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IMA blasts European politicians over alternatives regulation

IMA chairman Robert Jenkins has hit out at the European Union’s proposals for the regulation of the alternatives industry.

Speaking at a seminar in London, Jenkins said he was frustrated with the approach politicians have taken when drawing up new regulations.

He said: “It is curious that the response of some European politicians to the banking crisis is to regulate the investment management industry. Clearly some political leaders would prefer to focus attention on those who did not cause the problem rather than attend to those who did.”

Jenkins said politicians are perhaps confusing investment management with investment banking.

He added: “When the banks ran out of liquidity, our customers for whom we act as agents, helped supply it. When the banks ran out of capital, the funds we manage contributed to the take up of new debt and equity issues.

“And when one day, governments divest their shares in the walking wounded of the banking world, to whom do you suppose they will sell? In short, the investment management industry is not part of the problem but we are part of the solution.”

Jenkins singled out German finance minister Peer Steinbrűck for criticism for his role in drawing up the proposals.

Jenkins said: “It would appear that, like many Brits, Mr Steinbrűck has forgotten that his country is part of Europe. He is no doubt painfully conscious that German industry must remain globally competitive but he seems to forget that Europe’s financial industry must compete globally as well.”

“Alas, Mr Steinbrűck and a number of continental comrades seem determined to shoot a key part of the money management industry in the back and themselves in the foot.”

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