Think-tanks call for EU rules opt-out for fund managers

Think-tanks have called for UK fund managers working with clients outside Europe to be given exemptions from European Union rules.

The Financial Times reports that the New City Initiative and Open Europe organisations, representing assets houses running about £400bn, are lobbying Brussels for an exemption to be created for “certain types of managers”.

Open Europe policy director Mats Persson told the FT:  “The idea is that for a certain type of fund manager you’d create an exemption from certain types of regulation.

“If you do limited business with Europe you should be covered by de minimis European regulation.”

The proposal is UK asset managers would be regulated by the FCA, but exempt from some European rules; a similar situation to the Small Business Act that helps firms avoid onerous regulation.

New City Initiative chairman Dominic Johnson told the FT: “Within Europe, there’s a culture of distrust on what asset management is.

“They see it as gambling and they don’t see the link between a good asset management industry and a successful retiring population. The two are inextricably linked.”