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Corporate governance: Banks must ditch siege mentality

Leading investment adviser says finance industry must generate change from within

With the financial system beginning to return to some semblance of stability, the task now for many in the markets is to ensure that the recent financial crisis is never repeated.

Paul Lee, a director at Hermes Equity Ownership Services, a market leader on the subject of corporate governance, has clear views on who should be responsible for the shake-up in the financial sector. "Let’s see the industry get on the front foot," he says. "We want change to be from the industry rather than regulatory." Although he admits that regulations were not up to scratch before, and that the new accounting standards will be helpful, if the financial services industry wants to return to its former glory, the onus is on itself to come up with a solution.

Paul Lee, Hermes Equity Ownership Services

"We want market-driven regulation of the system rather than the regulators imposing structures and frameworks that are going to make everybody more uncomfortable"

Paul Lee, Hermes Equity Ownership Services

"The banking industry is pretty beleaguered," Lee says.

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