Sir Richard Lambert has been appointed head of a new banking standards body to be funded by the financial industry as recommended by parliament.
His appointment was announced in a joint statement from the chairmen of RBS, HSBC, Barclays, Lloyds and Standard Chartered banks. The banks have asked him to develop the new professional organisation and consult a range of stakeholders, from government to consumers.
Lambert is former director general of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), Britain's biggest business lobbyist, and a past member of the Bank of England's rate-setting Monetary Policy Committee. He also edited the Financial Times for a decade.
"The new professional body will be independent of the banks, and will cover all sectors of the industry. I hope it will be supported by all banks and building societies doing business in the UK," said Lambert, who is also tasked with looking into the creation of new professional qualifications for bankers.
Parliament's Commission on Banking Standards (PCBS), set up in the wake of scandals such as Libor fixing and financial product mis-selling, recommended in its report the creation of a new professional body to oversee the culture of those working in the industry.
The banks' chairmen in their statement stressed that the body would be independent and not a lobbying organisation, something the PCBS said in its report is imperative for success and credibility.
"A unified professional body for banking should have no need of public subsidy, either directly or indirectly. We would expect such a body to be funded by participating banks and individual qualified members," said the report.
"However, it would also need to establish independence from the outset, through its forms of governance, its disciplinary procedures and through the personnel at senior levels.
"The body must never allow itself to become a cosy sinecure for retired bank chairmen and City grandees. Just as importantly, it must eschew from the outset and by dint of its constitution any role in advocacy for the interests of banks individually or collectively."
Lambert is tasked with developing the banking body for launch in 2014.