The social Licence for Financial Markets by David Rouch

The Social Licence for Financial Markets

This book is about what Mark Carney has called ‘the social licence for financial markets’ and how it can point us towards a more sustainable future. What it reveals contrasts sharply with the usual portrayals of markets as places of unrestrained financial self-interest: a more complex reality in which powerful justice-focused aspirations are also in play. Increased attention to this can positively impact individual, institutional, and systemic behaviour: change, not imposed by regulators, but emerging from the very substance of market relationships.

The finance sector should have a key role in addressing humanity’s core sustainability challenges. Yet the relationship between finance and society has not recovered from the 2008 crisis and the scandals and austerity that followed. Recognising that financial markets operate subject to a social licence has the potential to galvanise market participants in tackling these challenges, strengthening social solidarity on which markets also depend, and to provide coordinates for navigating a way through the complexities ahead.

David gives us all a call to action, and we must answer it and give it the attention it deserves.
- Mark Carney

Power of Narrative to Change Behavior

The social licence for financial markets expresses a narrative about the relationship between markets and society. Narratives are powerful. They can appeal to hearts and minds. This one speaks to all levels of the financial market ecosystem. It advances a framework for navigating through the current...

Finance & Sustainability

Relying on financial self-interest to engage the financial sector to address sustainability challenges clearly makes sense. The work of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure does just that, for example, through greater disclosure of climate risk in the financial system. Disclosure drives...

Culture in Finance

Work to improve culture in finance firms recognises that, to change behaviour, it is necessary to get to its ‘root cause’. Since culture essentially describes the way an institution ‘is’, including how those within it behave, attention has focused on the need to shape culture to influence behaviour...

Corporate & Systemic Purpose

Financial markets resemble a form of ecosystem, comprised of multiple groups of individuals and firms interacting. Financial system outcomes ultimately result from the behaviour of individuals. However, the groups those individuals belong to and the interaction between groups...

A Legal Framework For Impact

In what ways are market operators required or permitted to tackle humanity's key sustainability challenges? This international report for the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative and others answers the question and also provides a broader framework for deciding how to act.