UK - The £39.7bn (€44bn) BT Pension Scheme plans to keep in place a ban on stock lending despite the lifting of an official ban on the practice, according to reports.

BTPS fund manager Hermes was cited by Reuters as saying the scheme would keep the suspension on most of the stocks it put on a lending stop list in September at the height of the banking crisis.

The Financial Services Authority has decided to end its short-selling ban next week, which was brought in to protect the banking and insurance sector.

"There is potential for some of those companies to face unhelpful attacks that may damage the interests of long-term shareholders," Paul Lee, a director of Hermes Equity Ownership Service, was quoted as saying.

It was reported that other funds such as the London Pension Fund Authority and the Strathclyde Pension Scheme would also retain stock lending suspensions.

Meanwhile, it has emerged that two senior managers are to leave Hermes Pensions Management.

News reports said the Hermes' European Focus Fund's Stephan Howaldt and Wouter Rosingh would leave following a 58% decline last year.

The Financial Times said Hermes has also suspended plans to restructure into a series of investment boutiques. 

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