By Huw Jones
LONDON (Reuters) – Global securities watchdog IOSCO shot back at criticism from the Bank of England that it had failed to spell out how funds should meet calls from investors for their money back, in a rare pubic spat among regulators.
The BoE criticism followed the suspension of a high-profile retail equity fund managed by Woodford Investment Management in June after it was unable to meet redemption calls, trapping thousands of investors.
In a statement, IOSCO said its recommendations in 2018 provide a comprehensive framework for regulators to deal with liquidity risks in investment funds and that it was up to national regulators to implement them.
The Madrid-based umbrella body for securities regulators said it would reassess in 2020 how those recommendations were implemented in practice.
The riposte from IOSCO is the latest standoff between securities regulators and central banks over how to regulate funds which have grown in size since the financial crisis.
IOSCO torpedoed an attempt in 2015 by the global Financial Stability Board, then chaired by BoE governor Mark Carney, to tighten supervision of funds based on their size.
The BoE had no comment on IOSCO’s statement.
The Bank’s Financial Policy Committee said last week that IOSCO had not detailed properly how funds’ assets and investment strategies should be consistent with their redemption terms in what it called a global issue.
The BoE said that it and Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) – which is investigating events around the Woodford suspension – would therefore conduct their own work to this end.
Carney has said that open ended funds are “built on a lie” of promising daily redemptions when some of the assets they hold could not be sold quickly to raise the cash.
IOSCO, whose members include the FCA and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, said it would be “impractical to pursue, as some have suggested, a global ‘one size fits all’ prescriptive approach”.
(Reporting by Huw Jones, editing by Simon Jessop and Deepa Babington)