Can Codes of Conduct Restore Trust and Warranted Accountability

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Date(s) - 14/09/17
8:00am - 12:30pm


King & Wood Mallesons (Sydney)
Level 61 Governor Phillip Tower, 1 Farrer Place

The writing, rewriting and strengthening of codes of conduct are staple responses to scandal, not least in the finance sector. It is not surprising, therefore, that the ASIC Enforcement Review Task Force should turn its attention to the intractable question of how to render them more effective. Given a succession of banking and broader financial services scandals, a consultation paper notes the signalling value of codes of conduct in demonstrating a commitment to values that transcends legal obligation. It accepts however, the impact of actual or perceived departure from the nature of these promises on the reputation of an individual institution – or more problematically – the sector as a whole. Strengthened legislative mandates are not considered of lasting value. Instead the expert panel recommends a co-regulatory model, based on minimum service requirements. The reframing is significant given the existing power of ASIC to authorise codes of conduct, a power notable for the fact that it has not been applied.

This workshop examines the role codes of conduct plays in shaping the interaction between legal obligation, culture and ethics within complex organisations. Drawing together market conduct and prudential regulators, key industry associations and leading academics, the workshop investigates and evaluates whether, how, and by what metrics one can evaluate the effectiveness of codes in arresting the decline in public trust in our financial institutions.

Event schedule

8:00am   Registration

8:20am   Welcoming Remarks
Stuart Fuller, KWM and Justin O’Brien, Monash Business School

8:30am   Codes of Conduct and Widening Perimeter of Regulatory Intervention
Greg Medcraft, Chair, Australian Securities and Investments Commission

9:15am   Mediating Change in Wholesale Markets: The Global FX Code: Transcending Symbolism
Guy Debelle, Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of Australia
David Lynch, CEO, Australian Financial Markets Association

10:15am  Coffee

10:30am  Constructing Legitimacy: The ABA Code of Conduct
Anna Bligh, CEO, Australian Bankers’ Association
Deen Sanders, Professional Standards Authority

11:30am  Fit for Purpose Reconceptualising Codes in an Era of Social Licence
Pamela Hanrahan, UNSW Business School
Adrian Evans, Monash Law School
Justin O’Brien, Monash Business School
Stuart Fuller, KWM

12:30pm Workshop Close

For further details, please contact Jenica Sagun by email or 02 9296 3403

Download event program

The Australian Centre for Financial Studies in partnership with Monash Law School and in association with academic, regulatory and practitioner collaborators in Sydney and Brisbane, is embarking on an integrated program of research on how to rebuild trust in our institutions. The program derives from the calamitous collapse of trust signalled by the Edelman Trust Barometer across the liberal world.
Nowhere is this more apparent than in the finance sector in the aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis. The problems extend, however, far beyond finance. Similar concerns about what constitutes social obligation are evident in the resources sector and nascent within the digital economy. These are also industries similarly global in scope, increasingly unanchored from the societies in which they operate, and capable of generating externalities that threaten social cohesion.
The Trust Project explores the changing nature of these risks. It investigates the capacity of business, government, media and civil society to address the rise of particularised trust and evaluates the impact on corporate, legal and regulatory dynamics.