International Handbook on Informal Governance
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International Handbook on Informal Governance

Edited by Thomas Christiansen and Christine Neuhold

Acknowledging that governance relies not only on formal rules and institutions but to a significant degree also on informal practices and arrangements, this unique Handbook examines and analyses a wide variety of theoretical, conceptual and normative perspectives on informal governance.
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Chapter 23: Financial Services Regulation and Informal Governance

Alan Hardacre


Alan Hardacre THE GOVERNANCE OF FINANCIAL SERVICES IN THE EUROPEAN UNION Never has the governance of financial services attracted such intense scrutiny around the globe as it has since 2009–10. Much of the world was plummeted into the worst economic crisis in more than 70 years, a crisis that sprang from a meltdown in financial markets. It is within this context that a significant number of questions were asked (and continue to be asked because no definitive answers exist) about the governance, regulation and supervision of financial services across the globe, and indeed at the global level itself; how can financial services be governed and how should they be governed in the future? The crux of any answer to this question is to find a balance between formal and informal mechanisms of governance, regulation and supervision. The current clamour is for a heavy shift away from various forms of informal governance towards more formal, regulated, transparent and accountable methods of governance. Nowhere in the world is this debate as evident as it is in the European Union (EU), as the 27 member states have grappled with a plethora of questions about the future regional architecture and decision-making mechanisms they wanted to use for financial services. This chapter will analyse the role of informal networks and methods of governance that have been used in this sector in the EU, and look at how these important informal networks have changed over time. The chapter will demonstrate that despite a trend of...

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