Research Handbooks in Financial Law series
Edited by Jerry Markham and Rigers Gjyshi
Chapter 16: Comparative analysis of global securities regulation
This chapter will compare the “functional” system of regulation in the United States with the single regulator and “twin peaks” approaches used elsewhere. Under “functional” regulation, different regulators are appointed to regulate particular financial services, even if the same firm offers those services. This has resulted in much overlap and regulatory conflict in the U.S., and proved to be troublesome during the Financial Crisis in 2008. Although elsewhere in the world financial services regulation is mostly consolidated into a single regulator, that model also proved to be wanting during that crisis. That the functional regulatory system in the U.S. was flawed should not have been a surprise. It is a haphazard system that is not the result of a design or reasoned blueprint. Rather, it is a set of accumulated responses to a long history of financial crises, scandals, happenstance, personalities, and compromises among a broad and competing array of industry and governmental bodies. Under functional regulation, financial service firms are regulated at the state level by 50 state bank regulators, 50 insurance commissioners (plus the District of Columbia) acting collectively through the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (“NAIC”), 50 state securities commissioners acting collectively through the North American Securities Administrators Association (“NASAA”), and 50 state attorneys general who operate in wolf packs when attacking financial service firms. New York has also created a Department of Financial Services that is now seeking to become a national and international regulator of financial firms operating in that state.
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