The supervision of financial conglomerates

July 1995

At the initiative of the Basle Committee on Banking Supervision (the Basle Committee), a Tripartite Group of bank, securities, and insurance regulators, acting in a personal capacity but drawing on their experience of supervising different types of financial institution, was formed in early 1993 to address a range of issues relating to the supervision of financial conglomerates. Some of these issues had been explored by regulators within their own industries but not hitherto from a cross-industry perspective.

The purpose of the ensuing report, which is now being published as a discussion document, is to identify problems which financial conglomerates pose for supervisors and to consider ways in which these problems might be overcome. The term "financial conglomerate" is used in the report to refer to "any group of companies under common control whose exclusive or predominant activities consist of providing significant services in at least two different financial sectors (banking, securities, insurance)". Although it is recognised that supervisory problems also arise in the case of "mixed conglomerates" offering not only financial services but also non-financial or commercial services, financial conglomerates are the primary focus of the report.