Law, Justice, and Development

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The Law, Justice, and Development series is offered by the Legal Vice Presidency of the World Bank to provide insights into aspects of law and justice that are relevant to the development process. Works in the series present new legal and judicial reform activities related to the World Bank’s work, as well as analyses of domestic and international law. The series is intended to be accessible to a broad audience as well as to legal practitioners.

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Legal Aspects of Financial Services Regulation and the Concept of a Unified Regulator

2006-01-01, Mwenda, Kenneth Kaoma

This study addresses the legal and policy issues underpinning the development of, and the strengthening of the regulatory and institutional framework for unified financial services supervision. The study discusses developments in a number of jurisdictions, among them Australia, Canada, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Malta, the Scandinavian countries, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Chapter 1 examines conceptual issues to be taken into account in designing a sound regulatory and institutional framework for financial services supervision. The chapter also provides a working definition of "regulation" and delves into the intricacies of designing the appropriate regulatory framework. Chapter 2 analyzes the concept of an independent financial services regulator, arguing that a unified regulator that is both independent and accountable would help promote the development of a sound financial sector. Chapter 3 discusses the concept of a unified regulator, examining the question of whether every country should adopt a model of unified financial services supervision. Chapter 4 provides country studies, addressing the efficacy of the framework for unified financial services supervision in Latvia, the United Kingdom, and the Scandinavian countries. Finally, Chapter 5 defines policy recommendations and possible constitutional, and legal challenges that might be encountered when a country is considering unifying its regulation of financial services.