Principles-based vs. rules-based regulation of derivatives markets in developing and developed markets: a comparison of the regimes in Thailand and Québec




Qu, Shaochen

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This thesis compares and contrasts rules-based and principles-based approaches to the regulation of derivative securities and examines these approaches in the context of derivative securities regulation in Thailand and Québec. It highlights the importance of derivatives regulation by briefly noting the role of derivatives in the 2007-2008 financial crisis. Context is provided by briefly noting the complexity and riskiness of derivatives, and the function of intermediaries in derivatives markets. With this context in mind, literature on rules-based regulation and principles-based regulation is examined. The two approaches are described and the advantages and disadvantages of each approach are highlighted. The thesis posits that the approach in Thailand is predominantly rules-based while the approach in Québec is predominantly principles-based. The thesis then argues that Québec may have been better positioned than Thailand to adopt a principles-based approach, given its longer experience with trading in public securities markets, its greater degree of specialization in derivatives markets, and the significantly higher volume of derivatives trading in Québec. These factors may have promoted a greater degree of regulatory expertise and self-regulatory organization experience. It is then argued that even though Thailand, and countries at a similar stage of derivatives market development, may not be in as good a position as Québec to adopt a principles-based regulatory approach, once the derivatives market has been established, a shift to principles-based regulation is, nonetheless, likely to better serve the regulatory goals of risk management and innovation.



Rules-based regulation, Principles-based regulation