Banking the Civilised Way: Chairman Chris Jolly explains (video)

Why it’s time to make banking more civilised

When people first hear us talking about banking the Civilised Way, it often starts off a series of questions. In this video interview CivilisedBank Chairman Chris Jolly answers the most frequent questions that we encounter.

In this video Chris explains the bank’s mission to make banking more civilised, what civilised banking is about, how the bank is going to live up to expectations and more.

Keep updated about our progress towards launching CivilisedBank.

Here’s a transcript of the video "Banking the Civilised Way: Chairman Chris Jolly explains".

CivilisedBank is on a mission to make banking more civilised. Why?

Well its because many people both companies and retail customers have been let down badly by their banks in recent years. In the end people want to be able to rely on their banks. They’ve suffered from the mis-selling problems, they’ve suffered from rate rigging, they’ve suffered from technology issues and that’s something which we need to change. We need to get to a situation where we move from what’s been going on over the last few years which has been focussed on the banks making money and selling products and bring it back to banks focussing on their customers and what their customers need and putting their customers first and as far as we’re concerned putting your customer first is what creates a civilised way of doing banking.

If you’re a civilised bank, what then is an uncivilised one?

Easy to say that its every other bank but we don’t like to point fingers, we’d rather focus frankly on what we want to do to make banking more civilised in our terms.

So is civilised banking about people, or is it about trust?

Its really about both because its the way that people interact which creates trust. So, its the way that our relationship manager, we call them a local banker, will interact with his business customer. He will go to visit his customer at their place of business, he’ll get to understand them and develop that relationship over a long term. As a result both parties will hopefully develop a feeling of trust for each other. The customer will deliver what they say to the relationship manger, the local banker, and he on his turn will be building the trust with the customer by delivering on time when he says he will in terms of new business and transactions and other activities that he works on with his customer.

How are you going to ensure that banking with CivilisedBank ends up feeling civilised?

In the end this can only work because every member of staff be it a local banker, be it a receptionist, be it a member of the board lives the civilised way every day. One of the ways we intend to make this happen is by asking every member of staff to sign up to the Bankers’ Oath. This is an oath that is very similar to the doctors Hippocratic Oath and basically requires every member of staff to pledge to do their best by their customers every day.

Can you give some more background on the concept of the Bankers’ Oath?

Its a new concept. Its something that was originally suggested by a think tank called Res Publica, who we’ve been working with, but the oath is actually very similar to the Lord George principles which are 12 principles of good conduct in banking which Eddie George the old governor of The Bank of England established some years ago and which actually form part of the oath taken by liverymen of the Bankers Livery Company in the city of London, so there’s a resilence there between the two.

How will adherence to the Bankers’ Oath be enforced?

Its always difficult to do so, of course, but we will be embedding the oath and the civilised approach to the way that we do business in all of our policies and procedures, but in the end it has to be self policing by the people themselves. We have to recruit the right people who want to approach business in the right way and then we want throughout the daily interaction that people have with customers and with their fellow members of staff, just to ensure that people are continuing to function in what we call the civilised way.

Have you taken the Bankers’ Oath?

Absolutely I have and its a very important part in the way that I want to do business and do do business. And, we are in the process of obviously building the bank at the moment, part of that is recruiting the teams and as I said earlier making sure we recruit the right people who we expect and think will be able to operate in a civilised way. And, so we will be asking them or requiring them frankly to sign up to the Banker’s Oath when they join. We want to be making sure that its not something onerous and its something that really is a celebration of the way they want to do their business and the way they’re going to work with us as a bank going forward.