|Cathedral closed until further notice|
The City and the Common Good: The role of
08 April 2013
The head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales will be joined by a top financial crime expert, an
Anglican Bishop and a Guardian columnist to discuss good
people at the UK's financial heart.
St Paul’s Institute, alongside CCLA, presents the first in a series of three
free public debates under the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral, chaired by BBC Economics Editor, Stephanie
Flanders, that tackle issues at the heart of the City.
In our relations with friends and family we reckon to know what goodness is and how it informs our lives. In the context of the 21st century market place, what does it mean to be a good person and contribute to the common good? Are rules and enforcement sufficient to bring about the outcomes we want?
Although there have been calls for banks to maintain a sound culture, morality has so far received little attention from politicians and
regulators. However, if morality is to be the keystone of integrity in the financial system and institutional culture what do we mean by
‘morality’? Are individualism and competitiveness hostile to moral behaviour, or part of it? If you provide financial incentives for moral
behaviour is it still moral? Do banks share a responsibility to build morality? Can regulatory vetting of financial professionals and
remuneration codes ever be more than a part of the answer? Should we be aiming for a consensus on a common set of moral duties?
The City and the Common Good: What kind of City do we want? is a series of three events at St Paul’s that will probe key issues underlying the report of the Parliamentary Inquiry into Banking and the wider financial sector. The programme is aimed at engaging City professionals, politicians and civil society on the contribution of the financial sector to our common good.
Canon Mark Oakley, Chancellor of St Paul's Cathedral, said: "Having the 'right rules' is important, but we urgently need to look beyond them to a wider set of resources and more public conversations that make us more aware of, and accountable to, each other if we’re not to just to live in a world of self-reference. We're inviting people into St Paul's for just such a debate in the hope that our conversations lead to our conversions - the kind of organisational and personal changes we all need if we are to continue believing that there is such a thing as society."
Michael Quicke, Chief Executive of CCLA said: "The pressure to maximise short-term shareholder value inevitably strains even the strongest
commitment to integrity. It is tough to balance what is good for clients and what is good for shareholders, especially when your pay and future
employment are aligned with short-term shareholder returns. The system we have is finding it difficult to reform itself, and I hope this series
of debates will encourage further examination of the link between morals and markets at a time when the public is acutely aware that the single
minded quest for profit can come at a great cost to both individuals and society at large.”
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