Abstract The financial crisis of 1994-1995 sounded a wake-up call to Latin America, indicating that regulation and supervision needed to be strengthened substantially. Since then, important steps have been taken to set rules and ensure their implementation, but financial regulation and supervision do not take place in a vacuum. On the one hand, they must be consistent with domestic macroeconomic policies, and they need a supportive macroeconomic environment in which to operate. On the other hand, they have to take into account the new international rules being proposed by multilateral agencies. And, of course, all of this must be done in the context of scarce resources, especially trained personnel. This paper looks at these problems both from the viewpoint of the Latin American region as a whole and four individual country case studies (Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Mexico). We conclude that there has been considerable improvement in the banking regulation and supervision since 1994-1995, but that macroeconomic turbulence continues to pose challenges to the stability of the banking sector.