Changing Finance: new this month

A monthly round-up of news, ideas and initiatives related to transforming the UK financial system for people and planet, compiled by the Lab’s CEO Jesse Griffiths.

Cleaning up the City…

Here’s the 2021 edition of the Corporate Tax Haven Index – sadly the UK still dominant with British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, and Bermuda taking the top three spots. What next for Britain’s tax haven empire?

No less than seven inquiries launched into the Greensill scandal. Time for a change in the lobbying laws? Why the Greensill Scandal shows we need tougher financial regulation. But that is not the way things seem to be heading.

The war against money laundering is being lost. Criminal case against NatWest tip of the UK iceberg in ‘money laundering capital of the world’. Bank fraud hit new record during pandemic, so the Crown Prosecution Service launches its first economic crime strategy. How the UK could fight illicit finance.

The FCA’s new whistleblowing campaign – but the whistleblowing laws need fixing.

Better business act – a new campaign to change the law to make businesses legally responsible for benefiting workers, customers, communities and the environment.

Natwest bars crypto-currency based businesses, labelling them too high risk.

A new vision for audit reform from IPPR.

…. And the Climate

What banking regulators should do to stop climate chaos – major new report. Changing bank capital requirements is key. New Zealand becomes first country to make financial firms report on climate impacts.

Is your bank funding fossil fuels? Find out here. The Green Central Bank Scorecard – how did yours do?

Extinction Rebellion steps up its campaign on the banking system. A clever poster campaign against HSBC investment in fossil fuels.

Investors worth £11 trillion call on banks to step up climate action. Banks are pushing businesses to be greener – survey. But how do you measure whether you are financing climate destruction or a just transition? Greenwashing, and how to avoid it.

Why the economics profession is failing on climate. So are asset managers. Net-Zero Banking Alliance launched – and why it is not good enough.

Bank boards are linked to ‘climate-conflicted’ organisations, a global survey shows, as does one in Europe and the US.

Inequality widens

The debt divide – charities sound alarm over rise in buy-now-pay-later debt, while others pay back debt and credit card lending slumps. UK households more likely to have had a big income shock and taken on debt in response to pandemic than German or French households.

New report summarises what happened to cash spending during the pandemic.

International summits: not enough progress on the global debt crisis or on Covid response.

Lots of policy

There’s a big battle brewing on financial services regulation – deregulation and ‘competitiveness’ vs social and environmental purpose.

Peers pass amendments to Financial Services Bill to force regulators to take climate into account, and to help mortgage prisoners.

Britcoin not bitcoin – the Treasury considers a possible central bank digital currency. Here’s a map of which countries are furthest ahead with their own versions.

What the government owes…. Itself: the Bank of England is now the biggest holder of gilts. The FT wants central banks to go green.  The government has made all UK regulators consider climate as part of their remit.

The Parliamentary Committee report on pension scams calls for tech giants to be held to account for hosting scam adverts, among other things.

And finally

How to build a community for systems change. And democratise football.