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Experts, leaders and influencers with decades of experience in finance at FINSIA Summit 2018

by Lewis Panther | 24 Aug 2018

FINSIA’s signature event of the year is attracting industry leaders and influencers with 100s of years of banking and finance experience between them.

Interest in Summit 2018 is gathering pace as speakers determined to wrestle the sector away from outcomes seen at the Royal Commission line up to have their say.

The hearings move on to a new phase in November - after the publication of the interim report - when CEOs of the major financial institutions are expected to be called to talk through the policy changes needed.

Summit 2018 will be the first opportunity for many of the financial services power brokers to digest and discuss Commissioner Kenneth Hayne’s report into the first six rounds.

“After submissions close on 28 September, the Commission will shift attention from past experiences to proposals on what should be done in response to the issues raised or conduct uncovered within the banking, superannuation and financial services industry,” its website noted.

So far, 8,407 submissions have been made with 64 per cent of them focused on the banking industry. Superannuation comes second in the top three, attracting 12 per cent of the submissions about misconduct. Financial advice is third with nine per cent.

FINSIA managing director and CEO Chris Whitehead F FIN said: “We are really excited at hearing from such distinguished speakers with so many years of experience in the financial services industry here and overseas.”

“It is what the Summit is all about - helping the industry move forward and take responsibility for the current situation with a rigorous and comprehensive professional solution.”

ASIC chairman James Shipton, who has become the latest power broker to agree to speak at the Summit in Sydney, will take part in a fireside chat with Mr Whitehead and Paul Smith, CEO of the Institute on Professionalism and Purpose. 

Mr Shipton, who brings several decades of experience in financial services along with a stint of rears at Harvard, has faced intense scrutiny because of the spotlight of the Royal Commission and is a firm believer in FINSIA’s call for more professionalism in the sector.

Early in his tenure as head of ASIC, he said: “Too often, those working in finance are so focused on complexity, or their particular specialisation, or their own commissions or bonuses, that they lose sight of the broader purpose.”

“Every cent in the financial system is other people's money.”

"Finance exists to serve everyday Australians. It is a means to an end, not an end in itself."

The regulator said he wanted bankers to get the same sort of respect as doctors and nurses.

He added: “You want them to know what they are talking about, to be competent and skilful, but you also want them to be caring and ethical ... We need greater levels of professionalism in finance.”

The growing list of influencers also includes American-born Dame Susan Rice whose wide ranging experience in the UK and the US dating back to the 1980s offers a unique international perspective on banking.

Dame Susan, who was the first female CEO of a major clearing bank who now chairs the Chartered Banker Professional Standards Board, says: “Professionalism is about a high level of trust, it’s about a high-level integrity in terms of the delivery of the products and services to a customer.”

Joining her is The Honourable Anna Bligh, the former Queensland premier who helped the Australian Banking Association draft a new code of conduct so that customers were put front and centre of the industry, who knew the size of the task when she took on the role of chief executive.

“The challenge for the banks is to re-earn the trust of Australians, and there’s no easy way out of this,” she said.

“If you want to earn trust you have to be trustworthy, and that means changing some of the things that have become endemic in the industry. Banking has not, either globally or locally, lived up to the expectations of the community and customers.”

APRA chairman Wayne Byres SF FIN will bring the regulator’s perspective to the discussion on professionalisation to the summit.

Mr Byres, who likes to use an analogy about flying and safety to explain why financiers should avoid risky deals, is bound to spur as much debate as he does when he speaks out about the state of the industry.

He has already talked about how pay and bonuses for senior executives at banks and financial institutions should be more accountable and the impact the BEAR regime will have.

But while Mr Byres’ role as a regulator is to make sure the banks, insurance and super funds and are stable, he recognises their fundamental need to be profitable.

And in a speech after the 20th anniversary of the founding of APRA and against the backdrop of the Royal Commission entitled “Preparing for a rainy day”, Mr Byres indicated that customers themselves needed to be more aware of the risks they take.

You can see the full list of distinguished speakers at our Summit here.

Join us at our Summit - early bird tickets now available

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