The call was made by Christian Dargnat, president of the European Fund and Asset Management Association, who was speaking at an evening reception at the UK’s House of Commons, jointly hosted by EFAMA and the UK’s Investment Management Association.
Dargnat, who has been president of the organisation since last June, told International Adviser his comments were made specifically about the controversial Packed Retail Investment Products (PRIPs) initiative, of which insurance and banking products now look to be excluded.
‘Solution not the problem’
The president, who is also chief investment officer of BNP Paribas Investment Partners, was also concerned more generally about the amount of regulation which had been imposed on the asset management industry since the financial crisis. He said this had happened, despite the industry being “the solution, not the problem”.
Dargnat cited the Ucits regulation as an example – pointing out that, despite David Gauke, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, earlier in the evening holding Ucits up as an example of Europe’s leadership in fund regulation – the industry had seen the legislation reformed five times in four years.
The EFMA president ended his speech by “imploring” politicians to move away from regulation to supervision. He argued that, having introduced so much new legislation in the years after the financial crisis, it should now stand back and to see what is working.
Dargnat’s calls echo those made by the organisation’s director general Peter De Proft, in June last year. At the time, De Proft wrote to MEPs urging them to abandon efforts to add product categories and certain addition regulations to the directive.
De Proft wrote: “We firmly believe that the introduction of a Key Information Document as a uniform information tool for all PRIPs is likely to effectively improve investor protection by standardising and simplifying presentation formats, and thus enhancing product comparability for investors.
“It should also contribute to the creation of a level playing field in the area of retail distribution.
“Unfortunately, the recent discussions on the EU Parliament’s position with regard to PRIPs are increasingly diverging from the initial regulatory approach proposed by the commission, and even threatens to undermine the feasibility of the whole initiative.”
EFAMA is not the only trade body to have concerns about PRIPS. Alan Morgan Moodie, chief executive of the Association of International Life Offices, wrote to Madame Berès MEP in May last year asking for life products to be treated differently from investment funds for the purposes of the Key Investor Information Document.