Bishop of Durham to serve on Banking Standards Committee
Perhaps the same is true of clergy.
A cross-party parliamentary inquiry into the banking industry and Libor scandal has had its membership confirmed with the inclusion of the Bishop of Durham as a non-politically-aligned member from the House of Lords.
The Right Revd Justin Welby, Bishop of Durham, has been invited to sit on the commission titled the ‘Parliamentary Commission On Banking Standards’. The terms of reference set out in the motion which resulted in the commission being set-up requires it to consider and report on ‘professional standards and culture of the UK banking sector, taking account of regulatory and competition investigations into the Libor rate-setting process’ and ‘lessons to be learned about corporate governance, transparency and conflicts of interest, and their implications for regulation and for Government policy’.
The Commission will be headed-up by Andrew Tyrie MP, Chairman of the Treasury Select Committee of the House of Commons. The membership of the Commission will be drawn from across parties in both Houses of parliament with six from the Commons and five from the Lords.
Bishop Justin commented: “I am very honoured to have been invited to take part in this important enquiry, which has an impact on all of us because ethical markets are essential to a flourishing economy, and thus jobs. The work commitment is obviously going to be intense, but short-lived. Having started dealing in these markets from the oil industry side in the late 1970s, and with experience not only of LIBOR related instruments but also of a range of derivatives and many other forms of market, as well as being involved in the City of London through work on ethical investing in recent years, this is an area where I hope to be able to make a useful contribution."
Bishop Justin presently sits in the House of Lords, where he specialises in finance and economic matters. He studied Law and History at Cambridge University and then spent 11 years in the oil industry based in Paris (working for Elf) and London, working on West African (principally Nigerian) and North Sea projects. In 1984 he became Group Treasurer of Enterprise Oil plc, a large UK exploration and production company in the FTSE 100. His role included overseeing all the short and long-term financing activity of Enterprise as well as insurance. He was actively involved in the development of the derivatives markets, and their use in connection with loans and foreign exchange dealing. He also sat on the Education committee of the UK Association of Corporate Treasurers. During this time he was also a lay leader at Holy Trinity, Brompton in London.
Amongst other activities, Bishop Justin has been chairman of a National Health Service Trust general hospital. He is the Personal and Ethical Adviser to the UK Association of Corporate Treasurers, and lectures extensively on ethics and finance. He chairs the Committee of Reference for Stewardship, the ethical funds owned by Friends Life and managed by F&C plc. He has published a number of articles in English and French on issues of international finance, ethics and management and also on reconciliation.
It will be interesting to see what contribution the Bishop of Durham brings to this investigation, considering Jesus expressed a certain privilege for the poor, and tended toward the view that rich men don't easily enter heaven.