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Over the past two decades, an increasing number of jurisdictions have moved towards a model – or family – of financial regulation that is known as Twin Peaks. This model was pioneered in Australia following recommendations by the Wallis Inquiry, which was established in 1996 to review the financial system. The model separates financial regulation into two broad functions: market conduct regulation (which includes consumer protection) and prudential regulation. Each of these functions is vested in a separate ‘peak’ regulator. The Twin Peaks model has subsequently been adopted by the Netherlands, Belgium, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and South Africa. The model has also been considered in the United States. This chapter outlines the design of the Twin Peaks model and the following chapters in the book.
This chapter explores the Twin Peaks legal and regulatory framework in Australia, the challenges that have arisen in areas such as coordination and functional separation between the Twin Peaks regulators and the outcomes from numerous reviews in which the model has been subject to scrutiny. It explores the evolution of the Twin Peaks model in Australia and certain challenges that have arisen in governance, information-sharing and coordination, and funding arrangements. It then surveys the terrain in Australia by outlining the recommendations from a review of the financial system in 2014, the Financial System Inquiry (FSI), and subsequent recommendations and reforms, including those proposed by or arising out of the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry.
First proposed in 1994, the Twin Peaks model of financial system regulation employs two specialist peak regulators: one charged with the maintenance of financial system stability, and the other with market conduct and consumer protection. This volume, with contributions from over thirty scholars and senior regulators, provides an in-depth analysis of the similarities and differences in the Twin Peaks regimes that have been adopted around the world. Chapters examine the strengths and weaknesses of the model, provide lessons from Australia (the first to adopt the model), and offer a comparative look at the potential suitability of the model in leading non-Twin Peaks jurisdictions. A key resource for central bankers, public policy analysts, lawyers, economists, politicians, academics and students, this work provides readers with a comprehensive understanding of the Twin Peaks model, and a roadmap for countries considering its adoption.
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