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A few lessons learned from healthcare accounting – and the rules that underpin doctors’ and nurses’ pay and benefits – could help bankers to build trust in the wake of the economic crisis.

Consumers watchdog Which? has launched a campaign calling for ‘Big Change’ in the financial services, to help restore Britons’ confidence in the banking sector.

And it could be bankers’ colleagues in the accountancy profession who help to improve their public perceptions, by applying some of the same rules used in healthcare accounting.

“Bankers [need] to put customers first, not sales, with pay and bonus schemes that prioritise customer service,” suggests Which? in its Big Change pledge.

This could be achieved through regulation similar to that used in the healthcare industry, treating individuals’ financial health as an extension of their physical condition.

In its research for the pledge, Which? found that healthcare professionals are the most trusted in the UK at present, with nurses gaining the trust of 82% of Britons, and doctors scoring 80% – a full 11 percentage points more than third-placed teachers.

However, nurses and doctors are also expected to face the most severe punishments for failing their patients, highlighting the link between accountability and consumer confidence in those professions.