The Financial Services Act 1986 was the first comprehensive attempt to create a unified statutorily based system of regulation within the U.K. financial sector. It generated a framework of regulation that is in a continuous state of development and modification. In this article, we study the development of U.K. financial regulation between 1986 and 2011. We trace how competing theorizations and logics of regulation have led to the institutionalization of a meta-form of financial regulation. In doing so, we address the conundrum of conscious, strategic theorizations leading to cognitive taken-for-granted institutions by identifying four catalysts that contribute to institutionalization when concurring with theorization. These are the evocation of political ideologies, the appropriation of scandals, the growing number of actors, and the increasing organization of actors. Finally, we argue that sedimentation is the appropriate metaphor for the version of institutionalization occurring in this setting.
- Institutional theory
- Financial control