By Dina Medland for Forbes
It can take at least 24 hours for the enormity of a corporate governance scandal to be fully comprehended. But it should never take eight to ten years for it to be revealed.
The UK’s corporate governance code balances on the workability of ‘comply or explain.’ It sets standards for corporate behaviour, and seeks to encourage best practice, exhorting business to ‘tone from the top’, via its boardrooms. But what happens when boardrooms shroud themselves in complexity and when it comes to the moment of reckoning, the inhabitants have moved up and out?
Evidence that the Swiss private bank of HSBC, the world’s second largest bank, helped clients conceal undeclared accounts and provided services to criminals and corrupt businessmen is still reverberating around the world. On Twitter TWTR -1.82% you can take your pick from #HSBCLeaks, #SwissLeaks or #HSBCFiles.
Those files were obtained through an international collaboration of news outlets, including The Guardian, the French daily Le Monde, BBC’s Panorama program and the Washington-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. This was not the result of a regulator at work, but an uncovering precipitated by a whistleblower, Herve Falciani. Read more here.