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What is the BSB?

A New Body For
Banking Standards

The Banking Standards Board (BSB) has been established to promote high standards of behaviour and competence across UK banks and building societies.

A successful, dynamic UK economy needs a strong, stable banking sector that serves the best interests of its customers. For the sector to contribute fully to the economy and society it needs to be trusted; not only by its customers (in the UK and globally), but also by its staff, by potential employees, by regulators and by policy makers. Trust in the sector has been damaged, and it is only the industry itself – by demonstrating honesty, reliability and competence on a consistent and collective basis – that can rebuild it.

The BSB began its work in April 2015. It is a private sector body funded by membership subscriptions and open to all banks and building societies operating in the UK. It is neither a regulator nor a trade association; it has no statutory powers, and it will not speak or lobby for the industry. It will, instead, provide challenge, support and scrutiny for firms committed to rebuilding the sector’s reputation, and it will provide impartial and objective assessments of the industry’s progress.

As its work has developed, the BSB also now works with firms globally and/or outside the banking sector.

Read the BSB Governance Report 2019.

Read the BSB Governance Report 2018 and Financial Statements 2018.

Read the BSB Governance Report 2017 and Financial Statements 2017

Read the BSB Governance Report 2016 (pdf 104MB) and Financial Statements 2016 (pdf 909KB)

Read the BSB Governance Report and Financial Statements 2015 (pdf 229KB)

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Promote High Standards

Banks and building societies operating in the UK recognise that some firms in the industry have let themselves, their customers and the industry down. The BSB aims to help to raise standards of behaviour and competence across the industry by providing independent challenge and support to member banks and building societies.

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Industry initiative

The BSB is an industry-driven initiative, responding to the collective challenge of rebuilding the sector’s trust and reputation. The organisation’s start-up was supported by seven of the UK’s largest banks and building society, and its membership opens formally in January 2016. There is no statutory requirement to join the BSB; membership is a voluntary, positive affirmation of each firm’s commitment to high standards of behaviour, competence and professionalism individually and across the whole of the banking and building society sector.

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Restoring trust

Trust has to be earned; and it is earned by consistently honest, reliable and competent behaviour. Individual BSB member firms start from very different places in terms of reputation and standing, and the challenges for each will vary (as will their cultures); but all recognise the importance to the economy and society of restoring trust in the sector. The BSB will provide the scrutiny and challenge that will support them in their individual and collective efforts.

Watch: BSB survey methodology explained

Origins of the BSB

Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards was appointed

The Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards is a joint Committee appointed by the House of Commons and the House of Lords.
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Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards Report

It recommends the creation of a “professional body for banking in the UK" with "the onus... on the industry itself to maintain the impetus for its development."
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Sir Richard Lambert to undertake a review

The Chairmen of UK's seven largest banks and building societies (Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, Nationwide, RBS, Santander and Standard Chartered)
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Sir Richard Lambert publishes his Banking Standards Review

"There is a strong case for a collective effort to raise standards of behaviour and competence in the banking sector...”.
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Funding for the new BSRC

The seven founder banks and building societies agree to fund the creation of the Banking Standards Review Council. Sir Richard Lambert acts as interim Chairman, while Bank of England Governor Mark Carney leads an independent panel to appoint a permanent Chairman and CEO.
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Dame Colette Bowe is selected as Chairman

"Colette not only has a deep understanding of financial services regulation, but also a proven track record of improving standards of fairness, transparency and integrity across a range of industries."
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Alison Cottrell is selected as Chief Executive

"Alison has a depth of knowledge of the policy context for financial services, alongside experience of working in the industry..."
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The BSRC is renamed the Banking Standards Board (BSB)

And launches with a 14-strong Board made up of nine non-practitioner members and five practitioner members, chaired by Dame Colette Bowe.
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The BSB was founded on the participation of the UK’s seven largest banks and building society.

The banking industry has a collective interest in raising standards of behaviour and competence across the industry.

If your organisation is interested in joining the BSB please read our Membership content or email