New York, New York, February 3, 2016) – A report on global regulation issued today by the International Federation of Accountants® (IFAC®) calls for political leaders and governments around the world to follow ten principles for consistent, high-quality global regulation, to aid global economic growth.

The ten principles were identified by 30 senior executives and experts from regulatory agencies, financial markets, government, academia, listed companies, investment funds, and the accounting profession at a roundtable in Hong Kong convened by IFAC in partnership with the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (HKICPA).  The principles are intended to help guide regulators toward better decisions and protect the global economy from the dangers posed by a patchwork approach to regulation.

While business and finance are increasingly global, roundtable participants warned that important regulation is not. Instead, it is frequently focused on national interests, which can create barriers and impediments to inclusive growth and jeopardize global financial stability.

“This clear signal from a broad, non-partisan group in one of the world’s most important trading centers highlights the urgent need for a more globally consistent approach to regulation,” said Fayez Choudhury, IFAC Chief Executive Officer. “We need a clear change in the will—and resources available—for international regulatory cooperation.

“The current fragmentation is creating a regulatory environment that encourages more risky trading and financing activities in often unregulated domains, and allows for the exploitation of gaps in regulation globally,” Choudhury said.

Several actions were discussed to foster a more integrated global regulatory framework that can create a better environment for economic growth:

Stronger systems and incentives for cross-border regulatory collaboration and cooperation.

  • Beyond consultation within the regulatory community, lack of resources and different national financial ecosystems make true collaboration with a broader set of stakeholders a challenge.
  • Greater incentives are required before regulators can look beyond national interest, and consider long-term, global implications of regulation.

Systematic review of regulations to determine whether implementation and impact match expectations.

  • Current regulatory systems often focus on writing regulation rather than evaluating effectiveness. Not all existing regulations are implemented in practice.
  • Rapid change in business and financial markets requires continued flexibility. Much regulation is outdated by the time it is implemented, often years after originally proposed.
  • Independent oversight of regulation would allow collaborative discussion and better analysis of costs and benefits.

10 clear principles for high quality financial regulation rather than a reactive response.

  • To serve the public interest, regulation needs to be evidence-based, proportionate, appropriately resourced, collaboratively developed/implemented, consistent, subject to active oversight, systematically reviewed, have clear objectives, and be properly targeted and enforced to address intended issues.
  • They must be developed in consultation with the public, and affected constituencies.