The Economics of Capital Regulation in Financial Conglomerates
Financial conglomerates combine banking, insurance and other financial services within a single corporation. In this non-technical paper I consider the rationale for capital regulation in such firms and I examine some current policy questions in the light of this discussion. My first conclusion is that the different institutional structure of bank and insurance companies mitigates against harmonisation of capital requirements across different conglomerate businesses. I also question the received industry view that regulators should account for diversification effects at the holding company level.