Ms. Eva H. G. Hüpkes, Mr. Michael W Taylor, and Mr. Marc G Quintyn
Policymakers are often reluctant to grant independence to the agencies that regulate and supervise the financial sector because of the fear that these agencies, with their wide-ranging responsibilities and powers, could become a law unto themselves. This pamphlet describes mechanisms for making regulatory agencies accountable not only to the government but also to the industry they supervise and the public at large, with examples from a range of countries.
In nearly every major financial crisis of the past decade-from East Asia to Russia, Turkey, and Latin America-political interference in financial sector regulation helped make a bad situation worse. Political pressures not only weakened financial regulation, but also hindered regulators and supervisors from taking action against troubled banks. This paper investigates why, to fulfill their mandate to preserve financial sector stability, financial sector regulators and supervisors need to be independent-from the financial services industry as well as from the government-as well as accountable.