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Banks becoming 'more socially useful'

Banks are on the way to delivering a more "socially useful" banking system after becoming a focus of public anger in the financial crisis, the Bank of England's director of financial stability said yesterday.

Andrew Haldane told a meeting organised by Occupy, the campaign group seeking to reform finance, it had played a key role in changing attitudes. "I want to argue that we are in the early throes of such a financial reformation," Mr Haldane said.

Key reforms, such as changing banking culture, forcing lenders to hold more capital, more competition and reining in big bonuses, were all starting to have an effect. It was important to punish negligence and criminality and this is being done.