Archbishop: banks are in 'a bubble of self-regard'

Justin Welby, the recently appointed Archbishop of Canterbury, says banks have still not managed to shed the arrogance that has drawn such ire from the public.

by Michael Northcott
Last Updated: 19 Aug 2013

Addressing a huge audience for a debate about ‘Good Banks’ at St Paul’s Cathedral in London, he said that in the future, ‘international banks [could] remain in an ever more prosperous City with ever higher property prices,’ and that they will be propped up by a ‘disenfranchised population’ which has to commute into central London at great expense.

Welby has made a point of being critical of the banking sector since he took office, and he is also on the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards, giving him a good platform to score points with public opinion.

At the debate, he also said bankers still need to ‘pop the bubble of inward-looking self-regard’. Particularly amusing about that last comment is that the audience was stuffed full of City financiers, as well as consultants and regulators.

Antony Jenkins, chief executive of Barlcays, said: ‘Cultural change will take time and even when we want to do the right thing, it doesn’t mean we won’t make mistakes.’

Speaking of banks, get the lowdown on Stephen Hester’s resignation from RBS…

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