The world is currently witnessing what is arguably the biggest crisis in living memory, as COVID-19 has become a global pandemic causing serious health problems and deaths. It has wreaked havoc on financial markets and caused massive disruption to supply chains and business activities all over the world.
The COVID-19 crisis adds to the growing risks that companies have to deal with. In times of crises, good corporate governance and risk management are more important than ever. Countries and organisations that have good governance are more trusted by stakeholders and are better able to respond and weather the storm. Companies with good business continuity planning face less disruption to their operations.
This report examines the corporate governance, remuneration and risk management practices of the 50 largest listed banks and 50 largest listed insurance companies in the Asia-Pacific region, and how these financial services companies are responding to new and emerging challenges relating to corporate culture, technological disruption, cybersecurity, environmental, social and governance issues, and responsible lending and investing.
One finding from this report tells us how unprepared the world was for the COVID-19 pandemic. Only one bank and three insurers had identified a pandemic as one of the key risks. As most financial institutions were grappling with key risks such as technological disruption and cybersecurity, they were blindsided by a much bigger risk.
But risk evolves and never sleeps. And neither should governance.