History: "It's a question of trust"
Six years after the collapse of Lehmans and the onset of the worst financial crisis of the post-war era, there appears, still, to be an ongoing crisis of public trust in relation to how our banks are run. If we take the United Kingdom as an example, we have, in 2014, heard calls for banks to "professionalise" themselves, for bankers to be required to swear solemn oaths as to their honesty and behaviour and for businesses generally (but especially banks) to enter into a "covenant" with the communities they serve.
The idea for the "covenant" was put forward in August 2014 by Lord Digby Jones (former UK government minister and former Director-General of the Confederation of British Industry) when he asserted that " ....as we come out of one of the worst financial crises this country has ever experienced, trust in business is pretty much at rock bottom."
Such sentiments have, in recent times, often been expressed in relation to the banking sector (but have also been heard in relation to the energy sector and various parts of the public sector (such as the police and health services)).
The desire (and expressed need) to "restore public trust" has become something of a mantra, repeated with ever-increasing frequency in an expanding range of contexts. It resonates with (much older) expressions of the need for "corporate social responsibility" and the need for businesses to respect and give effect to expectations in the "ESG" (Environment, Social, Governance) area as well as the need to respond to the concern, following the crisis, that businesses simply cannot take the trust of customers for granted any more.