Anthony Hilton: A timely reminder that most bankers are decent

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The Independent Online

The other bankers story dates from Tuesday evening.

That was when Lady Susan Rice, the head of Lloyds TSB in Scotland and arguably the most senior female banker in the country, gave a fascinating insight into the huge efforts being made across the industry to change its culture and create a foundation on which to rebuild trust between bankers and their customers.

At an event organised by Tomorrow's Company, the think-tank, she described how banks are putting in place training and incentives which they say will fundamentally change the way they interact with their customers. She also recognises that these will take several years to embed – the scale of what is being attempted is huge – and it may be even longer before the public give them credit for the progress.

Nevertheless, her presentation was a timely reminder that not all bankers are the overpaid gamblers we like to demonise. Most are decent people trying to do a decent job for not particularly large amounts of money.

Things are changing. As one participant remarked towards the end of the evening: "Who would ever have thought we would be having such conversations in the City.

"It would never have happened 10 years ago."

But as another remarked: "If it had happened then we might not be in the mess we are now."