The head of the new City watchdog John Griffiths-Jones has pledged to enforce change through the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
In an interview with The Times, Griffiths-Jones, chairman of the FCA, said he was starting the job as "a member of Joe Public, saying, 'Something's got to change here'".
He said the public's frustration with the banking industry was understandable.
“You’ve got to remember that people on the whole have been getting poorer rather than richer.
“If your house price is going down and you’ve lost your job or you haven’t had a pay rise for the last two years and your tax rate is going up, you are kind of stroppy with everybody. And banks doing something wrong does act as a bit of a lightning rod.
“There’s a cause and effect here, which is why the public aren’t happy with them. Something needs to change. Definitely.”
However, he added lack of trust in banks was "distressingly high" and it was not good for the economy or the country.
Part of his job at the FCA, he said, was to quell the desire for retribution.
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