Banking and the Limits of Professionalism

UNSW Law Journal, Vol. 40(1), 2017

45 Pages Posted: 19 Jun 2017

See all articles by Dimity Kingsford Smith

Dimity Kingsford Smith

University of New South Wales (UNSW) - Faculty of Law

Thomas Clarke

University of Technology, Sydney

Justine Rogers

UNSW Law

Date Written: April 12, 2017

Abstract

Few other occupations that aspire to professional status have the influence, both beneficial and destructive, or the raw power to resist regulation and political constraint, that banking has.

Our primary question is whether banking could become a profession. We start from the position that whether banking is, or might become, a profession is not obvious, for a number of reasons.

We outline two of the leading difficulties of regulating banking, namely the focus on controlling entities in the sector and their scale and complexity, and the ubiquitous presence of high remuneration for individuals (or at least an expectation of it).

We examine in detail the fit between banking and the professional duty to the public, duty to the client and duty to peers and to the profession respectively. We analyse another element of traditional professions: the role of professional associations. Associations are both representatives and regulators, and we consider particularly the challenges they face in the enforcement of professional duties in the banking sector.

After reviewing the three central professional duties and associations, we conclude that banking faces challenges in trying to professionalise as an entire occupational group. This, in turn, raises the question about what professionalism and professions might still have to offer, even if it seems impossible to fully professionalise such a vast industry, at least as a whole.

Finally, by examining the limits of professionalism in the banking sector, by inference, our argument also considers whether in other occupations, demands for professionalising can be realised and, if they cannot, what professional logic may still have to offer.

Keywords: banking, finance, ethics, professionalism, regulation

Suggested Citation

Kingsford Smith, Dimity and Clarke, Thomas and Rogers, Justine, Banking and the Limits of Professionalism (April 12, 2017). UNSW Law Journal, Vol. 40(1), 2017. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2988496

Dimity Kingsford Smith

University of New South Wales (UNSW) - Faculty of Law ( email )

Kensington, New South Wales 2052
Australia

Thomas Clarke

University of Technology, Sydney ( email )

Haymarket Campus
PO BOX 123 Broadway
Sydney, New South Wales 2007
Australia
+61 2 9514 3479 (Phone)
+61 2 9514 3817 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.ccg.uts.edu.au

Justine Rogers (Contact Author)

UNSW Law ( email )

Kensington, New South Wales 2052
Australia

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
35
Abstract Views
228
PlumX Metrics