The United Kingdom: Late Codification, Early Reform
This chapter examines banking regulation in the United Kingdom. It begins with a description of the historical development of the banking system and its regulatory structure, followed by an examination of the relevant protagonists involved in this policy field. It then considers the interplay between crises and reforms which have influenced bank regulation during this period. It argues that regulatory policy in the UK was largely characterized by a reaction to crises in the banking sector (such as the Secondary Banking Crisis in the 1970s, the failure of JMB in the 1980s, and the cases of BCCI and Barings in the 1990s). A weak role for the UK Parliament let the Bank of England initially dominate a ‘club-style’ sectoral policy network. After repeated piecemeal reforms failed to provide long-term stability, the latter was disempowered in favour of a new unified financial regulatory agency, thus providing an example of major institutional change.
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