Corporate Governance

Bank of Sydney is an Authorised deposit-taking institution (ADI) supervised by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) under the Banking Act 1959. The Bank is also supervised by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC), Australian Transaction and Reports Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) and other government agencies.

 

 

Responsibilities    

We recognise that we have responsibilities to our stakeholders including our customers, staff, regulators, shareholders, communities in which we operate, suppliers and the environment.

We are committed to the highest standards of corporate governance and continually review our governance practices. This ensures full compliance with legal requirements and ensures our business model is aligned to the constant change that occurs within the external environment in which we operate. Our approach to corporate governance aims to achieve superior customer satisfaction through the execution of our core values of:

  • Respect
  • Encourage
  • Accountability
  • One-team
  • Passion

Our Board of Directors and staff are responsible for upholding the goals and values of the Bank.

Our corporate & risk governance structures have been developed to support customer- focused operations while providing clear guidance on how authority is exercised at the Bank, including Board oversight of key controls. The Board, with the assistance of delegated Board sub-committees of Risk Management, Audit and Nominations & Remuneration determine the most appropriate corporate governance practices.

All Board and Executive committee charters are regularly reviewed.

 

Risk Management

Our risk management philosophy principles focus on embedding a standardised “Three Lines of Defence” philosophy. Key aspects to the Three Lines of Defence philosophy include:

Ownership of risk at the business level

Business heads are responsible for identifying risks within their business units and ensuring that they are managed appropriately.

Understanding worst case outcomes

Our risk management approach is focused on understanding the consequences of worst case scenarios which may impact on BOS and determine whether they can be tolerated. This is achieved by undertaking periodic stress testing of certain risk systems and ensuring Management are equipped to identify and appropriately address emerging risks.  

Risk management independence

We place significant importance on having a strong independent Risk & Compliance function. The Chief Risk Officer has unfettered access to the Board and sub-committees and reports directly to the Chief Executive Officer and the Chair of the Board Risk Management Committee.

Focus on customers and long-term strategy

Effective risk management is more than just a robust framework with controls. Our risk culture is equally important and all staff respect the need to adhere to the Banks values. Our teams are customer focused, placing significant emphasis on building and nurturing customer orientated, sustainable relationships.

Compliance

We are committed to achieving regulatory compliance excellence. Robust compliance can only occur if sound compliance and risk management practices are embedded in responsibilities and performance across the organisation.

We do the right thing via the prudent development, approval and execution of various policies and procedures required by law.

All Bank of Sydney employees are provided with induction training and regular refresher training to ensure compliance with policies and procedures. The following are some examples of topics covered in these training sessions:

  • Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Financing
  • Privacy & Confidentiality
  • Code of Conduct principles and obligations
  • Conflicts of Interes
  • Whistleblowing

Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing (AML/CTF)

Money laundering is the concealment of money which was made by carrying out illegal activities. Terrorism financing involves the use of money raised from legitimate sources, such as donations and business profits as well as money from illegal sources to fund terrorism. 

The Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (Cth) (AML / CTF Act) imposes a number of obligations on ‘Reporting Entities’ (who provide ‘Designated Services’) in order to identify money-laundering and terrorism-financing and to regularly report to ‘AUSTRAC’ (the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre) which is Australia’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing regulator.

The Bank is a Reporting Entity under the AML / CTF Act as it provides a number of Designated Services. To meet its compliance obligations, the Bank maintains an AML / CTF Program. This program is also supported by other policies and procedures designed to meet our obligations and to protect the Bank against money laundering and terrorism financing risks.  

Sanctions

Sanctions impose restrictions on activities that relate to particular countries, goods and services, or persons and entities aimed at limiting the adverse consequences of the situation of international concern, seeking to influence those responsible for giving rise to the situation of international concern and/or to penalise those responsible.

Sanctions generally refer to ‘measures used by governments or international organisations including a complete or partial interruption of economic relations however not involving the use of armed force’. These measures are mainly put into place in situations of international concern, including ‘the grave repression of the human rights or democratic freedoms of a population by a government, or the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction or their means of delivery, or internal or international armed conflict.’

The Bank complies with applicable sanctions regulations and has systems and processes in place in relation to customers, trade transactions and international money transfers to ensure it is not dealing with any prescribed persons or prohibited jurisdictions or with any previously identified undesirables.

FATCA & CRS – Foreign tax residency status

The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), introduced by the United States Government and the Common Reporting Standard (CRS), coordinated by the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) are global standards for the collection and reporting of information on financial accounts held by foreign tax residents.

Australian Financial Institutions such as the Bank are required to collect information from their customers and provide tax residency information to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) who in turn will exchange this information with international tax authorities of relevant countries, as part of the global initiative on tax transparency to prevent tax evasion.

Information collected and disclosed is treated in accordance with the Bank’s Privacy and Credit Reporting Policy.

Financial Claims Scheme

What is the Financial Claims Scheme?

The Financial Claims Scheme (FCS) is an Australian Government scheme that provides protection and quick access to deposits in banks, building societies and credit unions in the unlikely event that one of these financial institutions fails.

Under the FCS, certain deposits are protected up to a limit of $250,000 for each account holder at any bank, building society, credit union or other authorised deposit-taking institution (ADI) that is incorporated in Australia and authorised by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA).

The FCS can only come into effect if it is activated by the Australian Government when an institution fails. Once activated, the FCS will be administered by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA).

In an FCS scenario, APRA would aim to pay the majority of customers their protected deposits under the Scheme within seven calendar days.

How is the FCS limit applied?

The FCS limit of $250,000 applies to the sum of an account holder's deposits under the one banking license.

Therefore, all deposits held by an account holder with a single banking institution must be added together towards the $250,000 FCS limit, and this includes accounts with any other banking businesses that the licenced banking institution may operate under a different trading name.

Bank of Sydney operates under the one brand. Therefore, the $250,000 limit will apply to the aggregate balance of any eligible accounts held with the Bank.

Where can I get further information on the FCS?

Information on the FCS is available on the FCS website.

Banking Code of Practice

In line with Bank’s policy to further improve the products and services offered to its customers, it has adopted the Australian Banking Association’s (ABA) Banking Code of Practice, This reinforces the Bank’s commitment to deliver the systems and processes required to meet Best Practice standards set out by the Code.

As a member of the ABA, at the Bank aspires to achieve the highest standards of banking practice.

Features of the code include:

  • Continuously working towards improving the standards of practice and service in the banking industry,
  • Promoting informed decisions about our banking services,
  • Providing general information in plain English about the rights and obligations that arise out of the banker and customer relationship in regards to banking services, and
  • Monitoring external developments relating to banking codes of practice, legislative changes and related issues

Copies of the Banking Code of Practice are available to download here, by post or at any of our branches across Australia.

 

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