Not the post-Davos blog
written by Brian Mairs on 02/02/2010So don't be fooled by the disappearance of so many of the industry's top commentators to Davos last week. Mingling with the world's serial shoulder-rubbers is all very well, and it seems there was plenty of serious discussion going on beyond the formal sessions, but we should remember the World Economic Forum do not have exclusive ownership of good ideas. We found a few ourselves over the past week, which we thought we should share. The Hansard Society's HeadsUp forum published its latest paper The Economy What Went Wrong? which sets out the fascinating results of an extended online discussion among school students on the state of the nation's finances. The teenagers' views are well worth a read. It appears they are as angered at MPs' expenses as they are at the scale of the financial crisis it isn't the financial cost, but the perceived breach of trust that offends them most. And they identify financial education as one of the keys to averting a future crisis (we'd agree with that). They also challenge the assumption that teenagers are boundlessly acquisitive consumers they clearly feel that too many people focused their energies on possessions and money. A fascinating, assumption-changing read. And just to prove we can come up with some decent ideas as well, we published a short paper with IBM Consulting this week: Restoring Loyalty, Trust and Industry Profitability. We are trying to figure out how to make banking smarter: how to make it profitable again; how properly to learn about customers' needs; and how to accommodate the growing regulatory burden amid all this change. Here's food for thought: we asked people if they agreed banks in general, and their bank in particular, treated customers fairly. Only 13 per cent thought banks treated their customers fairly; but 65 per cent were content that their bank treated them properly. Go figure.