Are there any countries in which banks do not need to follow any special regulation other than the regular business regulations. If not, are there any countries that come close? For more information https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_banking?wprov=sfla1 .

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    $\begingroup$ What are 'regular business regulations'? Are regulations not usually industry (e.g.: food, durable goods, finance) specific? $\endgroup$
    – Giskard
    Dec 31, 2016 at 8:22
  • $\begingroup$ @denesp I'd say that's exactly the question: Is there a country where banks are governed by a more general set of rules than specifically for the "financial industry"? $\endgroup$
    – Mark Hurd
    Dec 31, 2016 at 11:27
  • $\begingroup$ And my comment points out that while there are general rules (e.g. paying taxes) every industry has their own industry specific rules: On sanitation, insurance, safety, transparency etc. Why would banking be any different? $\endgroup$
    – Giskard
    Dec 31, 2016 at 11:36
  • $\begingroup$ Free banking is a libertarian pure capitalism type of system. And a country with free banking therefore doesn't have a lot of regulation on different industries, but rather one set of rules for every business. $\endgroup$
    – JFugger_jr
    Dec 31, 2016 at 12:20
  • $\begingroup$ This isn't necessarily the case, but probably will be the case in free banking countries. Additionally free banking is mostly about having no regulation on entering the market, and having no set coverage ratio. $\endgroup$
    – JFugger_jr
    Dec 31, 2016 at 12:23

1 Answer 1


I'm going to stick my neck out and say that the answer is no, not because I have a specific reference (people tend not to publish papers stating that something doesn't exist) but monetary systems has been a keen interest of mine for the past decade and if free banking was currently being practised somewhere I would almost certainly know about it.

It has however been practised historically, perhaps most notably in Scotland 1716 - 1845.

You can find many proponents of free banking in the Austrian School of economics, for example George Selgin.


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