The Law and Structure of the International Financial System: Regulation in the United States, EEC, and Japan

By John H. Friedland | Go to book overview

1
United Kingdom Financial Regulation in the Context of the European Community Single Market Program for Financial Services

As domestic markets give way to global markets, the European Economic Community (EEC) has been at the forefront of creating transnational regulation of financial institutions and enacting legislation, the objectives of which are the free movement of capital throughout the European Community.

The single market in financial services will allow communitywide branching of credit institutions and investment services as well as provide for mutual recognition of listing particulars and prospectuses, 1 all of which are part of the European single market program the most important of which became effective by the end of 1992. 2 This chapter will consider the way market risk in financial services is addressed in the context of EEC law and will explore the conflict between national (member state) legal regulation and EEC law, with emphasis on the law of the United Kingdom (UK).

Will EEC law, by attempting to create a "level playing field" of member states' laws through methods of harmonization and mutual recognition, start a "race to bottom" in which member states adopt liberal interpretations of EEC law and reduce any regulation more onerous? This chapter will attempt to demonstrate that despite the possibility of regulatory erosion, the probability remains that the UK regulatory regime is sufficiently sophisticated, futuristic and advanced to be subject to emulation by other member states.

The United Kingdom has developed sophisticated regulatory structures in such diverse areas as consolidated supervision of banking, securitization, regulation of exchanges and solvency of members of financial markets. The UK regulatory structure, which is second only to the United States (US) in its comprehensive regulation of securities, entrenched its premiere position by enacting the Financial Services Act (FSA) of 1986 in 1988. A major step was undertaken toward centralizing authority in the Securities and Investments Board (SIB) and

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