In July, the Basel Committee issued revised corporate governance principles aimed at providing a framework within which banks and supervisors should operate to achieve robust and transparent risk management and decision-making and, in doing so, promote public confidence and uphold the safety and soundness of the banking system.

The Committee's revised set of principles supersedes guidance published by the Committee in 2010. The revised guidance emphasises the critical importance of effective corporate governance for the safe and sound functioning of banks. It stresses the importance of risk governance as part of a bank's overall corporate governance framework and promotes the value of strong boards and board committees together with effective control functions.

More specifically, the revised principles:

  • expand the guidance on the role of the board of directors in overseeing the implementation of effective risk management systems;
  • emphasise the importance of the board's collective competence as well as the obligation of individual board members to dedicate sufficient time to their mandates and to keep abreast of developments in banking;
  • strengthen the guidance on risk governance, including the risk management roles played by business units, risk management teams, and internal audit and control functions (the three lines of defence), as well as underline the importance of a sound risk culture to drive risk management within a bank;
  • provide guidance for bank supervisors in evaluating the processes used by banks to select board members and senior management; and
  • recognise that compensation systems form a key component of the governance and incentive structure through which the board and senior management of a bank convey acceptable risk-taking behaviour and reinforce the bank's operating and risk culture.