What is meant by “governance” in the context of a financial institution (FI)?  Corporate governance is traditionally defined as the system by which companies are directed and controlled. The OECD Principles of Corporate Governance (2004) defines corporate governance as involving
“a set of relationships between a company’s management, its board, its shareholders and other stakeholders. Corporate governance also provides the structure through which the objectives of the company are set, and the means of attaining those objectives and monitoring performance are determined.” 
In the case of financial institutions, chief among the other stakeholders are supervisors and regulators charged with ensuring safety, soundness, and ethical operation of the financial system for the public good. They have a major stake in, and can make an important contribution to, effective governance.
Good corporate governance requires checks and balances on the power and rights accorded to shareholders, stakeholders, and society overall. Without checks, we see the behaviors that lead to disaster. But governance is not a fixed set of guidelines and procedures; rather, it is an ongoing process by which the choices and decisions of FIs are scrutinized, management and oversight are strengthened and streamlined, appropriate cultures are established and reinforced, and FI leaders are supported and assessed.read more