A Holistic Approach to the Institutional Architecture of Financial Supervision and Regulation in the EU
Oxford Legal Studies Research Paper No. 56/2019
European Banking Institute Working Paper Series 2019 – no. 50
43 Pages Posted: 10 Oct 2019 Last revised: 19 Nov 2019
Date Written: October 9, 2019
A growing consensus has emerged in the post-crisis financial regulatory agenda that the European architecture of financial supervision and regulation is far from ideal. Rather than moving to a ‘holistic’, cross-sectoral regime such as the ‘twin peaks’ model, the post-crisis reform simply upgraded the previous supervisory colleges to EU agencies, resulting in the three sectoral bodies for banking (EBA), securities markets (ESMA), and insurance (EIOPA). The major risk of such a sectoral architecture is that separate agencies may fail to recognise any cross-sectoral problems and risks that are evolving, may fail to adequately address financial conglomerates, and may more generally encounter fundamental challenges in adopting a more holistic approach to financial regulation and supervision.
This paper examines the case for adopting a more integrated architecture in the EU. We show that lawmakers were not only unable to seize opportunities for reform – largely, due to path dependencies – but have also let those opportunities pass by when they presented themselves – such as Brexit or the ESAs review. The present political climate does not leave us to expect any significant reform anytime soon. Therefore, we strongly argue that the reform architecture of the EU should be modified incrementally, and without need for Treaty revision. Hence, a bottom-up experimentalist approach appears as a viable path towards the implementation of a twin peaks model, or, possibly as a more viable and desirable path, a hybrid model that nevertheless preserves some of its main advantages.
Keywords: financial supervision, regulatory architecture, twin peaks model, European Supervisory Agencies
JEL Classification: G28, K22
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation