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Polar Approaches to Regulating Cross-Border Banking: Nordic and Antipodean Routes to Financial Stability*

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 April 2008

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Abstract

The growth of banks operating across national borders through branches poses problems for the regulatory and supervisory authorities, which are historically organised on a national basis, particularly in relation to their responsibility for financial stability, crisis resolution, deposit insurance and other aspects of the safety net. This article compares and contrasts two solutions to these problems that are being developed: the first by the Nordic-Baltic countries for handling Nordea, which wishes to take advantage of the European Company Statute in the legal framework of the EU/EEA, and the second by New Zealand, where most of the banks are Australian-owned. The first case reflects an attempt at a joint approach and a universalist solution that seeks greater harmonisation, while the second case reflects a territorial approach and the recognition of differences. Both show that there is already a much wider problem that needs to be addressed, even when banks operate across borders through subsidiaries. Halfway houses between internationalisation and renationalisation of responsibility seem rather less plausible routes to success, even if they are couched in terms of careful memoranda of understanding.

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Copyright
Copyright © T.M.C. Asser Press 2008

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References

* The normal disclaimer applies, the views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily coincide with any that may be held by the Bank of Finland, the Finnish Financial Supervision Authority or the Finnish Deposit Insurance Fund. We are grateful to David Archer, Charles Goodhart, Maria Nieto and Larry Wall for constructive comments.

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