A two-hour parliamentary committee hearing on banking regulation last week threw up some interestingly different approaches to keeping professionals in line. First up on the topic was Antony Townsend, chief executive of the SRA, who explained that: ‘Those we regulate do look at sanctions and the risk of public identification and ultimately loss of livelihood as the best form of sanction.’
However when his counterparts from the medical and accounting sectors stressed their members’ reliance on professional pride, Townsend was quick to clarify. ‘For the vast majority of solicitors the driver is professional pride and wanting to do a good job,’ he said.
However the best line of the session belonged to committee member Justin Welby (pictured), Archbishop of Canterbury. As a former banker, the archbishop told the regulators that a code of conduct involves three Ps: print it, pin it up and pray that no one reads it.