Banking Regulation Example for Free

Banking regulation originates from microeconomic concerns over the ability of bank creditors depositors to monitors the risks originating on the lending side and from micro and macroeconomic concerns over the stability of the banking system in the case of bank crisis.In addition to statutory and administrative regulatory provisions,the banking sector has been subject to widespread “informal” regulation,i.e the government’s use of its discretion,outside formalized legislation,to influence banking sector outcomes (for example,to bail out insolvent banks,decide on bank mergers or maintain significant State ownership) (Bonn,2005) Financial institution refers to an institution which deals with financial transaction such as investment,loans and deposits.Financial institutions constist of units such as banks,trust companies,insurance companies and investment dealers.These units which form financial institutions acts as channel between savers and borrowers of funds.Financial regulations are simply laws and rules which supervise financial institutions,as it happens all people depend on services offered by financial institution,it is imperative that they are regulated highly by the government.For example if a financial institution were to enter into bankruptcy as a result of controversial matters,this will no doubt cause panic and havoc as people start to question safety of their finances. Also this loss of confidence may have negative impact on the economy. Of all the financial institutions,banks is heavily regulated.Prevention of financial crisis may act as a major reason,while consumer protection may tall under minor reason.However bank regulations is unusual compared to another types of regulation as there is no wide agreement on what kind of market failures justifies regulation.Banks in one form or another have been subject to the following non exhaustive list of regulatory provisions:restrictions on branching and new entry,restrictions on pricing (interest rate controls and other controls on prices or fees),line of business restrictions and regulation on ownership linkage among financial institutions,restrictions on portfolio of assets that banks can hold (such as requirements to hold certain types of securities or requirements and/or not to hold other securities,including requirements not to hold the control of non financial companies),compulsory deposit insurance (or informal deposit insurance,in the form of an expectation that government will bail out depositors in the event of insolvency),capital adequacy requirements,reserve requirements (requirements to hold a certain quantity of the liabilities of the central bank),requirements to direct credit to favored sectors or enterprises (in the form of either formal rules or informal government pressure),expectations that in the event of difficulty,banks will receive assistance in the form of “lender of last resort”,special rules concerning mergers (not always subject to competition standard) or failing banks (e.g liquidation,winding up,insolvency,composition or analogous proceedings in the banking sector),other rules affecting cooperation within the banking sector (e.g with respect to payment systems).(Bonn.2005) Consider an overview of regulatory reform in banking:In early 70s financial systems “were characterized by important restrictions on market forces which included controls on the prices or quantities of business conducted by financial institutions,restrictions on market access and in some cases controls on the allocation of finance amongst alternative borrowers.These regulatory restrictions served a number of social and economic policy objectives of governments.Direct controls were used in many countries to allocate finance to preferred industries during the post-war period:restrictions on markets access and competition were partly motivated by concern for financial stability;protection of small savers with limited financial knowledge was an important objective of controls on banks and controls on banks were frequently used as instruments of macroeconomic management.” This significant process of regulatory reforms in the financial systems of most countries has involved partial or complete liberalization of the following: Interest rate controls,-until the early 1970s controls on borrowings and lending rates were pervasive in most countries.These control typically held both rates below their free-market levels.

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As a result banks rationed credit to privileged borrowers. By 1990 only a handful of countries retained these controls. Quantitative investment restrictions on financial institutitons:-this include requirements to hold government securities, credit allocation rules, required lending to favored institutions and controls on the total volume of credit expansion. Compulsory holdings of government securities as well as having a prudential justification,also acted as a disguised form of taxation in that it allowed governments to keep security yields artificially low, with some exceptions these controls were largely eliminated by the early 1990s. Line of business restrictions and regulations linkages among financial institutions,-although these restrictions still in place in many countries,the role of these restrictions has been significantly eroded or in some cases,entirely eliminated.For example,the separation of savings and loans and commercial banks has been largely eliminated in many countries as has the distinction between long-term and short-term credit institutions in Italy and the legal separation of various types of credit suppliers in Japan.Bank branching restrictions were phased out in a number of European countries by early 1990s.In the US “breaking down the barriers imposed by the (1933) Glass-Steagall Act the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Financial Services Modernization act of 1999 permits banks,securities firms and insurance companies to affiliate within a new structure-the financial holding company ” Restrictions on the entry of foreign financial institutions,-there has been significant liberalization of cross-border access to foreign banks.In particular,there are now in place a number of international agreements on trade in banking services,including GATS,NAFTA and the EC.In particular in the European Union,the second banking directives (89/646/EEC) forbade the obligation for banks established in one Member State to seek authorization from other Member States when they intended to establish a branch in their territory.In many countries however the entry of foreign banks is still made more difficult than that of domestic ones. Controls on international capital movements and foreign exchange transactions,-liberalization of controls on capital movements is now virtually complete in OECD countries and in many developing countries as well.Some controls remain on long-term capital movements,particularly with respect to foreign ownership of real estate and foreign direct investment.There also remain important restrictions on international portfolio diversification by pension and insurance funds. Regulatory reform has raised efficiency and lowered costs in the financial services sector,First the removal of regulatory restrictions gave financial firms more freedom to adopt the most efficient practices and to develop new products and services.Second,regulatory reform increased the role of competition,which in turn spurred reductions in margins in financial services and raised efficiency by forcing the exit or consolidation of relatively inefficient firms and by encouraging innovation. This has further more contributed to,declining relative prices for financial services and productivity growth well in excess of that for the economy as a whole,considerable improvements in the quality,variety and access to new financial instruments and services,improved world allocation of resources due to the removal of the barriers to international capital flows and a significant improvements in growth performance in a number of developing countries.(Bonn,2005)

As a result of the above,banks have been the most highly regulated financial institutions through the following;-

Deposit insurance:Deposit insurance is a guarantee that all or part of a depositor’s debt with a bank will be honored in the event of bankruptcy.The specific form of insurance schemes can vary in a number of ways,including the fee structure (flat fee versus variable,risk-related fees);the degree of coverage (full versus partial coverage,maximum limits);funding provisons (funded versus unfunded systems);public versus private solutions;compulsory versus voluntary participation. Deposit insurance reduces (and in most cases eliminates entirely) the incentive to “run” on the bank in the event of financial difficulty.Therefore it reduces the possibility that a temporary situation of illiquidity and rumors on the insolvency of the bank actually lead to the failure of the bank.Furthermore,deposit insurance prevents the “chain reaction” that can also be started associated by the run on a single bank,so that it reduces the possibility of contagion in the banking system. Capital adequacy requirements:One regulation which exists in most countries is some form of capital adequacy requirements.”Capital adequacy requirements can take a variety of forms.Most countries know a minimum level of required capital (an absolute amount).Beyond that,many countries require the maintenance of some capital-or solvency-ratio;that is a minimum ratio between capital and an overall balance sheet magnitude,such as total assets or liabilities,or some weighted measure of risk assets”. This capital-adequacy may have some difficulties either with technological advances,innovation in financial products is rapid.regulations in contrast,might be changed not sufficiently frequently and only “catch up”with current developments or in some cases the adaptation of new financial products is hindered by lagging regulatory developments,delaying and stifling the pace of innovation.(Bonn,2005) Lender of last resort:In most countries the central bank or the governments have an explicit (or implicit) policy of providing assistance to banks facing financial difficulties These lender of last resort interventions should be strictly limited to illiquid banks,easing only very temporary liquidity problems faced by banks (Emergency Liquidity Assistance),not extending also to help insolvent banks.In fact,whenever the lender of last resort assist insolvent banks,its intervention has the same consequences of a flat-rate unfunded deposit insurance,giving banks a strong incentives extend across the financial system,the macroeconomic consequences can be severe.(Bonn,2005) Capital requirements and asset restrictions:This explains how higher capital for banks(net worth) allows banks to protect themselves against bad loans and investments.(Philip,et al,2010)On capital,Basel III proposes significant changes to the composition of Tier 1 capital;risk weights,especially in trading books and changes in capital ratios.Basel III proposes many new capital,leverage and liquidity standards to strengthen the regulation,supervision and risk management of the banking sector.The capital standards and new capital buffers will require banks to hold more capital and higher quality of capital than under current Basel III rules.The new leverage ratio introduces a non-risk based measure to supplement the risk-based minimum capital requirements.The new liquidity ratios ensure that adequate funding is maintained in case of crisis.By preventing a bank from holding (too many)risky assets,asset restrictions reduce risky investments. Reserve requirements:Banks are historically required to maintain some deposits on reserve at the central bank in case of emergencies.Required reserve ensures that banks hold a certain proportion of high quality,liquid assets.In the days of the gold standard,banks might hold gold,either directly or with another bank as backing for deposits received or notes issued,but reserves cover could only be partial if banks were to conduct any lending business funded by deposits.This structure of partial reserve cover is sometimes referred to as “fractional banking”,banks held reserve assets equivalent to a fraction of their liabilities,particularly short-term liabilities,where outflows could happen most rapidly and liquidity cover was most important. Bank supervision:This provides the banks with regular monitoring and supervision by official authorities may prevent banks from engaging in risky activities.Also disclosure requirements to reduce asymmetric information problems.It also examine the conditions of banks and their compliance with laws and regulations,bank regulation includes issuing specific regulations and guidelines to govern the operations,activities and acquisitions of banking organizations.


The most important rationale for regulation in banking is to address concerns over the safely and stability of financial institutions the financial sector as a whole or the payments system.It is to avoid the highly negative consequences for the economy of widespread bank failures,it is also to prevent financial crises. (Bonn,2005)There are three policies considered as the most standard instruments of bank regulation:deposit insurance,capital adequacy requirements and lender of last resort.Deposit insurance protects the smallest depositors from a bank bankruptcy and prevents bank runs.Capital adequacy requirements are necessary in order to make sure that bank managers follow a responsible credit policy,in the absence of an effective control on the part of depositors.Lender of last resort policies further reduce the risk of banks bankruptcies providing banks with Emergency Liquidity Assistance facilities that are designed to avoid that temporary situation of illiquidity lead to the insolvency of the bank.

The following are the specific problems of bank regulation encountered in emerging markets:-

Difficulties in Bank Supervision:Banks engage in information-intensive activities and their profitability also hinges on keeping that information private.This information asymmetry between banks and other economic agency such as borrowers,lenders and regulators can give rise to various problems.For example,information asymmetry between the bank on one side and borrower and lenders on the other hand can result in bank runs and subject banks to contagion type problems.Moreover in countries where government guarantees exist,regulations alone have proved to be insufficient to control bank behavior.(Ralph Chami,et al 2003) Difficulties in Deposit Insurance:Deposit insurance as its names implies,provides a guarantee that certain types of bank liability are convertible into cash even if banks are insolvent,thus offering consumer protection and depending on coverage removing the incentive for “runs” on solvent banks by uninformed depositors.To avoid insuring all of the system (including wholesale depositors who should not suffer from severe information asymmetries),there are usually limits to coverage. The problem encountered in deposit insurance is in the case of large banks judged “too big to fail”all depositors may be paid off unlike the lender of last resort,deposit insurance can not be used at the regulators discretion,which thus aggravates agency problems; and workable means of relating premier to risk, and thus preventing an implicit subsidy to shareholders;have proved difficult to devise instead they are usually flat fees related to the size of balance sheets. A drawback of its introduction is however the fact itself that from the point of view of the depositor,deposit insurance makes all banks equally attractive.It almost completely removes the incentive on the depositor to determine the risk of a bank and the need for the bank to compensate the depositor for bearing bank-specific risk by including bank-specific risk premium in the interest paid to the depositor.Similarly,the depositor faces little incentive to diversify her portfolio of assets held in banks.(Bonn,2005) All of these my lead to severe moral hazard problems;in particular,when a bank does not bear the consequences,either via cost of funds or deposit insurance premier of increasing portfolio risk or reducing capital,it has incentives to pursue such policies beyond the point it would otherwise,financed by higher interest rates on deposit than can safely be sustained.A response in some countries is to restrict deposit insurance coverage severely,so it effectively only becomes a partial protection for small retail depositors.This include a degree of monitoring and market discipline by wholesale depositors.However,the effectiveness of such monitoring will be limited if there is imperfect information-thus implying a need for adequate disclosure standards as a complement to limited deposit insurance (Davis,1993) Capital requirements and Asset restrictions:Capital requirement is more difficult internationally due to the reason that different assets have different characteristics.According to Darryl Biggaret al,2005 report on an increasing role for competition in the regulation of banks capital adequacy requirements do have certain difficulties: First,it is difficult to design capital-adequacy requirements in a sufficiently sophisticated way.For example even though the 1988 Basel rules on capital adequacy for banks categorizes assets and assigned a “risk-weighting” inevitably differences in risk were overlooked between individual assets.One consequence was that banks intended to search for the most risky assets within a risk class,encouraging banks to go up the yield curve in pursuit of a return on capital.In effect,the moral hazard problem re-emerged within the constraints of each regulatory risk class. A particular problem can arise with inter-bank lending.If inter-bank lending is treated favourably for capital-adequacy purposes in order to promote the liquidity on the market,banks may persevely be given incentives to lead other banks in difficulty,increasing the risk of contagion and removing one of the more important disciplines on bank risk-taking.Rapid technological advances and innovation in financial products. In order to recognize these problems of capital requirement,Basel Accord was modified in 2004 by introducing more sophisticated ways of computing capital requirements and increasing the focus on risk-management policies and systems in banks. Non existence of international lender of last resort:In most countries the Central bank or the government has an explicit or implicit policy of providing assistance to banks facing financial difficulties. According to EP Davis (2005),Lender of last resort is defined as an institution usually a central bank,which has the ability to produce at its discretion currency or high powered money to support institutions facing liquidity difficulties.Lender of last resort always is strictly to limited illiquid banks,easing only very temporary liquidity problems faced by banks and not extending to help insolvency banks. Lender of last resort increases moral hazards for banks to take on too much risk for example banks may ask assistance from central bank when they are illiquid,but when they obtain the fund they may invest it in a risk investment.Another problem is differing levels of deposit insurance that may put asymmetric burden on lender of last resort. Existence of non-bank financial institutions:Non-bank financial institutions are institutions which resemble banks in many aspects,i.e savings and loans,credit unions,investment and merchant banks,Islamic banks and industrial banks.Due to the rapid growth of this non-bank institutions,the problem of regulating banks has become so difficulty because banks are trying to engage themselves I those non-banking activities inorder to retain customers.For example in Tanzania,CRDB Bank has affiliated with Vodacom on M-Pesa Services. Most of these non-bank financial institutions lack regulations and supervision therefore there is no assurance for customers,due to lack of legal enforcement.Non-bank financial institutions lack the most significant regulation of banks such as supervision,capital adequacy requirements,restriction on bank holdings and restrictions on large exposures. Complications of financial derivatives and securitized assets: According to (John Cox et al, 2010) securitization is the process when an asset is converted into marketable security.Due to this process during financial crisis it can lead to a major problem because both regulators and private sectors are unable to assess the financial risk and the complexity of the instrument, since it is difficult for the bank to evaluate the risk involved in the securitized instrument adequately.


In conclusion on the problems of bank regulations encountered in emerging markets we can take a look on bank supervision,deposit insurance and lender of last resort which are the most problems facing bank regulations that need more attention. We have seen all of these problems, finally led banks to commit moral hazards, therefore strong measures need to be taken on how to reduce or eliminate moral hazards as a final product of these problems. This can be done through strong monitoring, transparency and disclosure of all bank activities, currently updates of bank regulations according to economic reforms.

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