On September 11, HM Treasury released the text of a hard-hitting speech by Lord Myners, Financial Services Secretary to HM Treasury, on the draft EU Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (Draft Directive).

Lord Myners, in criticizing the Draft Directive, said, “[I]mposing ill-considered rules in haste is counterproductive, whether at European or national level.” Lord Myners emphasized that the UK “is not in the business of blocking more stringent regulation and effective supervision.” He continued: “We must not be beguiled by protectionism hiding as though it were protection. Hedge funds and private equity have not been central to the financial crisis.” He commented on the success of UK hedge fund regulation and noted the failure of the European Commission to consult on the Draft Directive. Lord Myners also said that the UK would work hard to achieve a directive “that allows efficient, well run and well regulated fund managers to compete for business without restriction across the EU and to make the EU a base from which to compete in global markets. But current proposals need remedying before this can be delivered.”

In response to points made by critics who said that the Draft Directive did not go far enough to address certain issues, Lord Myners commented that the Draft Directive was not the right place to address short selling or tax avoidance.

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