On Thursday 27 January 2022, the Australian Law Reform Commission, in partnership with Melbourne Law School, hosted a webinar to review the Twin Peaks model of financial regulation and to launch the book: The Cambridge Handbook of Twin Peaks Financial Regulation (Cambridge University Press, 2021).
Professor Rosemary Langford, on behalf of the Centre for Corporate Law at Melbourne Law School, provided the welcome for the event and noted that issues concerning financial regulation and financial services law were foremost in the ALRC’s thoughts as it proceeded with its current inquiry into the simplification of corporations and financial services legislation in Australia.
The co-editors of the book – Dr Andrew Godwin, Special Counsel at the ALRC, and Dr Andrew Schmulow, Senior Lecturer at the University of Wollongong School of Law – first outlined the Twin Peaks landscape in Australia and abroad and identified the features of the model and its perceived advantages over other models. Dr Schmulow noted that South Africa was the latest adopter of Twin Peaks, and had, in many respects, refined and enhanced the model.
Dr Godwin then chaired a panel discussion among the following experts:
- Dr Michael Taylor, author of the seminal article on the Twin Peaks model in 1995 and also author of a chapter in the book;
- Dr John Laker, Chair of APRA from 2003 to 2014;
- Mr Alan Cameron, inaugural Chair of ASIC from 1993 to 2000 and member of the ALRC Advisory Committee for the Financial Services Legislation Inquiry; and
- Mr James Kelly, Head of the Financial System Division at Treasury and member of the ALRC Advisory Committee for the Financial Services Legislation Inquiry.
The panel discussed a number of issues concerning the Twin Peaks model as it had been pioneered and developed in Australia. These included the resilience of the model in the face of financial crises, the ever-evolving nature of the model, reforms in respect of regulatory coordination between ASIC and APRA, and the move towards co-regulation in areas such as superannuation and the Banking Executive Accountability Regime.
Following the panel discussion, Sir Ross Cranston, Professor of Law at the London School of Economics and Political Science and member of the ARLC Advisory Committee for the Financial Services Legislation Inquiry, shared his insights on the model as adopted in the UK and launched the book. In endorsing the book, Sir Ross noted that it would serve as an excellent reference source for a broad range of readers, including governments, policy-makers, and academics.
The webinar concluded with questions from the audience and closing remarks by the ALRC President, Justice Derrington, who thanked the participants and the Centre for Corporate Law at Melbourne Law School for co-hosting the event.