The costs to businesses in the UK and the regulatory burden facing the investment industry has risen “very significantly”, making the UK less favourable compared to other jurisdictions, warned Patrick Thomson, EMEA chief executive officer of JP Morgan Asset Management and chair of the Investment Association (IA).

Speaking at the IA annual conference on 20 June, he said that as a result of increasing costs and regulation, companies that would normally establish their business in the UK are now looking elsewhere.

He added that this situation is “less than favourable” especially since financial services are “such a key driver” for UK growth.

He added that right now the UK is “losing ground to other jurisdictions”, adding however, that even though he supports regulation, regulation should place customer outcomes at the centre of decision making.

“We want regulation that welcomes firms, is open to new ideas and provides space for innovation,” he said, however noting: “That said we don’t want low standards, we still need a high level of regulation, but it should also be the right amount of regulation.”


Speaking at the same event, Sean Hagerty, managing director or Vanguard Europe and IA deputy chair, said that current regulation is “very complicated” and “hard to understand” for clients.

He said: “We have an opportunity as an industry to try and simplify some of the language.”

And if the industry can simplify that language and “engage with regulators proactively” to improve regulation, it does not need to be a “barrier” for growth, he continued.

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