Designing an appropriate regulatory framework for e-money involves balancing different objectives including the system stability and security, financial integrity of the issuers, protection of consumers and the promotion of competition and innovation. Therefore, in general, the framework should be e-neutral. However, at the early stage, without any successful experience, authorisation and supervisory regime for e-banking and e-money would be similar to that for conventional banking service and products, just as HK has adopted,35 and it should be adjusted and readjusted following the development of e-money.
Regulatory authorities also face a choice concerning the timing of the introduction of any possible regulatory measures. On the one hand, establishing a comprehensive regulatory framework at an early stage would risk stifling innovation. Although Greenspan, the chairman of the Federal Reserve Board of the USA, recognized that in the current period of change and market uncertainty, there may be a natural temptation for the regulators and a natural desire on the part of some market participants, to have the government step in and resolve the uncertainty, through standards, regulation, or other government policies, he still stressed that as financial systems become more complex, detailed rules and standards have become both burdensome and ineffective, if not counterproductive. He argued that if we wished to foster financial innovation, we must be careful not to impose rules that inhibit it. To develop new forms of payment, the private sector will need the flexibility to experiment, without broad interference by the government. Hence, in the earlier period, industry participants may find that self-policing is in their best interest. 36
However, on the other hand, there may be a risk that the overall cost of regulation will be significantly higher were there to be a substantial delay in implementing measures that ultimately prove necessary, and existing regulatory framework could somehow inhibit desirable innovations by not adapting quickly enough. As Mr. Padoa Schioppa, of the Bank of Italy, has said, “the road to define a new institutional model must be different from the ones adapted in the past. At the beginning of this century, an agreement on how to manage a monetary system based on currency and deposits was only reached after a financial and monetary crisis. It would be extremely dangerous to pass through a similar learning process today, not least because payment systems in the industrialised world would amplify the problems of any single market operator, diffusing its effects to the whole economy?37
It is true that the regulation and supervision of e-banking and e-money is still at an early stage, like the product itself, and is still evolving. However, governments should not therefore adopt a wait and see approach towards legislating for it, which is especially true if you agree with the somewhat extreme view of David Saxton who claims “Digital cash is a threat to every government on this planet who wants to manage his own currency?/FONT>38 [首页][上一页][下一页][末页]