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NWO-subsidie voor Boudewijn de Bruin en Alex Oliver: 'Trusting Banks'

03 juli 2012
Aan prof. dr. Boudewijn de Bruin (Wijsbegeerte en Economie & Bedrijfskunde, RUG) en prof. dr. Alex Oliver (Philosophy and Judge Business School, Cambridge University) is door NWO een subsidie van een miljoen euro toegekend voor hun gezamenlijke onderzoeksproject Trusting Banks met twee promovendi en twee postdoctoraal onderzoekers. Het onderzoek is erop gericht een theorie van vertrouwen voor de financiële wereld en specifieke hulpmiddelen voor het herstel van vertrouwen in financiële instellingen te ontwikkelen. Een Engelstalige samenvatting van het onderzoeksvoorstel:

Most distrusted global industry

The economic crisis that followed the 2007 subprime mortgage meltdown is, among other things, a crisis of trust. The well-known Edelman Trust Barometer (2011) reports that trust in banks has declined tremendously over the last three years, while at the same time trust in other industries and government has not undergone significant change. Banks, the study concludes, are ‘the most distrusted global industry’. But if citizens and companies distrust banks—and if banks distrust citizens and companies—a chilling effect will spread through the economy. It will be more difficult for companies to obtain credit and for citizens to obtain mortgages. The economy will slow down, unemployment will rise, and companies—or countries—will go bust. This has already happened. The social costs we pay for an untrustworthy banking sector are very high.

Prof.dr. Boudewijn de Bruin
Prof.dr. Boudewijn de Bruin

Banking Code

A few months after the sudden and dramatic collapse of the US investment bank Lehman Brothers in September 2008, an influential white paper was published under the auspices of the Netherlands Bankers Association, entitled Restoring Trust. This paper led to the well- known Banking Code in the Netherlands, which has been active since January 2010. While the speed with which the Dutch government responded to the global economic crisis is certainly to be applauded, the available evidence cautions us not to be too optimistic about the effectiveness of the Code so far. Ethicists provide important insights from which policy makers and the banking sector can benefit greatly in their attempts to restore trust. But the concepts of trust and trustworthiness have not yet taken centre stage.

Four questions

In the research proposed here, these concepts are central. The overall aim is to assess ways to restore trust and trustworthiness in banking by answering the following four questions: (i) what virtues do banks have to possess in order to be trustworthy (the motivation requirement of trustworthiness); (ii) what skills and knowledge do banks have to possess in order to be trustworthy (the competence requirement of trustworthiness); (iii) what obligations do banks have to trust their clients (the duties required by well-placed trust); and (iv) how can citizens ensure that they trust only those banks that are trustworthy (the evidence required by well-placed trust).

Meer informatie

NWO-toekenningen Vrije Competitie Geesteswetenschappen, juli 2012

Prof Boudewijn de Bruin, Faculteit Wijsbegeerte en Faculteit Economie & Bedrijfskunde, RUG

Prof Alex Oliver, Philosophy Department Cambridge University

Laatst gewijzigd:07 juni 2016 14:44

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