"The events which have shaped the evolution of financial regulation include crises, scandals, innovation and liberalisation", said Haldane.
"Each has elicited a response, typically the addition of a new regulatory layer. The cumulative consequence has been a regulatory tide which has tended to flow in only one direction – towards a lengthier, more complex rulebook."
To illustrate the problem, Haldane pointed to the fact that the Banking Act (1979) covered 52 sections and 75 pages.
"By the mid-1980s, the Financial Services Act (1986) and an updated Banking Act (1987) had expanded primary legislation to 110 sections (106 pages) and 212 sections (299 pages) respectively. The Financial Services and Markets Act (2000) took this to 433 sections or 321 pages. And the new Financial Services Act (2012) takes this to 695 sections or 534 pages – a tenfold increase in primary legislation in a generation."
Haldane was speaking at the International Financial Law Review Dinner earlier this month.