Banking, regulation and the public interest

Published: 12 May 2009

The Scottish Forum for Professional Ethics is to discuss the future of banking regulations at a business breakfast in Edinburgh in June.

The University of Glasgow's Scottish Forum for Professional Ethics is to discuss the future of banking regulations at a business breakfast in Edinburgh on 4 June.

Journalist and broadcaster Iain Macwhirter will present 'An Argument for Nationalisation' while Eric Leenders, Executive Director of Retail, British Bankers' Association will deliver 'The View from within the Profession.'

Professor Ken McPhail, Scottish Forum for Professional Ethics said: "The global financial crisis has brought about an unprecedented degree of public scrutiny of financial services, and in particular the banking profession. The profession has found itself under heavy criticism from many sections of society, including media, government, academia, the professions and the public.

"The precise nature of this criticism has varied, but there is a common theme: that, whatever caused the collapse of the global financial markets, there is a need to prevent it happening again.

"Difficult questions must now be addressed regarding the regulation of banking. How much regulation is appropriate? What should be its purpose? Who should be responsible for designing and implementing it? What obligation does the banking profession have to its customers, and to the public as a whole?"

The last few years have seen much debate surrounding notions of public interest, the appropriate size of government and the role of the professions in society. The global financial crisis has provided a focal point for these questions, highlighting their significance. To what extent can government legitimately regulate professions or markets? What is the public interest and how should it be interpreted? What should be the proper contribution of the professions to the democratic process?  

This breakfast meeting -  from 8.30-10.30am on Thursday 4 June in the Apex International Hotel, Grassmarket, Edinburgh - will provide an opportunity for interdisciplinary discussion of these questions. It will bring together members of the banking profession and individuals from academia, government and other professions. The meeting will include a perspective on the future of regulation from within the banking profession, and an explanation of the argument for nationalisation. This is your opportunity to hear and discuss alternative solutions to these crucial questions and to become involved in the debate.

Attendance is free, but places are limited.Those wishing to attend should provide Grace McGuire with their full name, designation, professional affiliation/field of work, and contact details (preferably email address), together with any dietary requirements at

 It would be helpful if Grace could have this information by noon on Thursday 28 May.

Tea, coffee and breakfast rolls will be served.

Further information:
Martin Shannon, Media Relations Officer
University of Glasgow Tel: 0141 3308593

First published: 12 May 2009

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