Corporate governance is most often viewed as both the structure and the relationships which determine corporate direction and performance. The board of directors is typically central to corporate governance. Its relationship to the other primary participants, typically shareholders and management, is critical.
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Additional participants include employees, customers, suppliers, and creditors. The corporate governance framework also depends on the legal, regulatory, institutional and ethical environment of the community. Whereas the 20th century might be viewed as the age of management, the early 21st century is predicted to be more focused on governance. Both terms address control of corporations but governance has always required an examination of underlying purpose and legitimacy. (James McRitchie, 1999) Corporate governance is important for all organization not only today but has and will always be. However, it is specifically very important for the financial industry due to various reasons which will be discussed subsequently. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) suggests sound corporate governance of financial institutions need to be in place in order for banking and financial supervision to operate effectively. Consequently, banking supervisors have a strong interest in ensuring that there is effective corporate governance at every bank. Supervisory experience underscores the necessity of having appropriate levels of accountability and managerial competence within each bank. Essentially, the effective supervision of the international banking system requires sound governance structures within each bank, especially with respect to multifunctional banks that operate on a transnational basis. A sound governance system can contribute to a collaborative working relationship between bank supervisors and management. The following are some of the factors that deem it necessary to have very good corporate governance in financial institutions: Financial firms are “opaque” in nature and gives rise to significant information asymmetries. This makes it difficult to assess management performance. Current deregulated nature of financial institutions have made the nature of the activities of employees and managers moved from traditional activities toward decision-making activities. This has created greater potential for risk and results not expected or desired by shareholders and other stakeholders. Governance is an activity in which communal benefits resultant from private supervisory in the finance industry plays a dominant role. Limitations such as on takeovers, ownership concentration, prudent supervision, etc. could weaken product market discipline. This could further lead to weakening of the private sector’s undertaking other governance functions. Financial firms hold equity stakes, grant credit and, hence, examine performance, which facilitates them to make a strong impact on governance of other institutions. Financial innovations potentiality weakens traditional governance processes. The role of banks is integral in any economy. They provide financing for commercial enterprises, access to payment systems and a host of a variety of retail financial services for the economy as a whole. Some banks even have a broader impact on the macro sector of the economy by facilitating the transmission of monetary policy by making credit and liquidity available in different market conditions.
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