Banking Royal Commission concludes with a focus on regulators and culture, rather than additional regulation
The Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry has made a number of recommendations consistent with the Governance Institute’s own conclusions on good governance. Commissioner Hayne highlighted the important role of leadership embedding an ethical culture from the top down.
As a result of new powers, ASIC will be able to pursue significantly larger fines and jail time for businesses and their leaders across the financial sector. The Treasury Laws Amendment (Strengthening Corporate and Financial Sector Penalties) Bill 2018 implements recommendations of the ASIC Enforcement Review Taskforce by amending the Corporations Act 2001, ASIC Act 2001 as well as the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 and Insurance Contracts Act 1994. The Act has now passed and is awaiting assent.
On 29 November 2018, the Modern Slavery Bill 2018 was passed in parliament, requiring large organisations (of $100m revenue or more) doing business in Australia to report annually on any modern slavery issues in their operations, or their supply chain. The statements will be publicly available on a central register maintained by the Commonwealth.
On January 18, the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety opened in Adelaide. Commissioners Richard Tracey and Lynelle Briggs outlined how their investigation would operate – issuing strongly worded warnings to anyone attempting to interfere with any witnesses looking to come forward.
The Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB) working with the Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (AUASB), has now released guidance around the “Climate-related and other emerging risks disclosures: assessing financial statement materiality using AASB Practice Statement 2” to guide organisations in their financial reporting around the impacts of climate change.