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Macroprudential policy involves regulation and supervision of financial institutions to safeguard stability in the financial system as a whole. The system can become vulnerable to loss contagion even when institutions on an individual basis maintain strong balance sheets. Examples of macroprudential policy instruments include capital and liquidity requirements; limits on credit and leverage; regulation pertaining to borrowers, for example loan-to-value ratios; and special requirements for systemically important financial institutions. Systemic risk tends to build in boom times and subside in busts. These fluctuations tend to be amplified in the Emerging East Asia setting by global capital flows. Macroprudential policy aims at moderating the fluctuations. Analysis is complicated by the diversity of instruments available and the complexity of the regulation involved. Korea’s relatively long history of experience offers opportunity for study.
This chapter investigates the practice of bankers’ remuneration in the UK after the GFC and analyses the effectiveness of the regulatory initiatives. To track the changes, the investigation is also based on the UK ‘Big Four’ banks. It is found that the focus of performance-based remuneration has shifted from short-term incentives to long-term incentives. Complying with deferral, clawback and malus, the period of performance assessment has been significantly extended. Banks have also adopted risk-adjusted and stability-oriented indicators to link bankers’ remuneration to the sustainability and risk management of banks. However, to circumvent bankers’ bonus cap, banks have introduced role-based pay – a new form of fixed remuneration. Role-based pay is counterproductive, as it may reduce pay-performance sensitivity while encouraging bankers to take excessive risks. This chapter also argues that bankers’ bonus cap is conflicted with other initiatives, the implementation of which relies on performance-based remuneration constituting a significant portion of the total remuneration.
The chapter analyses how the ECB was granted responsibility over prudential supervision as part of the EU banking union. This changed the EU perspective on financial services from internal market issue to a macroeconomic financial stability issue. The ECB now supervises directly the largest banking groups in the euro area and monitors the supervision of all other banks as well. The ECB’s role in the banking union raises new types of constitutional questions and requires a different analytical framework. A formal legal assessment, particularly on the legal basis for conferring specific tasks on the ECB under Article 127(6) TFEU, is complemented with a broader economic constitutional analysis. Here, the context in which the banking union was initiated is particularly important. The chapter also discusses the merits and caveats of combining banking supervision and monetary policy, where the conflict of interest is the main caveat particularly for an independent institution such as the ECB. It is also concluded that the supervision could return to the internal market setting and again be separated from monetary policy in the future.
The last chapter is devoted to the fundamental transformation of the European Macroeconomic Constitution and particularly its objectives during the last decade that has also changed the ECB from a central bank of stability to a central bank of crisis. The great promise of the EMU that the properly designed and constitutionally protected macroeconomic framework would guarantee economic stability and prosperity has failed. In particular, the sole focus on price stability objective and constraints for national economic policy failed to ensure economic, fiscal, or even financial stability. The ECB 2021 strategy review tried to reflect these changes. The chapter analyses, how the ECB could seek to readjust its role in the euro area economy by incorporating new objectives. The discussion starts by analysing how and why the role of price stability has changed, which is followed by assessments of how the broader stability objective have gained more practical and eventually also formal importance. Furthermore, the objectives of structural economic adjustment and increasingly environmental sustainability are discussed as the new candidates for the objectives of the European Macroeconomic Constitution and the ECB. As an Epilogue, the book concludes with a broader forward-looking perspective on the options available.
This chapter analyses the regulatory framework of bankers’ remuneration in the UK in response to the problems in the pre-GFC practice. It first summarises the ideological change among regulators and academics with respect to the regulation of bankers’ remuneration and concludes that maintaining financial stability and protecting the public interest are the primary objectives. The chapter then discusses the initiatives implemented by the UK banking regulators, including deferral, clawback, malus and risk-adjusted performance metrics, which are aimed at guiding banks to reform their incentive mechanisms by extending the assessment period of performance assessment and applying risk-adjusted and stability-oriented indicators. It also discusses the EU bankers’ bonus cap and the opposite stance of the UK regulators to its implementation.
During the 2008–9 global financial crisis, credit default swaps created conduits in the financial system which facilitated the transmission of systemic risk. In response, the Financial Stability Board recommended over-the-counter derivative clearing through a central clearing counterparty. Although the Securities and Futures Commission is the designated supervisor and resolution authority for Hong Kong’s central clearing counterparty, OTC Clear, its supervisory ambit, capacity, and powers are insufficient to mitigate systemic risk and manage financial stability. This chapter argues that a securities supervisor is not the optimal supervisor or resolution authority for OTC Clear. Central clearing counterparties require credit and liquidity risk management which aligns more with banking supervision and central banking. This is supported by the dominance of foreign exchange and interest rate derivatives being traded in Hong Kong. The optimal resolution authority for OTC Clear is the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, being the resolution authority for systemically important banks, having monetary authority expertise that aligns with foreign exchange and interest rate risks, experience in mitigating credit and liquidity risks, and being designed to manage financial stability.
Supervisory models evolve with financial markets. To address the evolution of financial markets and institutions, new supervisory structures have been developed. This chapter analyzes systemic supervision under the integrated, functional, and Twin Peaks models, and systemic composite bodies to elucidate their strengths and weaknesses when managing financial stability. Models examined cover those in Hong Kong, Mainland China, the United States, United Kingdom, Singapore, Australia, South Africa, and the Netherlands. Systemic oversight between traditional central banks and integrated micro-prudential supervisors is subject to supervisory underlap. This was the core weakness of the United Kingdom’s integrated model and is a regulatory flaw inherent to the institutional, sectoral, and functional models. Composite systemic bodies are imperative for supervisory models consisting of central banks that are not unified with prudential supervisors or divided among multiple supervisors. The Twin Peaks model does not need a composite systemic body because this is the role of the systemic peak supervisor. Neither does a unified fully integrated supervisor because the role is internalized. However, competing objectives within a fully integrated supervisor can produce bias and conflicts, eroding systemic supervision and financial stability.
In the wake of the 2008–9 global financial crisis, the G20 devised a framework for a sustainable recovery based on international cooperation. An agreement was reached to ensure that inter alia macro-prudential and regulatory policies would support sustainable economies by preventing credit and asset price cycles from becoming forces for financial destabilization. The G20 recognized the importance of striking a balance between micro- and macro-prudential regulation to control risks, and to develop tools to monitor the build-up of systemic risk in the financial system. This chapter argues that the design of the supervisory structure is instrumental in striking the appropriate balance between these regulatory disciplines. Clear mandates and supervisory judgement are necessary to control this interdependent relationship. Regulatory underlap, gaps, and arbitrage can surface when the supervisory structure does not harmonize with legal infrastructure. To mitigate these regulatory flaws causing financial instability and producing unsustainable economies, supervisors must have sufficient capacity, expertise, awareness, and discretion. Attaining financial stability and a sustainable economy requires the supervisory structure or model, and the supervisor’s capacity and expertise to be harmonized with the legal infrastructure.
Banks can become illiquid when wholesale funding markets to not function for extended periods of time. Illiquidity quickly transforms into insolvency if liquid assets or cash flows cannot cover banks’ maturing liabilities. Since the 2008–9 global financial crisis, a new financial stability consensus has emerged whereby central banks began implementing unconventional liquidity tools. This chapter comparatively analyzes Hong Kong’s sectoral supervision with the integrated, functional, and Twin Peaks models when implementing unconventional liquidity tools. The macro- and micro-prudential characteristics of unconventional liquidity tools necessitate systemic supervision by central banks and banking supervisors. Effective systemic supervision of unconventional liquidity tools cannot be presumed merely by the presence of a systemic supervisory agency. Underlap can weaken systemic risk objectives and mandates when implementing unconventional liquidity tools because supervisory roles can become uncertain. In this context, Hong Kong’s composite systemic supervisor, the Financial Stability Committee, may not be able to properly coordinate member financial supervisors. Uncertainty can lead to tensions between Financial Stability Committee members, impeding systemic supervisory effectiveness. Tensions coupled with uncertainty can produce macro-prudential and systemic supervisory flaws when managing funding and market liquidity, heightening banking system instability.
Banks fail when an illiquidity event depletes capital reserves. Liquidity is sourced from assets that can readily be transformed into cash or from wholesale funding markets and central banks. Basel III strengthens bank balance sheets by allowing supervisors to release capital and liquidity reserves during times of market liquidity stress. This chapter analyzes the implementation of the Basel III capital and liquidity reforms in Hong Kong, banking sector stability during the 2008–9 global financial crisis and the Covid-19 pandemic, and systemic supervision. Hong Kong is a unique international financial centre because it is overwhelmingly populated by domestic systemically important banks. Universal banking and Basel III compel banking sector supervision of Hong Kong’s securities and insurance sectors, despite falling outside the supervisory design of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority. This chapter argues that different supervisory structures and models affect the regulation and supervision of financial stability in Hong Kong’s banking sector. Insurance and wealth management products in the banking industry can produce systemic risks that might be overlooked by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority. Supervisory bias towards the banking sector in conjunction with cross-sectoral underlap could cause financial instability and a systemic banking crisis in Hong Kong.
Prior to the 2008–9 global financial crisis, regulatory and supervisory frameworks were not designed to manage the orderly failure of systemically important financial institutions. Governments were compelled to bail out these institutions to mitigate a deeper financial and economic crisis from developing. In response, the Financial Stability Board formulated an internationally endorsed financial institution resolution framework. The regulatory attributes of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority strengthen its role as the lead resolution authority in the banking sector. This chapter argues that supervisory gaps and underlap undermine the effectiveness of the resolution regime and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority acting as a resolution authority. Cross-border resolutions pivot on coordination and intent between jurisdictions. During a banking crisis, multiple bank subsidiaries entering into resolution will severely stretch the resources of Hong Kong’s resolution authorities. Moreover, small credit institutions, are not captured by the regime. Historically, small credit institutions have caused several systemic banking crises in Hong Kong. Moneylending markets have grown exponentially over the past decade with the emergence of FinTechs and TechFins. Consequently, Hong Kong’s moneylending market is becoming a financial stability risk because a substantial portion are inadequately regulated and fall outside the resolution regime.
Managing banking sector liquidity in financial crises has historically depended on deposit protection and the lender of last resort. Deposit protection assuages market panics by guaranteeing that depositors will be paid if a bank fails. The lender of last resort is a capital injection to preclude a failure when an illiquid yet solvent bank has exhausted all other funding sources. This chapter analyzes deposit protection, the lender of last resort, and how different supervisory structures influence the implementation of these bank stabilization tools. Moreover, certain structures can adversely affect supervisors from fulfilling their financial stability mandates. Hong Kong is susceptible to a supervisory coordination failure from a statutory friction that prioritizes monetary over banking stability. A tension is created within the Hong Kong Monetary Authority which could compel the Financial Secretary to usurp control during a financial crisis. This tension exposes the Hong Kong Monetary Authority to macro-prudential underlap which could undermine its financial stability mandate. Despite these flaws, the statutory mandates of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority complement Hong Kong’s deposit protection and lender-of-last-resort policies, which have performed faultlessly over the past 20 years. However, neither approach has been sufficiently tested during this period.
Since the 1997 handover to Mainland China, Hong Kong has endured pandemics, recessions, and financial crises. Hong Kong’s financial supervisory architecture performed relatively well following the speculative attacks on the Hong Kong dollar and the Hang Seng Index during the 1997–8 Asian Financial Crisis, the liquidity crunch in the 2008–9 global financial crisis, and the economic shutdown from the Covid-19 pandemic. There have been no major supervisory failures or financial instability despite several international financial assessments and reviews recommending structural reforms. This chapter argues that these recent crises call for Hong Kong’s financial supervisory architecture to reflect on the financial system, rather than wait for a market failure to incentivize a redesign. The ongoing financial system integration with Mainland China is placing more reliance on supervisory coordination and cooperation to manage financial stability. Hong Kong is critical to Mainland China’s financial market liberalization and internationalization which will be a key driver of financial market growth in the future. As an international financial centre, Hong Kong is actively involved in market and regulatory developments. Hong Kong has taken a leading role to ensure its financial markets evolve and are fertile to embrace prevailing market trends.
Financial crises have a tendency to expose the financial system’s inability to absorb large systemic shocks, the critical role of liquidity channels, and financial institutions with fragile balance sheets. Pinpointing the causes of systemic risk challenges supervisors because the range of risks are virtually unlimited. This chapter argues that the definition of financial stability must be revisited to enhance the efficacy of financial supervision by drawing upon the lessons learnt from the 2008–9 global financial crisis. Defining systemic risk requires a real-time perspective of risk transmissions between the financial system components. Supervisors should appreciate financial agglomeration, the interconnectedness of the financial system, and behavioural economics when regulating systemic risk. Liquidity mismatches that destabilize financial institutions’ balance sheets and the capacity to raise funding can cause financial instability. The inability of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority to control monetary policy constrains its power to fully manage these liquidity risks. Mitigating financial instability caused by systemic liquidity risks requires an understanding of prudential regulation and the management of monetary policy to stabilize bank balance sheets. Financial architecture must be properly utilized by supervisors to restore the orderly and rational functioning of the financial system.
Choosing the optimum supervisory model to manage financial stability requires a consideration of country-specific preferences based on the level of market development and the configuration of the financial system. The choice of model, its structural design, and the regulatory mandates will influence a supervisor’s effectiveness for managing financial stability. This Chapter analyzes the sectoral models in Mainland China, the United States, and Hong Kong to showcase institutional design elements and variations across different financial systems. The chapter assesses the advantages and disadvantages of the unified central bank and banking supervisory design of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority. Understanding how monetary policies affect banking institutions can be critical for maintaining banking sector stability. A unified structure creates a supervisory synergy when calibrating the lender of last resort and unconventional liquidity tools because coordination tensions are eliminated. The Hong Kong Monetary Authority is compromised because of the Linked Exchange Rate System and the Interest Rate Adjustment Mechanism inhibits its ability to set and control interest rates which can destabilize the banking sector.
This study presents the facts, arguments and scenarios around public debt from a global perspective. Especially the largest economies feature record debt and fiscal risks, including from population ageing and financial imbalances. Given low interest rates, there is no imminent problem. But at some point, debt will have to come down. There are four possible scenarios how debt could come down. First, governments could economise and reform. Second, governments could default. Third, governments could erode the real value of debt via inflation and negative real interest rates. However, this scenario cannot continue forever. Policy errors can prompt a loss of confidence, destabilisation and crisis. This fourth scenario last included the largest economies in the 1970s. It would become a major global challenge if it were to happen again in today's interconnected world.
In Hong Kong, the banking system is the primary source of financial stability risk. Post-2008 regulatory reforms have focused on financial stability policies and tools while neglecting the design of supervisory models. This book provides a comparative analysis of how supervisory models affect the management of financial stability regulations in Hong Kong's banking system. Regulatory issues discussed span prudential regulations, systemically important banks, unconventional liquidity tools, deposit insurance, lender of last resort, resolution regimes, central clearing counterparties and derivatives, Renminbi infrastructure, stock and bond connect schemes, distributed ledger technology, digital yuan, US dollar sanctions, cryptocurrencies, RegTech, and FinTech. A Regulatory Design for Financial Stability in Hong Kong elucidates the flaws and synergies in Hong Kong's banking regulatory framework and proposes conventional and innovative regulatory reforms. This book will be of great interest to banking, financial, and legal practitioners, central bankers, regulators, policy makers, finance ministries, scholars, researchers, and policy institutes.
Economic policy refers to the actions of the state in defining its objectives and using appropriate instruments to achieve them. The objectives of government in this regard are high long-run economic growth, equitable distribution of income and wealth, and stable prices and output. Macroeconomic policies, represented by monetary and fiscal policies, are just those intended to stabilise prices and output. This chapter begins by examining historically how these policy objectives have been addressed by the Korean government, and, against this backdrop, looks at the goals of macroeconomic policy, and especially monetary policy in Korea.
Today’s central banks wield extraordinary powers, both monetary and regulatory, and with a capacity to substitute for elected governments tempted to pass the buck. Debates about central banking’s powers and legitimacy barely touch, however, on whether and how monetary independence fits with the values that drive constitutionalism. It turns out that, for modern economies using fiat money, independence is a corollary of the higher level separation of (fiscal) powers between the legislative and executive branches. Even though independence is necessary, it needs to be carefully constrained by a “money-credit constitution.” Those general arguments, applicable in liberal democracies, do not carry across cleanly to the euro area. A principled case can be made for the ECB’s mandate being specially tight, but that is in tension with its de facto role as the emergency economic actor for the euro area. Facing up to that will be necessary sooner or later.
The progressive globalization of finance over the last forty years has been a blessing and a curse for national financial systems. On the one hand, financial institutions, investors, and consumers benefitted from increased opportunities of credit and investment. On the other hand, financial interconnectedness and the reduction of barriers to capital flows have increased exponentially the risk of global financial crises. Regulatory cooperation among financial regulators through the various Transnational Regulatory Networks has decreased the risk of regulatory loopholes and avoided races to the bottom in financial policymaking. Yet, the global financial crisis of 2008 and the European Sovereign Debt crisis have shown that the current approach to global financial governance presents various flaws. The absence of a binding international legal framework for financial cooperation, coupled with the inherent pressure towards financial nationalism faced by national regulators often leads to failures of cooperation and, ultimately, to international crises. This chapter discusses how public international law and the doctrine of Common Concern can help in addressing the inefficiencies of the current system.