Have the banking regulators gone too far?

The effectiveness of regulation is still unknown nearly a decade after the global financial crisis, according to a leading finance sector researcher at the University of Sydney Business School.

Associate finance professor Eliza Wu made the comment ahead of the arrival in Sydney of the world’s leading banking experts and banking regulators for the Sydney Banking and Financial Stability conference, which kicks off on Friday, 1 December.

“The fact is that we don’t know what effect these regulations, including Basel III and IV, will have in the medium to long term,” Dr Wu said. “We don’t know if the sector is over-regulated or if we need more controls.”

She added: “Here in Australia, regulators have been working to cool the lending market. We are also concerned about the banking sector’s exposure to the real estate market and the lack of regulatory oversight of the fintech and peer-to-peer lending sectors.”

The Future of Banking Regulation will be the focus of the conference’s Policy Panel Discussion between Dr Iikka Korhonen from the Bank of Finland, Dr Frank Packer from the Bank for International Settlements and Mr Aidan O’Shaughnessy from the Australian Bankers’ Association.

The keynote address, to be delivered by Steven Ongena, professor of banking at the University of Zurich, will focus on the spillovers of macro-prudential policies.

Dr Wu said: “The heavily disrupted world of banking and finance is evolving very quickly and the regulators and often industry operators themselves exist under an unforgiving regime of catch-up. That’s why this conference is crucial.”

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