Flint: Heavy regulations are crushing growth

Tim Wallace
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EXCESSIVE regulations risk squeezing growth out of the global economy, HSBC’s chairman Douglas Flint told a House of Lords committee yesterday.

He fears regulators are so focused on stability that they are stopping banks taking the risks they need to lend to firms, creating jobs and growth.

“It seems to me that all too often regulation has acted with the stability priority to concentrate investment into two asset classes, govt debt and residential property, both of which are not risk free,” Flint told the EU economic and financial affairs sub-committee.

And the global banking boss said EU regulators are also over-reaching internationally, harming overseas operations.

“I was disappointed to see [Brussels] regulate remuneration globally for banks headquartered in Europe. It seems to me what is done in subsidiaries in Latin America or Asia should not necessarily be tied to European law, as they’re not in Europe,” he said.

And Flint also said this trend for extraterritorial application of rules meant banks might end up having to “choose which law to break,” if different jurisdictions came up with different sets of rules.