High pay and low trust in finance – does it matter?

Michael Skapinker, Assistant Editor and Columnist, Financial Times
Daniel Franklin, Executive Editor, The Economist
Chair: Ian Mulheirn, Director, SMF
Questions about pay go to the heart of trust in financial services. High bonuses for bankers, at a time when the industry continues to lean heavily on implicit or explicit state support, have seriously damaged UK citizens’ trust in high finance. But does the high pay question also have damaging implications for consumers’ trust, discouraging the take-up of financial products?
Meanwhile pay structures for those selling consumer finance products have seriously damaged trust at the consumer end of the market. The Retail Distribution Review and the new Consumer Protection and Markets Authority aim to tackle pay incentives here, but how should they do so? And what can industry do to improve trust?
This roundtable, which will inform SMF’s forthcoming research project on trust in financial services, will examine pay in both the wholesale and consumer financial markets, its effect on different types of trust, and whether any of this implies a role for policy.
Key questions that will be explored in this events include:

Does the high pay issue have any relevance for the consumer market?
Is reform of pay structures in the consumer market the key to restoring trust?