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Why join the BSB?

Becoming a member is a voluntary statement; an affirmation to customers, clients, staff and investors of your commitment to promoting the highest standards of behaviour and competence across the industry.

The BSB will work with you to help you achieve your ambitions in this area. It will provide impartial, objective, evidence-based and practical support and challenge to firms, individually and collectively, to help them achieve their objectives on behaviour, competence and culture. It will also provide a forum for interested firms to share and learn from good practice both within the financial services sector and elsewhere (many of the challenges facing the leaders of banks and building societies in managing behaviour, competence and culture, being common also across other sectors).

And as the BSB builds up its evidence base drawn on a consistent basis from across the entire membership, firms will be better placed to assess how they are progressing against their own ambitions on behaviour, competence and culture, and how they compare with their peer group. This additional information will help the boards of banks and building societies both in setting priorities and measuring performance, and in engaging with customers, investors, members and regulators to set out where the firm is performing well (in absolute and relative terms), where it is making progress and where it is investing more effort.

Member firms are also invited to timely and topical workshops, seminars, discussions and other events; all on a voluntary basis, and with the focus on practical ideas that can be adopted and translated into action by firms.

Join the BSB today, to demonstrate your own commitment to raising standards in your part of the sector and right across the industry. Please contact to find out more about membership.

“I welcome this important industry-led initiative, and am pleased to support the establishment of the BSB. I encourage all banks that operate in the UK, both domestic and foreign, to support this endeavour.”

Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England

Benefits of joining


Evaluating whether a more professional approach to banking would improve behaviour and competence across the industry.

Learn more


Providing an honest and impartial assessment to Boards of progress against their objectives on behaviour, competence and culture.

Learn more

Senior Managers & Certification Regime

Exploring how the SMCR - and especially Certification - can be implemented in the most effective way across the sector.

Learn more


The BSB was founded on the participation of the UK’s seven largest banks and building society.

The banking industry has a collective interest in raising standards of behaviour and competence across the industry.

If your organisation is interested in joining the BSB please email

Senior Managers and Certification Regime

Exploring how the SMCR - and especially Certification - can be implemented in the most effective way across the sector.

The Senior Managers and Certification Regime is a major regulatory change that will affect all banks and building societies. Responding to recommendations by the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards, the government and regulators have together developed a comprehensive framework to ensure better accountability and responsibility for behaviour, competence and culture in banks and building societies. The new framework provides an opportunity for the industry to focus on and demonstrate a culture of professionalism. We are working with firms and regulators to facilitate this, including areas where a common approach across firms could support both the objectives of the regime and the skills and development of the people covered by it.


Evaluating whether a more 'professional' approach to banking would improve behaviour and competence across the industry.

The Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards found that 'banking culture has all too often been characterised by an absence of any sense of collective responsibility to uphold the reputation of the industry', and argued that a greater focus on professionalism could be an answer to this. Working with a leading team at the University of Leeds, we are researching the issues around professionalism in banking. In particular, we are reviewing how professional qualifications are currently used across the sector, and at whether a stronger role for professional bodies, along the lines seen in some other sectors, like medicine or law, would help raise standards. To inform this work and develop a rounded picture of 'professionalism' and what it means in banking, we are surveying banks and building societies, professional bodies and a wide range of other interested groups, including consumer bodies and investors.


Providing an honest and impartial assessment to Boards of progress against objectives on behaviour, competence and culture.

The BSB assessment exercise presents Boards with an objective and impartial view of their firm's culture, identifying where things are working well and recommending areas for improvement. It draws on information not only from Boards and senior teams, but also from employees, investors (or members), trade unions, customer groups and other relevant bodies. In doing so, it will provide constructive challenge to each firm individually, while building a collective understanding of common issues across the industry, or sectors within it. We undertook our first annual assessment exercise in 2015 with ten firms (Barclays, Citi, HSBC Bank, Lloyds Banking Group, Metro Bank, Morgan Stanley International, Nationwide, RBS, Santander UK and Standard Chartered). The BSB itself will not publish individual assessment reports - each firm owns its own report - but key themes and messages will be set out in the BSB's annual report, the first of which will be published in Spring 2016. Given that Board engagement is central to the assessment work, only firms that have their headquarters in the UK are eligible for the full assessment exercise. All firms, including branches of firms headquartered overseas, will however be included in a focused membership-wide survey, which will allow each participating firm to benchmark itself against its peer group.



If your bank/building society has not responded adequately, or in time, to a complaint that you have already made, you can register your complaint with the Financial Ombudsman Service. Which offers a guide on consumer rights when taking a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service.


If you have a problem or query relating to your financial affairs, or are seeking personal finance advice or guidance, there is free, impartial information available from the following organisations:


If you work in the financial services industry and are concerned about any activities conducted by your employer or any other firm or individual, you may find the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority's guidelines on whistleblowing helpful. It explains what constitutes whistleblowing, and what procedures are in place to respond to blow the whistle and how your anonymity would be protected. Public Concern at Work, the whistleblowing charity, also offers support and advice to individuals and employers about how to report concerns and how to establish whistleblowing frameworks.


If you are seeking the services of an independent financial adviser, Unbiased may be able to help, or if you are looking for more general financial guidance, the Money Advice Service may be a useful place to start.