Vivek Sen on the building of a more resilient financial system

In the wake of the global financial crisis, policy-makers are pursuing broad regulatory changes to many parts of financial services in an attempt to better align its social values and costs. This, in conjunction with an array of highly public scandals, has led to significant questions around the proper role of the financial services industry worldwide. The deepening trust divide between society and the financial services industry has negatively impacted economic and social relationships, and not to mention the effectiveness and value of financial institutions.

Against this backdrop, the relevance of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2013 theme, Resilient Dynamism, has never been greater to the financial services industry.

Without a resilient financial system, society at large – individuals, businesses, governments and civic institutions – remain exposed to an array of vulnerabilities that touch at the very core of global economic activity.

Without dynamism, the industry and its broad range of stakeholders would be unable to attain the necessary transformation towards broader access to financial services required to propel global growth into the future.

Last year, the World Economic Forum launched a multistakeholder initiative comprised of senior leaders to facilitate a balanced and candid dialogue on how the financial system can best serve society. The group includes financial services firms, financial policy-makers and real economy firms that rely upon the services of the financial system, representatives of civil society – including consumer advocates and unions – as well as leading academics and thought leaders on the financial system.

This multistakeholder group will look to identify common ground and build a shared vocabulary to enhance dialogue on the future shape of the financial system. We will also seek to cultivate agreement on the necessary activities to help guide the system’s actors on how best to meet the needs of society.

This initiative endeavors to play a foundational role in the transformation to the resilient and dynamic financial system of tomorrow.

Author: Vivek Sen, Project Manager of the Role of Financial Services in Society Initiative, Financial Services Industries, World Economic Forum

Image: Traders in the Frankfurt stock exchange REUTERS/Stringer