Editors’ introduction: the risks and regulatory perimeter for shadow banking
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‘Shadow banking’ refers to a range of activities that have bank-like character, that is, credit intermediation, liquidity and maturity transformation, and that are undertaken outside the regulated banking system. This can mean activities carried out by non-bank entities that mimic bank-like activities, but can also refer to activities carried out by banks and other regulated firms that do not always operate within the established fabric of regulation they are subject to. Although such activities may be seen as a form of financial innovation, the relationship between innovation and regulatory arbitrage remains uneasy. The former is often viewed more positively than the latter, although it is clear from history that the former has often driven the latter (for example, the emergence of the Eurobond market). The Financial Stability Board (FSB) has provided leadership in developing international surveys of shadow banking activity around the world and policy thinking to govern these areas. In 2013, the FSB set out in a policy document the need to consider how shadow banking activity affects financial stability, but its focus was inevitably on known areas whose risks have played out in the global financial crisis of 2007–09. The spotlight on these areas has nevertheless led to regulatory reforms in many parts of the world, discussions of which are canvassed in this volume, but issues remain outstanding in relation to the effectiveness and scope of reforms.