• Journal of Financial Regulation and Compliance

Emerald Group Publishing Limited
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  • Effective bank regulation: seven guiding principles

    Purpose This paper is a “viewpoint” article, and as such, the purpose of this paper is to present the author’s opinion and interpretation. Its primary purpose is to propose seven guiding principles for effective bank regulation so that these may be subject to academic criticism. Design/methodology/approach The principal theme of this paper has its origins in archival research into the nature of bank regulation in the UK in 25 to 30 years after the Second World War. This paper draws upon insights gained into the nature of bank regulation in the UK arising from that research. It focuses on what aspects of bank regulation were effective in that earlier period. It then attempts to convert those insights into underlying principles. Findings Seven principles are proposed as the starting point for a discussion as to the principles that should underpin effective bank regulation. The seven principles are set out in the introduction to the paper. Originality/value The framework for the regulation of banks in the UK and in many other countries is a complex one. The general trend in bank regulation in the UK in the past four decades has been technocratic, characterised by a preference for codified rules, which are often detailed and technically complex. It has also been characterised by the establishment, or further development, of intricate regulatory and supervisory structures at national, international and supranational levels. Scholarly attention has understandably been focused on those trends. Rather less attention has been given to the broader principles that might underpin and guide bank regulation. This paper seeks to contribute to that question.

  • The determinants of bank insolvency risk: evidence from Finland

    Purpose This paper aims to contribute to the literature on the determinants of bank-specific insolvency risk. Design/methodology/approach By applying a dynamic two-step System GMM estimator on a novel, representative panel of 339 Finnish unlisted cooperative and savings banks over the period 2002-2018. Findings This study contributes to the literature on the determinants of bank-specific insolvency risk by applying a dynamic two-step System GMM estimator on a novel, representative panel of 339 Finnish unlisted cooperative and savings banks over the period 2002-2018. The key findings suggest that Finnish banks have become less fragile under the renewed EU banking regulation. In particular, the CRD IV has affected banks’ equity levels. This study also captures the detrimental effect of cost inefficiency as well as a positive relationship between the income diversification and insolvency risk. A negative relationship between the GDP growth rate and the insolvency risk is also reported although results suggest that the effect is not immediate. Originality/value This result is discussed together with other macroeconomic factors. The consequent conclusion underlines the fundamental significance of overall macroeconomic dynamics. From the perspective of regulatory harmonization, more research is needed to address the level of homogeneity of macroeconomic dynamics between different geographical and cultural regions.

  • Financial freedom, market power and bank margins in sub-Saharan Africa

    Purpose This paper examines the effect of financial (banking) freedom and market power on bank net interest margins (NIM). Design/methodology/approach The study uses data from 11 sub-Saharan African countries over the period, 2006-2012, and the system generalized method of moments to assess how financial freedom affects the relationship between market power and bank NIM. Findings The authors find that both financial freedom and market power have positive relationships with bank NIM. However, there is some indication that the impact of market power on bank margins is sensitive to the level of financial freedom prevailing in an economy. It appears that as competition intensifies, margins of banks in freer countries are likely to reduce faster than those in areas with more restrictions. Practical implications Competition policies could be guided by the insight on how financial freedom moderates the effect of market power on bank margins. Originality/value This study provides new empirical evidence on how the level of financial freedom affects bank margins and the market power-bank margins relationship.

  • Market power and stability of financial institutions: evidence from the Italian banking sector

    Purpose This paper aims to explore the relationship between bank market power and stability of financial institutions in Italy between 2001 and 2012. The authors first test the existence of a U-shaped relationship between market power and financial stability. Second, they regress the market share indicator on bank risk-taking to underline whether financial stability is affected by increasing or decreasing the market power of banks. Third, they explore whether this relationship is affected by the size, level of capitalization and credit insolvency of banks. Design/methodology/approach Relying on highly territorially disaggregated data at labor market areas level, the authors estimate the impact of bank market power and other explanatory variables on a proxy of risk taking behavior such as the banking “stability inefficiency” derived simultaneously from the estimation of a stability stochastic frontier. Bank market power is taken into account through an individual measure based on loans. Financial stability is calculated through the Z-score. The authors use, as risk-taking measure, the stability inefficiency whose estimation approach is the stochastic frontier analysis. Findings The empirical evidence shows that the inefficiency of financial stability is found to be U-shaped related with respect to the measure of market power. Bank size is an essential factor in explaining the relationship between bank market power and risk-taking. Cooperative banks have fewer incentives to gain market power to better perform in term of risks. The reform of the cooperative banks that took recently place in Italy is not supported by the data. Originality/value The relationship between bank market power and financial stability has been analyzed using a rich sample of cooperative, commercial and popular banks in Italy over the 2001-2012 period. The authors rely on labor market areas being sub-regional geographical areas where the bulk of the labor force lives and works. The paper investigates the market power-stability link considering both cooperative and non-cooperative banks. Indeed, specific attention has been paid on cooperative banks because of their mission in favor of the local community as only few studies, to the best of the authors’ knowledge, examine cooperative banking.

  • Where are Islamic finance indices pointing towards?. Lessons from experimental ‘pockets’ of Islamic financial regulation on international stock markets

    Purpose This paper aims to survey the screening practices and regulatory arrangements that can be gleaned from the experience of Islamic financial indices on international stock markets. Such indices can be regarded as experiments in the demarcation of “pockets” of Sharī‘ah-compliant securities exchange, in the context of non-Sharī‘ah-compliant stock markets. They offer valuable regulatory precedent, with a view to the development of a transnational domain of Islamic financial transactions. Design/methodology/approach The paper leverages the experience of Islamic financial indices for charting the fault lines between the foundational principles of Islamic finance, and those of interest-based investment commonly accepted on international financial markets. It subsequently reviews the most salient regulatory arrangements in place for discriminating between permissible and forbidden securities and modes of trading, as implemented on Islamic financial indices. These include selection criteria for index inclusion, and Sharī‘ah committees with ex ante and ex post supervisory duties. Findings The paper makes a case for viewing Islamic finance indices on international capital markets as capacity-building experiments for the regulation of transnational Islamic financial flows. Originality/value The study rejuvenates the pragmatic approach towards the development of Islamic capital markets, by suggesting that incremental organisational innovations, as developed in connection with Islamic financial indices, can build institutional capacity towards an economy that abides by Islamic values.

  • Examining the role of institutional framework in promoting financial literacy by microfinance deposit-taking institutions in developing economies. Evidence from rural Uganda

    Purpose This paper aims to examine the role of institutional framework of regulative, normative, and cultural-cognitive in promoting financial literacy by microfinance deposit-taking institutions in developing economies with a specific focus on rural Uganda. Design/methodology/approach Data were collected from a total sample of 400 respondents who are clients of promotion of rural initiatives development enterprises microfinance deposit-taking institution using a questionnaire and analysis of moment structures (AMOS) was adopted to analyze the data to examine the role of institutional framework of regulative, normative, and cultural-cognitive in promoting financial literacy by microfinance deposit-taking institutions in developing economies with a specific focus on rural Uganda. Findings The results indicated that institutional framework of regulative, normative, and cultural-cognitive significantly and positively promotes financial literacy by microfinance deposit-taking institutions in developing economies, especially in rural Uganda. The existence of institutional framework of regulative (codified rules and laws), normative (shared beliefs/values and norms), and cultural-cognitive (shared conception and interpretation) promotes financial literacy by microfinance deposit-taking institutions in rural Uganda. The structural equation model constructed by use of AMOS revealed that the institutional framework of regulative, normative, and cultural-cognitive explains 27 per cent of the variation on the role of microfinance deposit-taking institutions in promoting financial literacy in rural Uganda. Research limitations/implications This study was purely cross-sectional with data collected at a specific point in time. Therefore, future studies through longitudinal research design can be adopted to test for the hypotheses derived under this study. In addition, only quantitative data collected by use of a semi-structured questionnaire was used in this study. Further studies may consider the use of interviews to get in-depth responses from the respondents. Practical implications Advocates of financial literacy programs in developing economies should consider the existence of institutional framework of regulative, normative, and cultural-cognitive, which helps in promoting financial literacy by microfinance deposit-taking institutions. Indeed, the existence of state legislation to teach people about how to manage their money can promote financial literacy. Besides, normative behavior among individuals within a social setting can lead to increased likelihood that they will engage and participate in a particular financial literacy drive. Correspondingly, cognition, especially fluid intelligence that changes as people age may also help individuals to invoke several dimensions of cognitive skills to make informed financial decisions. Originality/value The current study adds to the existing body of knowledge by examining the role of institutional framework of regulative, normative, and cultural-cognitive in promoting financial literacy by microfinance deposit-taking institutions in developing economies. There is deficiency in the link between the institutional framework under the theory of institutions and financial literacy, especially in developing economies where there is great need for financial literacy among the poor.

  • Blockchain and insurance: a review for operations and regulation

    Purpose The purpose of this paper is to examine the operational and regulatory positions of the employment of Blockchain in the insurance industry. Blockchain technology has attracted wide interest from various stakeholders. Many theorists are predicting that this technology will disrupt financial services, including insurance. As stated that the development of blockchain is dependent on regulatory acceptance of this technology, it is essential to establish the current state of play with regard to the application and use of blockchain from a commercial and regulatory standpoints. Design/methodology/approach This review encompasses a number of approaches to view the current status of Blockchain applications. From a commercial approach, this research lists the current applications of blockchain within the insurance industry. From a regulatory point of view, the current positions of the EU and national regulatory bodies are enquired upon to establish how they are examining FinTech and Blockchain technologies within their regulatory processes. Findings This review illustrates a number of Blockchain applications in situ from a commercial point of view. From a regulatory setting and following a call from international and EU levels, it appears that various regulatory bodies have begun the process of formulating testing processes for FinTech applications. There are two predominant types in operation, while others are forming points of contact for advice for FinTechs and a small amount who have not begun the process at all. Research limitations/implications This review illustrates the current state of play of blockchain in insurance from a commercial and regulatory point of view. While this has been observational, this review pulls together information from various sources to encapsulate the regulatory positioning of evaluating FinTech and Blockchain technologies for academia, regulatory and industry audiences. Originality/value This review offers a central resource of information with regard to the current state of blockchain technologies in operation and regulatory approaches to this and other FinTech developments.

  • Impact of correspondent bank de-risking on money service businesses in Jamaica

    Purpose The paper aims to provide needed quantitative assessments of the impact of the withdrawal of correspondent banking to small emerging economies. It serves to identify the extent to which global anti-money laundering and combatting the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) standards have influenced global banks’ decision to withdraw correspondent banking from some jurisdictions and the subsequent economic spillover effects on other non-bank financial entities. Design/methodology/approach Separate semi-structured surveys are issued to banks and money services businesses in Jamaica. Analysis of the responses identify the initial impact of de-risking on banks and the subsequent spillover effect on the other aspects of the financial system. Findings Results show significant spillover effects on money services businesses in their ability to transact in foreign currency with local commercial banks. Further, the scale of this impact is greater and costlier for smaller entities. Research limitations/implications The economic consequences of the direct and indirect impact of correspondent bank de-risking are increased concentration risks and the potential expansion of shadow financial activity. Practical implications Tighter AML/CFT standards coupled with action of over-compliance has created unintended consequences for small developing countries across the globe. In Jamaica, commercial banks have either lost correspondent relationships or have had restrictions placed on the types of services available. It creates risks to economic growth and development through the hindrance of access to international financial markets for payments, trade and commerce. Originality/value This study is the first among research on the issue of correspondent bank de-risking to provide quantitative assessments of the impact on local financial systems.

  • Does commission remuneration affect the investor’s outcome? Experience from Central Europe

    Purpose This paper aims to deal with the conflict of interest in the area of investment advice, rewarded through the commission mechanism. Using a substantial data set on sales of independent agents, the authors have examined the relationship between the amount of commission paid to the agent and the subsequent performance of the client’s portfolio (annualised five-year returns, volatility and total expenses ratio). Design/methodology/approach The main working method consisted of linear model with mixed effects. Processing total amount of 2,066 advised sales from, the authors were able to examine not only the general level of aforementioned relationship but also the effect of different organisational environments, ranging from multi-level marketing (MLM), pool to flat structures. Findings Contrary to general expectations, the authors have found that investment advisers do recommend products with generally higher costs and volatility, but in the MLM networks, they are at the same time able to generate significantly higher returns on recommended funds. Research limitations/implications Due to the setting of this study, the authors were only able to cover the vital period of 2007-2018, mostly the “good times” in the region’s economy. Such limitation represents guideline for further longitudinal research, which will be followed in the next analytical steps. Practical implications The results are of interest both to policymakers and final consumers. The first group can better adjust rules in the inducements and advice area, to stimulate shift in different organisational environments. Clients, on the other hand, receive additional guidance on which types of companies generally offer the most beneficial advice. Originality/value Although research on advice and conflict of interest is prevalent, the meta-analysis shows that only few authors were able to quantitatively disseminate the relationship between remuneration of advisor and subsequent utility of the client. The findings are unique in this regard, bringing statistically conclusive results from region of Central Europe, where advice represents one of the principal distribution channels.

  • Time-varying response of treasury yields to monetary policy shocks. Evidence from the Tunisian bond market

    Purpose This paper aims to examine the Treasury bond yields response to monetary policy shocks in Tunisia under a heterogeneous economic environment. Design/methodology/approach Using a traditional fixed coefficient model, the impact of monetary policy changes on the term structure of interest rates for the whole period from January 2006 to December 2016 is estimated first. Then the stability of this relationship by distinguishing two sub-periods around the revolution of January 2011 is studies. To investigate how the relationship between the monetary policy and the Treasury yield curve evolves over time, a time-varying parameter model is estimated. Findings The results show that the impact of monetary policy is more pronounced at the short end of the yield curve relative to the longer end. Furthermore, this impact declines significantly across all maturities following the revolution and exhibits wide time variation. This evidence supports the negative influence of high levels of uncertainty on monetary policy effectiveness and highlights the desirability of more active monetary policy, especially in turbulent environment. Research limitations/implications The impact of uncertainty on the effectiveness of monetary policy shocks needs to be explored further in future research to understand the structural sources of uncertainty and their dynamic interactions with monetary policy and risk aversion in asset markets. Practical implications A more active role of the central bank to influence the yield curve mainly through Treasury bond purchases covering medium and long maturities may be warranted. Communication also needs to be reinforced to ensure predictability of the monetary policy stance. Originality/value This paper extends the empirical literature on the pass-through of monetary policy to interest rates for an emerging country in context of transition by estimating a state-space model to test the time-varying behavior and examine the influence of increased economic uncertainty on monetary policy effectiveness.

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