Following the financial crisis and the bailing out of the banks, public opinion of those working in financial services has hit a new low. The public blames bankers for the crisis and the subsequent recession. This suits politicians as it shifts the blame away from them. Indeed, some have argued that there is a need to ‘rebalance’ the UK economy away from financial services.

City Limits discusses whether such reactions are sensible, or in the national interest. It seeks to improve the clarity of thinking surrounding the banking sector in Britain and offer some policy lessons to be learned from the crisis, as witnessed first-hand by the author as City Minister. Her experience is supplemented by the views of experts – regulators, practitioners and financial services workers – who were interviewed during the course of the research.

This pamphlet argues that the public debate about stability in the banking sector should not be informed by gut mistrust or unease about the financial markets and how they work. Instead the Government should look to understand the root causes of the crisis, to shape the type of financial services sector that we want, and so better realise its potential to contribute to the British economy.