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Opinion

Banking: Divine inspiration

Lloyd Blankfein may think that Goldman Sachs’ bankers have a monopoly on doing God’s work, but HSBC seems to be giving the US firm a run for its money.

Former HSBC head Stephen Green is an ordained Church of England minister and now its chairman Douglas Flint has been appointed head of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Just Finance Foundation. 

The foundation has three key objectives: engaging the public in a conversation about money, promoting saving as a lifelong habit and connecting people to low cost credit, free debt advice and money skills. 

“This is important work and I am honoured to be taking the work of the archbishop’s task force to a new level,” said Flint on his appointment last month. 

Vocal

The Archbishop of Canterbury, a former oil industry executive, has been vocal on the need for change in banking culture and has spoken out on issues from payday lending to credit unions. 

The appointment of Flint may have an element of poacher turned gamekeeper to it, but it is not the first time that Archbishop Welby has turned to the industry he is trying to change for advice. Sir Hector Sants, who was briefly head of compliance and regulatory affairs for Barclays in 2013, was asked by the Archbishop to chair a task force on the development of credit unions the following year.

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