The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This paper sets out general principles for the design of financial stability frameworks, starting from an analysis of the objectives and tools of financial regulation. The paper then offers a comprehensive analysis of the costs and benefits of the two main models that have emerged for modern financial systems: the integrated model, with a single supervisor outside of the central bank, and the twin-peaks model, with a systemic risk regulator (central bank) on the one hand and a conduct of business regulator on the other. The paper concludes that the twin-peaks model may become more attractive when regulatory structures are geared more explicitly towards the mitigation of systemic risk-including through the introduction of new macroprudential tools that could be used alongside monetary policy to contain macro-systemic risks; through enhanced regulation and special resolution regimes for systemically important institutions; and a more holistic approach to the oversight of clearing and settlement systems. Since the optimal solution may well be path-dependent and specific to the development of financial markets in any given country, a number of hybrid models are also discussed.