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The Right to Bank: A Proposal for Introducing a New Human Right under International Law

Title: The Right to Bank
Subtitle: A Proposal for Introducing a New Human Right under International Law
Subject Classification: Economics and Finance, Law and Legal Ethics, Sustainability
BIC Classification: KFFK, LNPF, LBBR
BISAC Classification: BUS004000, LAW007000, POL035010
Binding: Hardback, ebook, pp.635
Publication date: 17th April 2024
ISBN (Hardback): 978-1-80441-236-7
ISBN (ebook): 978-1-80441-237-4

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The call for establishing a right to bank holds valid premises, yet this right has never been contemplated before. The book argues that introducing a right to bank under international law can offer a new route to ensure that the banking sector acts as a force for good like ethical banks currently do.

The right to bank aims to address the fundamental issues that customers can experience while dealing with banks, introducing the paradigm: “get access; be respected; trust the system”. The right to bank is a right for everyone: in the transition from a financial crisis to a climate crisis, it empowers individuals to play an active role in the financial system through ethical and sustainable decision-making. It also stimulates financial institutions and governments to reflect about the fundamental role they play and to act wisely in furthering the ecological transition.

The book therefore presents a proposal for establishing a right to bank, explaining the issues that this right aims to address, the benefits linked to its adoption, and the intended change it can trigger. Within this context, the author also presents the 10 Principles of Banking Social Responsibility, a new framework that the author decided to create in order to give concrete traction to the positive transition that the banking sector crucially needs to embrace in this challenging historical moment. This innovative work will be valuable for lawmakers, banking and finance professionals and researchers, governments and NGOs, including UN bodies.


Author: Clara Barbiani is an international legal professional specialized in financial law and regulation. Chartered Member of CISI, her career in London focused on enhancing compliance governance as framework to bring ethics in finance. She graduated in International Law (The Hague University) with a specialization in International Financial Law (University of Hong Kong). She holds a LLM in Banking & Finance (Queen Mary, University of London) and a PhD in Law & Business (LUISS). She lectured climate change financing and sustainable finance to diplomats and professionals of Executive LLM programs.


This title is currently being reviewed. Please check back for further updates in due course. 

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