Business / Economy

Financial reform needs to promote cooperation among regulators

By Chen Jia (China Daily) Updated: 2015-12-01 07:59

Centralization or decentralization? That could be the top-most concern for financial regulators over the next five years. There are no doubts that a stronger supervision system will emerge soon.

Debates still remain among officials and scholars on whether the central bank and the three other specialist financial regulators for banks, securities and insurance, should merge or restructure to re-identify their responsibilities.

The expected reform is aimed at avoiding supervision loopholes and promote cooperation among different regulators, as the integrated operation and more complicated financial products remain a trend among various financial service providers, said experts.

A proposal of the country's 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20) delivered a message that the top leaders will take steps to transform the current financial supervision framework to "better adapt to the development of the modern financial market".

The existing financial regulation system comprises the People's Bank of China, the central bank, and three specialist commissions-the China Banking Regulatory Commission, the China Securities Regulatory Commission and the China Insurance Regulatory Commission. The bank and the commissions all take orders from the State Council, or the country's cabinet.

Jiao Jinpu, chairman of the Shanghai Gold Exchange and a former PBOC official, feels that a macro prudential supervisory framework led by the central bank would ensure that there are no systemic financial crises.

"The three regulatory commissions can remain and they can be made responsible for micro prudential supervision of financial institutions," said Jiao, who said that protection for financial consumers should be strengthened at the same time.

"Improving regulatory functions is more important than just merging organizations," he said.

Guo Tianyong, head of the China Banking Research Center at the Central University of Finance and Economics, said during a recent forum: "There is no need to combine the regulators or establish any new institutions, but the cooperation regime does need to improve."

The above discussions arose after senior lawmakers said last month that the country's financial regulation should be unified under the State Council, which is chaired by the premier.

Yin Zhongqing, deputy director at Financial and Economic Affairs Committee of the National People's Congress, said: "When the time is ready, the central bank and all the commissions can merge into a comprehensive regulatory organization or a national financial regulatory commission should be established."

According to a report from Reuters, sources close to the information said that the leadership is planning to combine the three financial regulatory commissions and create a new super-large organization that will take over all the responsibilities.

The stock collapse in the summer was partly because of the weak cooperation among the commissions, it said.

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