Financial regulators must not hinder companies

Friday, May 22, 2009

Pretoria - While there is a need for good financial regulators, it is important that they do not hinder companies from operating properly, says National Planning Minister Trevor Manuel.

"The world needs good regulations and good regulators. The period of deregulation has come to an end. No longer can we rely on enlightened self interest to regulate global markets," said Mr Manuel speaking about the global financial crisis.

However, he cautioned that one should be careful not to shift to the other extreme, where companies are tied up in so much regulation that they can barely function.

The minister was addressing the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (Saica) on Thursday.

He added that attempts to toughen accounting and ethical standards did not easily win acceptance.

The minister thanked Saica for the role that it had placed in ensuring South Africa escaped the worst of the global financial crisis, saying the country's economy had missed the worst of it.

"We understand that regulatory failure was a common denominator (of the global economic crisis). We need to act swiftly to correct the weaknesses in our overall regulatory system, strengthen our economies, and try our very best to get out of the downturn as quickly as possible," said Mr Manuel.