Objectives-based legislation – or laws which focus on achieving particular and concrete outcomes – has become a new and important tool that financial sector regulators use to tackle large and varied financial system risks. Yet, objectives-based legislation – and the frequent principles-based regulation underpinned by such legislation – represents a stark departure from traditional ways of legislating. In this paper, we describe the problems and prospects of implementing objectives-based financial regulation in Hong Kong – in the form of a Twin Peaks regulatory structure. A focus on the objectives of achieving financial market stability and proper market conduct would require a different approach to legislating and regulating in Hong Kong (and most other countries). By describing the way Hong Kong’s legislators would adopt such objectives-based legislation putting a Twin Peaks regulatory structure in place, we hope to shed light on the broader trend in academic and practitioner circles toward thinking about how to use objectives-based legislation to tackle complex social risks. Such an approach may also reduce the use of patchworks of complex inter-agency agreements and rulemaking between traditional regulators as they try to solve large and difficult regulatory problems.
twin peaks financial regulation hong kong financial law