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Davos 2023: UBS head says regulators' 'eyes off the ball' on non-banks

Colm Kelleher, Chairman of UBS Group AG, speaks during the Global Financial Leaders Investment Summit in Hong Kong

LONDON (Reuters) - UBS Chairman Colm Kelleher said traditional finance firms were "systemically safe" after years of increased regulation, but guardians of global financial markets had further to go to eradicate the risks posed by the non-banking sector.

"Regulators have - with respect - taken their eyes off the ball in terms of the non-banking sector," the chairman of Switzerland's largest bank said during a panel discussion at the World Economic Forum in Davos, referring to a category of loosely supervised finance firms.

"Banks and insurance companies are well regulated. They're systemically safe, we can argue," he added.

The world's biggest banks have emerged largely unscathed from months of turmoil in the nascent cryptocurrency sector, which has toppled several major crypto investors, lenders and exchanges.

"I think we've dodged a bullet because this thing blew up very quickly but it will come back in one form or another," he said.

"We are looking for the regulatory framework that will allow us to accommodate that for our clients."

(Reporting by Stefania Spezzati and Sinead Cruise; Editing by Bernadette Baum)