Regulation and corporate governance : a case study of the UK banking industry

Lui, Alison
Regulation and corporate governance : a case study of the UK banking industry. Doctor of Philosophy thesis, University of Liverpool.

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Financial stability remains a key theme in UK financial regulation. This thesis investigates important issues of financial regulation revealed in the financial crisis of 2007-2009. It will analyse macro and micro prudential regulatory weaknesses in UK financial regulation in light of the financial crisis of 2007-2009. The structure of the new ‘twin-peaks’ model in the UK will be compared with the Australian ‘twin-peaks’ model. There are concerns that the Bank of England might have too much power and is thus a super single financial regulator in the ‘twin-peaks’ model. The author will compare the new ‘twin-peaks’ model with the German regulatory structure, where some similarities are found due to the sharing of supervisory responsibilities between the regulatory bodies in both jurisdictions. As far as the author is aware, there is a gap in the literature because the ‘twin-peaks’ model in the UK only came into existence in April 2013 and the literature in comparing this model with the Australian and German models is scarce. The thesis adopts a doctrinal, comparative case study approach, as well as a quantitative analysis of the important financial ratios of four major UK banks and four major Australian banks. The thesis will reveal that the Financial Services Authority (FSA) failed to supervise banks such as Northern Rock, Bradford & Bingley and HBOS properly. The main regulatory and supervisory failures of the FSA are due to organisational and management problems. With regards to the statutory provisions on banking regulation, the Financial Services Markets Act (FSMA) 2000 is complicated, with standards and principles underpinning the FSA’s statutory core objectives. The FSA’s remit is too wide. It is responsible for regulating banks, deposit-taking institutions and insurance companies. With the development of complex products, increased use of securitisation and merging of financial services offered to customers, the tripartite system increasingly found it difficult to delineate their scope and responsibility. Overall, the FSA’s passive, non-interventionist and laissez-faire regulatory approach led to criticisms that its measures were too late and too little. In comparison to the big four Australian banks, the thesis revealed that the big four UK banks had on average, higher cash ratio, higher leverage ratio, higher loan to deposit ratio, higher capital ratio, lower asset quality, lower return on assets but higher return on equity than the big four Australian banks. There is gradual convergence between the UK and Australian prudential supervisory models although there are still some differences between the two models. Financial stability is enshrined in both countries’ legislation and is a key priority after the financial crisis of 2007-2009. Both regulators reject a ‘zero-failure’ regulatory policy. The Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA) shares the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority’s (APRA) opinion that it is impossible to prevent all bank failures. Therefore, with the Special Resolution Regime contained in the Banking Act 2009, the PRA’s role is to minimise the systemic effect of any bank failure. The PRA’s supervisory style is based on judgement; risks; forward-looking and early intervention. This is very similar to APRA’s. PRA’s risk assessment framework and its supervisory responses based on the Proactive Intervention Framework. Yet, there are differences between the prudential regulatory and supervisory systems between Australia and the UK. The UK legislative framework is more complex than the Australian framework. Further, the PRA has policy setting powers although the vertical integration of financial regulation at European level may suggest that the PRA is unlikely to exercise this power very often. APRA on the other hand, does not have such wide policy setting powers. The UK Risk Assessment Framework takes more mitigating factors into account. Its Proactive Intervention Framework has five stages and early intervention is clearly a priority for the PRA, since it can start planning for resolution of an organisation even at stage 1. This is in contrast to the Australian SOARS methodology, where there are only four stages and resolution of an organisation takes place in the later stages. There are fears that the new structure within the Bank of England will make it a super single regulator. The thesis will compare the ‘twin-peaks’ model with the German regulatory structure since there are similarities in the sharing of supervisory responsibilities between the UK and German models. The thesis will then make several recommendations on how this concentration of power can be addressed.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy)
Additional Information: Date: 2014-03 (completed)
Subjects: ?? HG ??
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 04 Aug 2014 09:16
Last Modified: 16 Dec 2022 04:41
DOI: 10.17638/00018153