Asian Corporations Back Financial Reform Proposals

Large corporations and financial institutions in Asia are the world’s strongest private-sector backers of a set of broad proposals aimed at reforming the world’s financial regulatory framework, according to a new report from Greenwich Associates.

At the end of July, 458 of the world’s biggest asset managers, corporates, banks and pensions – including 84 in Asia (excluding Japan) – participated in a Greenwich Market Pulse. Participants were asked to rate their level of support for various regulatory reform proposals, to assess the appropriateness of the level of government intervention in markets around the world in combating the global crisis, and to predict the duration of the current economic recession. The results reveal:

  • More than two-thirds of Asian companies and financial institutions support the creation of ‘systemic regulators’.
  • Between three-quarters and two-thirds of Asian respondents support reforms to global derivatives markets including shifting over-the-counter (OTC) trading to exchanges and centralising clearing.
  • Almost three-quarters favour stricter regulation of hedge funds.
  • 70% of Asian companies and financial institutions would support mandatory separation of investment banking and commercial banking activities within financial service firms.

“Asian companies support many reform proposals because they believe strict financial regulation was effective in insulating Asia from the worst effects of the banking crisis that started in the west,” said Greenwich Associates consultant Markus Ohlig. “The banking industry in most Asian countries has been tightly regulated since the financial crises of the late 1990s. The survey results suggest that companies think this strict regulation prevented the build-up of the types of imbalances that brought on the banking crisis in the US and Europe.”


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