Co-ordinating Financial Services Policy

The new challenge for Asian regulators

As Asian countries become richer, their dependence on trade with the West is declining. Trade within Asia is now increasing faster than trade between Asia and the rest of the world. Financial services firms and financial markets tend to evolve in tandem with the real economy firms they serve. This is beginning to happen in Asia. Asian finance is beginning to “regionalize”. But not as fast as it could.

Some of the obstacles to this regionalization are unavoidable: the number of languages spoken in the region, its great geographic size and the very different levels of economic development among Asian countries. Other obstacles, however, stem from a need for more policy coordination.

We see issues with the coordination of financial services regulation in Asia Pacific presenting important challenges for the region. Global rules designed to primarily serve the purposes of Western economies, European and US regulations with extraterritorial impact, and inconsistent domestic regulations across Asian countries all risk slowing the growth and development of the regional industry unnecessarily.

Having examined the current regulatory problems in Asian financial markets, this Oliver Wyman Perspective recommends measures that Asian governments can take to create a better co-ordinated and more Asian-friendly regulatory environment. Put simply, they need to get together. This will not only help them to coordinate their domestic policies. It will give Asia a stronger voice in the international bodies that decide global rules.

Co-ordinating Financial Services Policy