Wednesday, 14 October 2009

A bit more on representative bodies

I realised that I missed this speech by Paul Myners last week, which includes a great bit on the ISC:
[I]n practical terms the ISC has struggled to deliver tangible results.

This should not come as a surprise.

The forum is a coordinating mechanism for trade bodies who themselves operate primarily to promote the interests of their own industries – there is no one organisation in the UK that speaks solely and exclusively on behalf of institutional investors without commercial benefit as an overriding goal. This, in my view, is a deficiency.

To compound this disconnect, the ISC is a loose collection of trade associations rather than member firms, and as such is two degrees removed from the operational nexus of the industry.

The committee has rarely met and has not evolved. It is controlled by industry trade bodies; it has no budget or permanent secretariat.

Trade bodies clearly and correctly operate primarily in the interests of their own fee-paying members. This may or may not accord with the interests of end investors but it is a fact of life that parties selling services to others for gain are not necessarily always going to have entirely shared interests with their clients.

PS. I am picking up a fair few hits from people looking for various speeches he has given, so I'm creating a 'Paul Myners' label for any of you wanting to pick up previous speeches. I'll go backl and label all previous posts. Of course, you can also get them on the HMT website here.

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