Guest Blog - Support the Charter for a New Financial System - SFM Participant Chris Hewett

Support the Charter for a New Financial System

Did May 10th 2013 mark the birth of a new movement in the UK to transform the finance system into one that serves society, the environment and the wider economy, rather than itself?  This might be a rather grand assertion, but the combination of a major conference on Transforming Finance, where Dr. Raj Thamotheram, SFM President was a speaker, and public release of A Charter for a New Financial System will mark a point when the growing collaboration of civil society, social entrepreneurs , heterodox economists and finance professionals began to articulate a coherent alternative to the failed system that created the 2008 crash.

A growing alignment on what an alternative finance system should look like

The Finance Innovation Lab have been working on system change, along with the network for Sustainable Financial Markets and others for five years. Other organisations and individuals have been doing so for far longer. No one is claiming we have found all the right answers, and much more detailed work, of the type SFM excels, needs to be done. But since 2008, whilst there has been a great deal of criticism of the existing finance system, there has been no coherent narrative of what could replace it. It was this criticism that allowed the Occupy movement to be brushed aside by the establishment. The overall aim of the Charter is to articulate what we feel to be a growing alignment between players in this debate on the key features of a fair, resilient and sustainable finance system.


The Finance Innovation Lab, along with twenty or so other organisations – including New Economics Foundation, Share Action, Triodos Bank, Institute of Social Banking and Friends of the Earth – have set these out in short two page document which is now open for endorsement by any organisation who would like to. Leading academics such as Paul Woolley (LSE) and Mariana Mazzucato (Sussex University) are also signatories.


There are ten key features highlighted aiming to create a just banking system, an investment market that values the long term and harness financial innovation for socially beneficial purposes. If your organisation would like to sign the Charter, it can do so here. In other developments, The Finance Innovation Lab is hosting an informal network of civil society organisations working together on these issues and the presentations and videos from the Transforming Finance conference are now all up on the website.


Watch this space for more developments or follow @tranfin on Twitter