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 08 Jan 2013 09:20
Last Modified: 22 Oct 2016 20:57
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/25643

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