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New Archbishop of Canterbury to retain banking inquiry role


The new Archbishop of Canterbury will continue to apply the expertise he has acquired from his two careers to the overhaul of banking standards, it was confirmed today.

The Rt Rev Justin Welby, the Bishop of Durham, will keep his place on the parliamentary inquiry into banking ethics.

Andrew Tyrie, chairman of the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards, said the bishop intended to remain on the commission until it produced its final report.

The Conservative MP for Chichester said: "I understand that Bishop Justin intends, notwithstanding his appointment, to remain as a member of the commission until the completion of its work. I am delighted about that."

Bishop Welby, a former oil executive with 11 years in the industry who turned to the church in the early 1980s, is known for his outspoken criticisms of corporate excess, according to the Financial Times (FT).

He is regarded as likely to be a champion of banking reform and a key figure in discussions of business ethics.

As a member of the House of Lords, the bishop was this summer brought aboard the parliamentary banking committee set up by chancellor George Osborne to improve transparency and governance in the City in the wake of the Libor-rigging scandal, the FT said.

Lord McFall, a Labour peer who also sits on Parliament's Banking Standards Commission, told the newspaper: "He doesn't just bring an ethical perspective. He brings an expertise and a detailed understanding... whether it is on derivatives, on which he is an expert, or ringfencing the banks."

He added: "He's clever, he's empathetic and he confronts complex issues in a very lucid way, and deconstructs them so he gets to the bare bones."