UK - Fund managers have attacked the government over its shock announcement that it will only give the industry six months to comply with Myners.
Fund managers hit out after Treasury spokeswoman Ruth Kelly told delegates at the NAPF Investment Conference earlier this month that the government was embarking on a “thorough study” of the industry.
And she warned delegates that unless the study – which is being carried out by Consensus Research – finds that the industry has made progress on its corporate governance attitudes, the government will look to legislate to enforce compliance next year.
But SEI senior analyst Andrew Slater said: “Ruth Kelly’s speech was one of misconceptions, omissions, contradictions and spin.
“Nowhere was there mention of the damage caused by the removal of ACT, or the inability of the government to review state pensions.”
Slater also attacked Kelly for contradicting herself by announcing the Consensus study after earlier stating that the government was looking to implement existing reviews, rather than commission new ones.
A Barclays Global Investors spokesman said: “The industry has evolved and developed through best practice and self-regulation.
“In our view these approaches are a better way forward than legislation, which can be prescriptive and could stifle growth.”
But Gartmore Investment Management chief operating officer Barry Marshall was more sympathetic.
He said: “When Ruth Kelly says that the government wants to give us a chance to demonstrate we can deliver, I think it’s quite genuine.
“It’s clear the wording of legislation would be difficult to do, but it is a serious subject and if fund managers are not going to act, the government will.
“It is not doing this for the love of it, it is serious about change. If people do nothing, we deserve to be legislated.”
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