Consumers will get the chance to help shape the banking world at a public debate next week in London.

As part of its 'Future of Banking Commission', consumer lobby group Which? is hosting the 'Big Banking Debate' to seek views from politicians, the industry and the public on how the banking system needs to change.

This is the first of four similar events over the next few months but it is the only one the public can attend.

The other events will take place over the next few months and include evidence sessions from Martin Lewis as well as other industry figures such as BBC Business Editor Robert Peston, FSA Chief Executive Hector Sands and governor of the Bank of England Mervyn King.

Members of the commission include MPs David Davis, John McFall and Vince Cable, plus other industry figures.

Peter Vicary-Smith, Which? chief executive, says: "Ordinary people are still feeling the repercussions of the financial crisis yet their voice has so far been missing from the debate about how to rebuild our banking system.

"Everyone uses banking services in some form or another so it's only right the public has a say in how banks can better serve society."

Topics covered

The commission will cover the following issues:

  • The social function of banking
  • The impact on the public of the financial crisis
  • The appropriate structure of the banking system
  • The alignment of the interests of consumers, banks, investors and other stakeholders
  • Ensuring competition, particularly in retail banking, works to deliver benefits for consumers
  • Effective corporate governance, accountability and linking salaries to the fair treatment of customers and avoiding rewards for taking excessive risk
  • Regulation of the banking sector
  • Provision of suitable products with fair charges
  • Impact on customers of any proposed reform

The commission, launched in December, will publish a report in the spring and will use the results to try to influence the next government's banking plans.

Where's the debate?

It's being held in Victoria, central London, on Thursday, 4 February between 5pm and 8pm. Some 300 places are available and consumers can apply to attend via the Which? registration page.

Further reading/Key links

Find the best account: Best Bank Accounts
Complain about bad service: Financial Fight Back
External link: Which? Future of Banking Commission