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Financial regulation failing to improve stability: survey

Financial regulation has done little or nothing to make financial markets more stable, and may have made the situation worse, according to just over half of senior financial services professionals surveyed by corporate finance adviser Duff & Phelps.

It polled 183 senior financial services executives at investment banks and asset managers in Asia, Europe, and the US.

Just over a third (35%) believe recent financial regulation had little or no impact on financial stability, with a further 17% believing regulation has made “the financial services world” less stable. This compares with 43% who say it has increased stability.

Only 10% said they believe changes to regulation have fully addressed the risk of a future crash, although 55% indicated they thought this risk had been party addressed. A third did not believe the regulatory framework has adequately created safeguards to prevent a future crisis.

The survey also asked about the executives’ views on investor confidence.

Duff & Phelps noted that just over half of respondents (51%) said financial regulation had done little to improve investor confidence. However, 42% believe regulations have helped cement investor confidence, and just 6% said new rules had reduced investor confidence.

Julian Korek, global head of compliance and regulatory consulting at Duff & Phelps, said the findings are not very different to previous years’ but that they “added import in light of recent political upsets in the US and, perhaps, the UK”.

“More needs to be done to build stability in financial services and ensure the system is resilient in future, for both banks and the alternative investment industry,” he said.

“The major regulatory bodies have been very clear about future areas of focus and concern, but the fact that so many still think there is potential for another crash is worrying – even without Trump or Brexit potentially taking the market down a quite different regulatory path.”

Nearly a quarter (23%) of the respondents said regulators had created effective global regulatory frameworks, and 57% said regulators were getting better at collaborating and coordinating across borders.

The survey was carried out for the fifth edition of an annual global regulatory outlook that Duff & Phelps has published since 2012.

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