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Good business will 'attract, nurture and reward good people'

A series of debates on ethics and the purpose of the financial sector has begun with discussion on Good People, led by the Head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales.


The panel debate, held underneath the dome of St Paul's on Thursday 11 April, saw Archbishop Vincent Nichols give a key note address to an audience of more than 750.


In his address, Archbishop Nichols called for "good people bound by good purpose”, adding "business that has a compelling story about its purpose, that lives its values in this way, will 'crowd-in', not 'crowd-out', virtue. It will attract, nurture and reward good people. It will inspire the good in people and help create the common bonds that serve to reduce inequality by providing opportunities and operating in every aspect of its work in a fair and equitable way.”


Joining Archbishop Nichols on the panel to discuss the role of Good People in the City, were Peter Selby, former Bishop of Worcester; Baroness Helena Kennedy QC and Tracey McDermott of the Financial Conduct Authority. The event was chaired by Stephanie Flanders, BBC Economics Editor.

All panel members responded to the initial address before the audience was asked to contribute questions.

Good People was the first of three debates under the topic, The City and the Common Good: What kind of City do we want?

Organised by St Paul's Institute, in conjunction with CCLA, investment manager for charities, churches and local authorities, the series of debates under the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral seek to stimulate public dialogue on the role of the financial sector in society today.

Canon Mark Oakley, Chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral, said of the series: "The former Archbishop of Canterbury often reminded us that the word economy has its origins in the word for housekeeping. A household is somewhere where life is lived in common, an attempt to stabilize that common life into an environment where its members grow and flourish in useful ways and where the vulnerable members are protected. It is that common life, of wanting to bring back conversation to the structure of economic life with an intelligent and fearless scrutiny about our choices and long-term goals, that is at the heart of this series.”

Tweets from the debate can be viewed under the #CommonGood hash tag.
A full recording of the event will be on the St Paul’s Institute website early next week.

Future events:

Good Money – Tuesday 7 May – 6.30pm
Robert Skidelsky with Andrew Bailey; Ann Pettifor; Tarek El Diwany
If the influence of money over us is unavoidable, how can we ensure that the results are positive? Does the issue go beyond our attitude to money to the nature of money itself? Is there such a thing as ‘good’ and ‘bad’ money? Is it just the ‘love of money’ we must guard against, or has something happened to money itself?

Good Banks – Wednesday 12 June – 6.00pm
Archbishop Justin Welby with Shirley Williams; Antony Jenkins
The relationship between banks and society has been described in the aftermath of the financial crisis as a ‘social contract’, but what is the objective of the contract? What is the purpose of banking and how do we foster a culture that helps that purpose be realised?