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Governance Institute of Australia Interview with Dr John Laker AO rebuilding trust

Tuesday 30 April, 2019
by Dr John Laker AO
The fundamental challenge in rebuilding the public’s trust in the financial services industry is putting the best interests of customers at the centre of organisational culture, decisionmaking and remuneration arrangements.

So says Dr John Laker, the chair of the Board of The Banking and Financial Services Oath and former chair of the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority.

He says Australia is not alone in facing the challenge of rebuilding trust in financial institutions. ‘The decline in trust has been a global phenomenon; other countries wracked by major banking failures and scandals have had to face the challenge earlier and although progress is being made, trust lost takes a long time to regain.

Laker notes that, up to a few years ago, the story of the Australian financial system was a very positive one. Strong capital footings, conservative risk management, and robust regulation and supervision all helped banks emerge from the crisis largely unscathed compared to other countries. As he told a recent global conference, that positive retrospective has turned instead into a cautionary tale.


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The Oath

  • Trust is the foundation of my profession.
  • I will serve all interests in good faith.
  • I will compete with honour.
  • I will pursue my ends with ethical restraint.
  • I will help create a sustainable future.
  • I will help create a more just society.
  • I will speak out against wrongdoing and support others who do the same.
  • I will accept responsibility for my actions.
  • In these and all other matters;
    My word is my bond.