The Bank Culture Debate: Ethics, Values, and Financialization in Anglo-America

ISBN : 9780198843764

Huw Macartney
304 Pages
156 x 234 mm
Pub date
Sep 2019
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The period since the Global Financial Crisis and numerous scandals have exposed some areas of serious illegal and unethical conduct within western banking systems. Despite extensive reforms it is increasingly apparent however that there is a persistent problem with the 'culture' of banking in Anglo-America.
US and UK state managers made substantial efforts to reform the culture of their banking sectors. However, this book argues that they focused on an extremely narrow definition of bank culture. They did so for two reasons: firstly, because the structural pressures of financialization - which are a far more important driver of the problematic features of bank culture in Anglo-America - are harder to remedy; but secondly, state managers also used their bank culture response to tackle a legitimacy crisis facing their institutions of government. In so doing they abdicated responsibility for the real problems - of inequality and instability - associated with their respective financial systems Drawing on interviews with more than 150 individuals working in financial services as well as regulators, politicians, and lawyers, The Bank Culture Debate explains the strategies employed by state managers before then examining what has and has not changed in the culture of banking in the US and UK.


Part 1
1 Introduction
2 Bank Culture: Behaviour and Ethics, or Financialization?
3 Culture and Legitimacy
Part 2
4 US Responses and the First Phase
5 US Responses and the Second Phase
6 UK Responses and the First Phase
7 UK Responses and the Second Phase
Part 3
8 Fines as a Mechanism for Culture Change?
9 What Has Changed
10 What Has Not Changed
11 Conclusion

About the author: 

Dr Macartney is Associate Professor in Political Economy at the University of Birmingham. He was previously a Hallsworth Fellow at the University of Manchester, and an ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Nottingham. His research focuses on the politics of banking and financial markets and he is the author of two books and numerous journal articles on these topics. His work has been published in internationally-renowned journals such as Review of International Political Economy, West European Politics, and Review of International Studies.

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