Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco
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Regulatory Frameworks for Financial Services in Asia

March 31, 2010

Author(s): Nicolas Stefano

In the wake of turmoil in global financial markets during the past two years, there has been much discussion about the weaknesses that led to the crisis and how to avoid a similar crisis in the future. Some discussion has focused on financial regulatory architecture, comparing the relative merits of existing structures. Regulatory oversight structures around the world generally employ one of three approaches for supervising financial services industries: 1) a single agency that oversees multiple financial services industries, including banking, insurance and securities; 2) separate agencies for each industry; or 3) a hybrid of these two approaches. The role of a country’s central bank varies across these approaches. This Asia Focus report serves as a reference for current prudential regulatory regimes overseeing the financial services institutions in several Asian economies, and provides some context for the development of these structures. The scope of this report focuses specifically on prudential supervision and does not include broader issues of ongoing debate such as consumer protection, financial market regulation, and the merits of central banks in supervision.

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