Sir Evelyn’s comments will contribute to Gold Mercury’s report ‘Re-inventing the Banking Profession for the 21st Century’. The discussion with Sir Evelyn is part of a series of interviews that Gold Mercury is conducting with leading authorities, representatives of financial institutions, academics and other prominent actors involved in the financial services sector, within the scope of Gold Mercury’s ‘New Corporate Culture for Banking’ project.
“Sir Evelyn is one of the great city veterans. His experience in the financial and investment banking world brings very valuable insights to our project. He believes that banking reform is required to fix the profound lapses in banking standards and to allow the banking sector to play the crucial role of supporting the real economy, whilst restoring trust,” said Nicolas De Santis, President of Gold Mercury International.
The Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards recently issued its final report – ‘Changing Banking for Good’. It outlines the radical reform required to improve standards across the banking industry. Sir Evelyn recently published an article on the important role that banking must play in order to re-establish public confidence in the industry. The article called ‘Banking Must Pursue the Holy Grail of Confidence’ clearly expresses that the City of London’s most important traded commodity is confidence. If that is lost, there remains little to do business with and without confidence it would be impossible to engineer a recovery or reform the financial system. “The biggest penalty of all today is that as a result of the crisis, commercial banks, to maintain their capital resources, are not lending to small and medium sized businesses. This needs to change rapidly if we want to see the economy improve and confidence with the public restored,” stated Sir Evelyn de Rothschild.
Sir Evelyn de Rothschild is currently Chairman of E.L. Rothschild Ltd, a private investment company. He was previously Chairman and CEO of NM Rothschild and Sons Ltd, the international investment bank. Sir Evelyn also served as Chairman of The Economist Group, where the family is a large minority holder. Sir Evelyn is also a Director of IMG Worldwide and a Governor of the London School of Economics and Political Sciences. Previous corporate directorships include: Director of De Beers Consolidated Mines Ltd, and Director of IBM United Kingdom Holdings Ltd. Sir Evelyn has maintained a lifelong commitment to philanthropy. He is Chairman of the ERANDA Foundation, a family foundation that he formed in 1967 to support charities working in the fields of medical research, health and welfare, education and the arts.
Sir Evelyn believes in inclusive capitalism to give a wider range of opportunities for people to participate in the economy. “When clearing banks merged with investment banks, it was the bigger factor of change in the banking industry. We had two very different cultures that had to work together, but in most cases one culture took over the other. There are many examples on how the banking industry has gone wrong. But now I think banks cannot just go back to basics. To re-instate confidence, banks need to play a new role in building community and social value, including being a part of private and public partnerships that create low cost housing or building new and needed infrastructure,” said Sir Evelyn de Rothschild.