Writing in The Times this morning, Darling stressed that national regulators must remain responsible for supervising individual companies.
The move follows a speech yesterday by French President Nicolas Sarkozy in which he celebrated the appointment of Michel Barnier as internal markets commissioner and called for the “victory” of the European model of financial regulation.
Sarkozy said: “To see for the first time in 50 years a French European commissioner in charge of the internal market, including financial services, including the City [of London]?”
“I want the world to see the victory of the European model, which has nothing to do with the excesses of financial capitalism.”
Darling said moves that “could undermine the effective functioning of our cherished single market” must be resisted.
He said: “As we agreed in June, decisions taken by the new European supervisory authorities should not impact on national budgets. In the forthcoming reform of hedge funds, private equity and derivatives, José Manuel Barroso, the European Commission President, and Mr Barnier will be mindful that Europe is not competing with itself, but striving for global excellence.
“It is too simplistic to argue that financial centres in Europe are just competing among themselves. The reality is the real competition to Europe’s financial centres comes from outside our borders. And that London, whether others like it or not, is New York’s only rival as a truly global financial centre. No other centre in Europe offers the same range of services: banking, insurance, fund management, law and accountancy. It is in all of Europe’s interests that they prosper alongside their close European partners.”