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Faculty of Law Chair for Law & Finance

Further Research Projects

Research Output and Impact 2014/2015

Professor Alexander with support from his research team completed several academic articles and a commissioned report in 2014-2015 while participating in several research seminars and conferences. Professor Alexander’s research addressed the Euroean Banking Union, structural banking regulation in the UK and EU, and prudential bank regulation and environmental sustainability risks. The research resulted in two articles: Regulating the Structure of the EU Banking Sector’ in the European Business Organisation Law Review (2015) and ‘European Banking Union: An Institutional and Legal Analysis’ in the European Law Review (2015), and a chapter in the Oxford Handbook on Financial Regulation entitled ‘The Role of Capital in Banking Stability’ (eds. Moloney, Payne, and Ferran). The research on banking regulation and environmental sustainability risks led to publication of a commissioned Report, ‘Stability and Sustainability in Banking Reform: Are Environmental Risks Missing in Basel III?’ (United Nations/Cambridge University,2014). Professor Alexander presented the Report and further research findings to a high level conference of scientists, finance specialists and policymakers at the University of Cambridge (April 2015) and to several central banks, including the Banque de France (Feb 2015), the Netherlands Central Bank (June 2015), and the Bank of Italy (June 2015). The Report has been favourably cited in the media and has influenced developments in international financial regulation: Alexander was invited to present the Report’s findings to the General Secretary and Deputy Secretary of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision in Basel in January 2015. His report has contributed to placing the issue of financial stability and environmental sustainability on the G20 and Financial Stability Board regulatory reform agenda.

Alexander was also invited to give a paper and public commentary critically analyzing the role of the European Central Bank in banking supervision at a conference hosted by the German Bundestag Finance Committee on 7 November 2014. The paper will be published by the European Company and Financial Law Review in 2015. In addition, the project assisted in facilitating IALS research into the European Commission’s proposal for a Capital Market Union by supporting an IALS conference EU Capital Market Union on 4 July 2015. The conference produced several high quality papers that will be published in 2015 in the Law and Financial Markets Review, including Alexander’s article on the financial stability risks of an EU Capital Market Union. Alexander continues to serve as an adviser to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) on matters related to financial services trade and regulation and spoke at two UNCTAD conferences in Geneva in November 2014 and May 2015 and wrote an essay for the UNCTAD annual review on financial regulation and the social drivers of risk.

Appointment as Specialist Adviser by British Parliament (2011-2012)

Professor Kern Alexander was appointed in August 2011 as Specialist Adviser to the British Parliament's Select Committee on the proposed Financial Services Bill.  The Financial Services Bill is major legislation that will restructure the regulation, supervision and governance of British financial markets.  Professor Alexander was appointed by the Parliamentary Select Committee to review and scrutinise the proposed legislation.  He also assisted the Committee in taking oral and written evidence and making recommendations and proposed amendments to the Bill in a final report published in December 2011. A list of links and related documents is provided here.

Research Project on OTC Derivatives Market and Financial Transaction Taxes

Professor Alexander led a research project at his Chair on the OTC derivatives market and financial transaction taxes. The collapse of Lehman Brother’s investment bank in 2008 demonstrated major weaknesses in the structure of the over-the-counter derivatives market and the design of OTC derivatives contracts. The European Union and the United States have adopted legislation that would require standardised OTC derivatives contracts to be traded on exchanges and cleared through clearing houses in order to increase transparency and reduce counter-party credit risks and systemic risk in the derivatives markets. This project analysed from an empirical and theoretical perspective the relationship between the spreads on OTC credit default swap contracts on the value and yields of the underlying sovereign bonds issued by European union countries and the bonds issued by large EU-based banking institutions. The project aimed to provide a more thorough understanding of the impact of the proposed requirements to trade and clear OTC credit derivatives on exchanges and clearing houses. The project also examined the proposal by the European Commission for a financial transaction tax and assessed the legal, economic and regulatory implications of its implementation.

Commentary on UK banking regulatory reforms

Kern Alexander has written a series of essays that are commentaries on various aspects of the UK financial regulatory reforms. The essays appeared in a current affairs British politics journal/magazine called 'Parliamentary Brief'.