Community Expectations: Putting People Before Profit Means Taking Human Rights Seriously

13 Pages Posted: 8 Nov 2018 Last revised: 12 Nov 2018

See all articles by Kym Sheehan

Kym Sheehan

The University of Sydney Law School

David Kinley

The University of Sydney Law School

Date Written: November 6, 2018

Abstract

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

Sheehan, Kym Maree and Kinley, David, Community Expectations: Putting People Before Profit Means Taking Human Rights Seriously (November 6, 2018). Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 18/73. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3279869

Kym Maree Sheehan (Contact Author)

The University of Sydney Law School ( email )

New Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia
61 2 8627 4660 (Phone)

David Kinley

The University of Sydney Law School ( email )

New Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia

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