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New rules would hold banks to account

Banks will have to report publicly each year on how they are performing against new rules on behaviour and competence, under proposals for better industry standards.

A new body will also assess and validate training programmes for bankers, plans set out by former CBI boss Sir Richard Lambert show. It is intended to act as an independent champion for better banking standards.

It will have no statutory powers and will stop short of being able to take away bankers' licence to operate, in the way professional bodies representing doctors and lawyers can.

The former journalist was asked to set up the body by the chairmen of Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, Royal Bank of Scotland, Santander, Standard Chartered and Nationwide.

The body will work with banks and building societies to define standards of conduct and assess how well they are against relevant benchmarks.

Matthew Fell, CBI director for competitive markets, said: "Restoring trust in our banking system is fundamental to the future of the UK economy.

"With its emphasis on standards and ethics, Sir Richard's review is an important piece of the jigsaw."

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