This paper, by drawing upon accountability theories, aims to explore and examine practices related to discharging economic and legal accountability in Malaysian unit trust industry. The evidence was primarily constructed from two main sources, documentary review and in-depth interviews. Document review was undertaken on various documents issued by the industry regulators and industry players. Meanwhile, semi-structured interviews were carried out with representative from the regulators, unit trust management companies (UTMCs), a unit trust distributor company, and unit trust advisors. Evidence suggests that economic and legal accountability, which are commonly exercised as a form of external oversight and control, has been dominated the industry, for example, via the issuance and enforcement of various rules, acts, regulations, and guidelines over the industry players. While economic and legal accountability, which typically prioritized a limited range of influential stakeholders, are important and crucial for investors’ protection and in developing a sound unit trust industry, too much emphasis, may cause other stakeholders affected – directly or indirectly- by UTMCs activities left unconsidered or received inadequate attention.
Keywords: Economic accountability, Legal accountability, Malaysian unit trust industry
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