UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Comparative studies on the financial holding company laws and practices in the U.S. and Taiwan Lee, Hsiang - Hui Emily


Using the U.S. Gramm-Leach-Bliley Financial Modernization Act ("GLBA") as a model, I argue that this act of financial reform, promulgated in November 1999, is a result of "Re-regulation", rather than "Deregulation" as suggested by most scholars. I emphasize the linear development of the GLBA, from 'regulation' to 'deregulation' and then further to 're-regulation'. This linear direction denotes sequential regulatory development that concerns the gradual relaxation of permissible banking activities, which is correspondingly marked by the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933, the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, and the GLBA of 1999. The GLBA enabled the U.S. financial services industry to begin offering all round financial services under the single roof of the Financial Holding Company("FHC"). The GLBA's mandate is to provide the U.S. financial services industry with a level playing field and allow them to compete with their strongest rivals from th eEuropean Union. European Union banks already operate under a liberal regime, following the success of the Second Banking Directive of 1989 that embraces financial liberalization. Taiwan's Financial Holding Company Act ("FHCA"), promulgated in July 2001,owes much of its content to its U.S. counterpart, the GLBA. Taiwan's FHCA is basically modeled after the U.S. GLBA but selectively adopts parts of the E.U. model. The U.S. model is represented by the GLBA while the E.U. model is represented by the Second Banking Directive. Through cross-selling and cross-marketing, financial holding companies in the U.S. model and universal banks in the E.U. model, both can achieve economies of scale and scope. This dissertation is otherwise devoted to providing a comparative analysis on certain key elements of the U.S. GLBA and Taiwan's FHCA, although I sometimes refer to the E.U.'s Second Banking Directive. I conclude that while Taiwan's FHCs lack the economic scale of U.S. FHCs, the adoption of the U.S. model in the FHCA offers Taiwan's FHCs better fire wall protection than the E.U. model would. More generally speaking, there are pros and cons to Taiwan's adoption of the GLBA. The GLBA and by extension the FHCA require its domestically established FHCs be pure holding companies, as opposed to the E. U. model which requires the parent companies (universal banks) to also be operating holding companies.

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