Working paper

Governance of financial institutions: a cross-country evaluation of national codes following Basel (2010)

Global Financial Crisis (2008-2009) Financial services industry Risk Banks and banking
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Five years after the banking crisis of 2008, we review progress in the area of governance reform. At the height of the crisis, broad support emerged for new governance regulations in banking that would focus more on risk management and hence the rights of depositors, debt-holders and the wider community. In 2010 the Basel Committee produced ‘Principles for Enhancing Corporate Governance’. This document contains 14 principles and more than 120 specific recommendations; a significant revision from pre-crisis guidance and the benchmark for our analysis. Against this standard we examine the national codes for bank governance in Australia, Canada, China, the EU, Indonesia, Japan, Germany, Singapore, Switzerland, the UK and the US as at January 2013. We find that even in these (mainly) advanced economies, few come close to adopting the ‘best-practice’
standards established by the Basel Committee. We offer some possible explanations for the apparent failure to comprehensively adopt these governance regulations developed through international negotiation.

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