Shaping the EAEU’s Institutional Framework for Banking Regulation: Perspectives and Risks
The institutional aspect of post-crisis banking regulation reform (Basel III) remains unsettled, and as such undermines regulators’ efforts to shape a seamless platform for international financial intermediation. The lack of global acceptance of the Basel III standards amid the internationalization of banking activities is one of the main reasons for regulatory asymmetries which are difficult to handle at the national level. In this context, the efforts of governments and financial regulators are a central core of their policy in protecting banking sectors from systemic risks. It becomes imperative to bring together national mechanisms of banking regulation and to develop a regional system of regulatory institutions, as is evidenced by the single supervisory mechanism in the eurozone countries.
Strengthening stress-resilience of the national banking sectors in the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and the expansion of banking activities to the Eurasian economy will require a conceptual framework of the EAEU banking regulation system. However, different regulatory regimes in EAEU states along with the lack of supranational regulatory institutions may slow the progress of the Eurasian mechanism of banking regulation. This means that operationalization of the EAEU regulatory mechanism will depend on whether the mini-Basel III format as a methodological hub of regionalization and supranationalization will act as an enabler of a resolution to the regulatory trilemma of the feasibility, relevance and opportunities of supranationalization.
The institutional aspect of mini-Basel III is intrinsically linked to the integrity and consistency of the supranational authority for regulation of EAEU financial markets being an authority documented in the treaty on the EAEU; however, the costs of regulatory alignment may exceed the advantages of a single-institution regulatory architecture owing to the existent and tacit risks from the heterogeneity of the national regulatory models. Stemming from the complex financial sector environment that falls short of valid and reliable institutional fundamentals, this article proposes alternative scenarios for the EAEU regulatory mechanism that could be sought for optimization of regulatory logistics and algorithms of regulatory alignment. Based on systematization of the benefits and weaknesses of each of the scenarios as well as on a comparative analysis as to whether the proposed scenarios would ensure a continuum of financial intermediation and financial stability, this article concludes that currently there are no priority approaches to the design of a supranational institutional system in the EAEU. At the same time, the identical structure of national banking sectors together with the least expensive scenario approach could underpin the process of regulatory supranationalization; however, to secure the integrity of the EAEU supranational authority, it should be complemented with an authority that would be responsible for the coordination of EAEU-wide regulatory alignment.