Community Expectations: Putting People Before Profit Means Taking Human Rights Seriously
13 Pages Posted: 8 Nov 2018 Last revised: 12 Nov 2018
Date Written: November 6, 2018
Misconduct in financial services and behaviour that fails to meet community expectations are not just matters of legality and professional ethics: they concern infringements of peoples’ basic human rights. Analysing some 314 cases of misconduct of Australian banks and financial services entities as recorded by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) in the 20 months between 1 January 2017 and 3 September 2018, our results show that in all cases involving relationships between a financial services entity and its customers or clients (some 255 of the 314 cases), at least one, and in most instances more than one, of four identified human rights categories (privacy and information, economic security, anti-discrimination, right to remedy) were adversely affected.
These are the preliminary results of a project to develop a human rights benchmark for financial services. The results are here presented in the form of a submission to the Royal Commission into Misconduct in Australia’s Banking, Insurance and Superannuation Industry, which is due to report its findings and recommendations in February 2019.
Keywords: finance, banks, human rights, Australian Royal Commission on Banking and Financial Services, corporate social responsbility
JEL Classification: K10, K23, K30, K38, M14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation