The first consumer-focused national debate on the banking crisis, the Which? Big Banking Debate, last night attracted over 300 people keen to air their views.
Held at the Royal Horticultural Halls in London, the driving force behind the event was to gather the opinions and ideas of ordinary consumers whose voice has yet to be heard sufficiently loudly in the wider debate about banking reform.
The results of the evening will feed into the Future of Banking Commission, chaired by David Davis MP, which will present the government with its recommendations later this year.
Wide-ranging discussions at debate
The round-table discussions covered a wide variety of bank-related topics, from the structural changes needed to make the industry work better, through to the needs of the individual consumer visiting his or her local branch.
Poor customer service, irresponsible lending practices, restricted access to branches and the banks’ attempts to cross-sell products rather than deal with customer needs were all recurring themes of the evening.
Speaking at the close of the event, David Davis said: ‘The debate was fantastic. We heard responsible, well-argued, erudite points of view. I came here thinking I knew the main issues we had to tackle on the Commission. I leave with a lot more to consider.’
Which? chief executive Peter Vicary-Smith commented: ‘The fact that so many people will come out on a cold February evening in their free time to offer their views on how banks can change for the better shows the strength of feeling that is out there.’
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