Replanting the Orchard: The Long-Shot Vision of Bankers As Good Guys

Abby Zimet

In the wake of British banking misdeeds that sound dismally familiar - rate-fixing scandals, questionable bailouts, massive undeserved bonuses - the Church of England offers an intriguing critique of a banking culture it says must repent for its sins and reinvent "a culture of the virtues." Bravely using "morality" and "banking" in the same context, the Church's  public comments to the Parlia­mentary Commission on Banking Standards charge "the culture of banking has lost touch with matters of virtue" and show a "blindness to the common good" and suggest there is in fact such a thing as "a good banker."

"One insight from the Christian tradition of penitence and forgiveness is that is often not enough to put matters back to where they were before things went wrong; some demonstration of a change of heart by means of restitution and a visibly robust refusal to let the same failings occur again is necessary before a bad situation can be made good."

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