Finance Leaders Question Impact of Crisis-Prevention Rules

Chief executive officers and chairmen of some of Europe’s biggest banks and insurance companies called for more studies on the effectiveness and impact of regulation to prevent financial crises.

While macroprudential tools help prevent bubbles and are necessary to address system-wide risk, applying them wrongly could endanger financial stability, they said in a statement Monday. They cited the low interest rates prevailing in much of the world as an area where policy could have unintended consequences.

“It is as yet unclear how effective prudential and monetary tools are at limiting systemic risk and how they may impact the real economy, especially in advanced economies with increasingly complex financial systems,” they said in a joint statement published by the World Economic Forum. The statement follows up on discussions in January at the forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

The signatories included HSBC Holdings Plc’s Douglas Flint, BlackRock Inc.’s Larry Fink, Deutsche Bank AG’s Anshu Jain, Zurich Insurance’s Martin Senn and John Lipsky, a former first deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund who is now a professor at Johns Hopkins University.

The 2008 financial crisis prompted the adoption of regulations in many countries to curb excessive risk-taking that could disrupt markets and endanger the broader economy. These include rules to prevent bubbles in investment and to make companies less likely to cause havoc if they go bankrupt.

“Macroprudential policies could play a critical role in ensuring financial stability in the future, if its governance and potential side effects are managed adequately,” UBS Group AG’s Axel Weber said in the statement.

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