A Heavily Regulated Industry: The Varied Objectives of Financial Regulation
eucrim:The European Criminal Law Accociations’ Forum, Issue 2015/4, pp. 138‒145
15 Pages Posted: 12 Mar 2016
Date Written: December 2, 2015
The imposition of tight regulatory controls on banks and other financial intermediaries is a universal characteristic of modern economic systems. The precise perimeter of the regulated sector varies, however, from one jurisdiction to another and changes over time. The same is true of the type and direction of regulatory intervention. This raises important questions about the existence or otherwise of common denominators – common objectives and overarching justifications – that hold together the edifice of financial regulation. A regulatory regime’s actual objectives constitute an indispensable element of its description. What purposes does financial regulation serve? Are they the same for all sectors of the financial industry? The answers to these questions are important for an understanding of the nature and function of the regulatory regime. An identification of the regulatory objectives is also essential for a correct legal assessment of specific factual situations and ensuing administrative responses.
This paper seeks to identify the objectives of regulatory regimes in the main financial sectors (banking, securities and insurance), as set out in the pronouncements of global standard-setting bodies, in European legislation and in national statutory provisions (with a focus on the UK). It further surveys certain academic categorizations of the objectives of financial regulation.
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