CLMR’s discussion on the Royal Commission

Event date: 
Tuesday, March 5, 2019 - 16:13

On Tuesday 26th February, UNSW Alumni were treated to a special Legal Hour event that provided attendees with critical insight into the recommendations and potential effects of the recently handed-down Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry. Hosted by the CLMR and MinterEllison more than 130 professionals attended the event, with almost another 200 on the waiting list.

The discussion panel presented a range of insights reflecting the diverse backgrounds of its members. Professor Dimity Kingsford-Smith, Professor Pamela Hanrahan, Professor Elizabeth Sheedy and Steve Weston together have a wealth of experience in regulatory involvement, academic research and senior industry experience. The topics they discussed included the role of company directors and shareholders in industry misconduct, the importance of enacting real cultural change and the upcoming changes to regulatory power-sharing between ASIC and APRA.

Much of the discussion centred around a shift in focus from investor returns towards generating positive outcomes for customers. Mr. Weston referenced the great success of the Senior Manager Regime in the UK in achieving a similar shift. Similarly, Professor Kingsford-Smith emphasised the need for bank leadership to clarify what the purpose of a bank as an institution really is. Professor Hanrahan noted that the increased penalties for corporate misconduct will lead to significant changes in corporate governance priorities and Professor Sheedy questioned whether more effective results could be achieved by introducing shareholder accountability.

After a lively interactive Q&A session with the attendees, Dr Scott Donald, Director of the CLMR ended proceedings by observing that the implications of the Royal Commission extend far beyond purely changing behaviour. He noted that “The challenge for the industry and the profession is to build a new, more robust set of norms and practices. I think that events like this one tonight are a key part of that.”

Click here to see a full video recap of the event.