10th Annual Conference on Banking Union focusing on Governance and Culture in the Banking Sector held on 19 September 2023

In co-operation with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, the Center for Financial Studies, the Institute for Law and Finance (ILF) successfully held the 10th Annual Conference on Banking Union on 19 September 2023.

This year’s conference focused on governance and culture in the banking sector, with particular attention to the perspective of the industry, as well as the supervisor on various aspects of governance and culture, such as the composition of boards, the responsibilities and qualifications of its members and the role of the supervisor. The conference also addressed the broader questions on culture such as the factors that shape a strong culture and the relevance of culture in the current industry environment.

At the beginning of the conference, Dr. Hendrik Haag, Member of the Board, Institute for Law and Finance, and Dr. Alexander Glos, Partner, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, delivered the welcoming remarks, in which they also highlighted the 10th anniversary of their successful cooperation in organizing the Banking Union conference series.

The first part of the conference started with the speech "Banks under stress" - culture & governance in focus” held by Dr. Denise Bauer-Weiler, Head Group Compliance, Regulatory & Governance and Member of the Management Board, UBS Europe. Mr. Frank Müller-Rosentritt, Member of the German Federal Parliament, then spoke on the topic of "Our banks - attractive or outdated?“. The third lecture „Times of change: why culture matters and how we can shape it“ was presented by Ms. Karen Braun-Munzinger. Prof. Dr. Rosa Lastra, Sir John Lubbock Chair in Banking Law, Queen Mary University of London subsequently talked about The missing pillar in Banking Union: ELA“.

The following panel discussion consisted of the former speakers and Mr. David Rouch, Partner, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. The panel was moderated by Mr. Constant Lambers, Transaction Services Partner in the Financial Advisory team, Deloitte.

The second part of the conference kicked off after lunch with a presentation by Dr. Lorenzo Bini Smaghi, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Société Générale who talked about „Culture and governance: The view from the financial industry“. He was followed by the highly anticipated speech „Treading softly yet boldly: How culture drives risk in banks – and what supervisors can do about it“ held by Mr. Frank Elderson, Member of the Executive Board, European Central Bank. In his speech, Mr. Frank Elderson shared that he would like to take a more critical look at the corporate culture of banks. The governance and risk culture guide is to be revised by the end of 2024.

The conference was closed by a panel discussion consisting of the moderator Dr. Janina Heinz, Counsel, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, and panelists Mr. Frank Elderson, Dr. Lorenzo Bini Smaghi and Mr. Karel Lannoo, Chief Executive Officer, Centre for European Policy Studies.