The Social Licence for Financial Markets


This book is by a prominent and highly experienced City of London financial services lawyer. Its title is taken from a phrase introduced by former Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, in his Mansion House speech in 2015.
The idea of ‘social licence’ might seem a strange one. At first glance it seems to mean society’s requirement to ensure that the financial services sector is adequately and appropriately regulated. Faith in Business readers need no introduction to how the 2008 global financial crisis increased the salience of this topic. However, as Rouch explains in this very thorough and detailed book, there is more at stake. The financial services industry operates (or at least ought to operate) ‘under licence’ from wider society in order to deliver services for the wider benefit of that society. We should perhaps focus on the word “services” rather than “financial”.