The ﬁnancial system comprises banking institutions, ﬁnancial markets, other ﬁnancial intermediaries such as pension funds and insurance companies, and a large regulatory body: a central bank, which oversees and supervises the operations of these intermediaries. Every economy requires a sophisticated and eﬃcient ﬁnancial system to prosper. A more eﬃcient ﬁnancial system provides better ﬁnancial services, and this enables an economy to increase its real GDP growth rate. Conversely, a weakened ﬁnancial system spills over unfavourably into the economy. An inadequately supervised ﬁnancial system may be crisis-prone, with potentially devastating eﬀects. The important role of ﬁnancial intermediaries and ﬁnancial markets therefore merits more attention from researchers and policy makers.