Financial Conglomerates and the Chinese Wall: Regulating Conflicts of Interest

Hardcover | April 1, 1990

byHarry McVea

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The growth of financial conglomerates, offering a range of services hitherto unprecedented, has caused problems for regulators. While conglomerates bring with them many economic benefits (diversification of risk, economies of scope, etc), they also impose costs (systemic risk and conflict ofinterest abuses). This book explores ways in which regulators can ensure that the regulation imposed is sufficiently strong to eradicate these abuses, but at the same time sufficiently flexible to allow the benefits of conglomeration to be secured. The Chinese Wall-a regulatory mechanism aimed at stemming the flow of information from one department in a firm to another, and reconciling conflicts of interest more generally-is singled out for special treatment. The legal position of the device, which has become all the more important in thewake of the recent Law Commission inquiry into the relationship between the Financial Services Act 1986 (and the rules made under it) and the general law, is considered in detail. The author argues that an effective Chinese Wall will, in most cases, be legally sufficient to absolve a firm frompotential liability at general law, but that there are situations where Chinese Walls are not satisfactory. Here the conglomerate will have to suffer the commercial disadvantages of being a fiduciary by adopting a different, albeit more restrictive, regulatory option.

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The growth of financial conglomerates, offering a range of services hitherto unprecedented, has caused problems for regulators. While conglomerates bring with them many economic benefits (diversification of risk, economies of scope, etc), they also impose costs (systemic risk and conflict ofinterest abuses). This book explores ways i...

Harry McVea is at University of Bristol.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:302 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.87 inPublished:April 1, 1990Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198257139

ISBN - 13:9780198257134

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'The book is a detailed and valuable description of a new and rapidly evolving field.'Cliff Pratten, The Economic Journal, Vol. 105, No. 428, January 1995