Team drawing up blueprint to give financial sector fresh face

HIGH-flying young finance professionals are drawing up a blueprint for the financial services sector they hope will help it regain the public’s trust and learn from the past.

Next Generation Vision (NGV), a group of 21 professionals from careers spanning banking, insurance, asset management and professional services are creating a vision of what the industry will look like in 10 to 15 years.

The group, created by financial services promotion body TheCityUK, gathered evidence from debates and hustings with senior business leaders, small-to-medium-sized firms and consumers.

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“We want to change how the sector behaves as a whole,” said Alan Mak, a corporate lawyer at Clifford Chance and an NGV member. “It’s about getting the message across that financial services has got to be a part of society.

“People did not understand how complex financial services had become. We all understand post-Lehman Brothers that financial services is very complex.

“One of the aims is to have a bit more transparency.”

Among the aims of NGV are to create a single, standardised moral code for the sector.

It also wants to create industry-wide consumer advice labels, similar to the traffic light warning system used to label food.

NGV also wants an annual report for the whole sector – to include community contribution and economic output.

NGV’s parent organisation, TheCityUK, was spawned by the industry to restore faith in financial services, after the taxpayer was saddled with huge debts from the banking crisis.

Paid for by its members rather than the taxpayer, it counts the likes of Aviva, Lloyds Banking Group, Royal Bank of Scotland, Nomura, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Morgan Stanley among its members.

Mr Mak, 27, from York, said it was important the whole of the UK was represented. NGV held focus groups in Glasgow, Manchester, Birmingham and Slough.

Mr Mak is also involved in advocacy and has spoken at events to champion financial services.

“I think financial services in 10-15 years will be a national asset,” he said. “It will contribute to the national recovery and help people in their lives.”

Former Clifford Chance senior partner Stuart Popham, chairman of TheCityUK, said: “The financial services sector can be an engine for growth; a source of pride for those who work in it, and for the country as a whole.

“I embraced the idea of taking people from the sector, early in their careers, and asking them to define the sector they want in place when their time comes to lead it.

“I find the Next Generation Vision a clear, relevant and compelling picture of how financial services, and associated professional services, can play a vital part in the communities we serve, and through that service regain permission to be successful.”

NGV will be launched on October 20 in London.