"Since we argued that size is the wrong metric to use, the FSB is now looking at investment-driven supervisory tools."
The group of 20 economies (G-20) in 2009 asked its regulatory task force, the Financial Stability Board (FSB), to scrutinize big asset managers more closely as part of its remit to maintain financial stability. Until then, the focus had been on banks.
World leaders wanted supervision of all parts of the financial system reviewed after the 2007-09 financial crisis resulted in taxpayers having to bail out many banks, at a cost of trillions of dollars.
The FSB proposed in January that individual funds with over $100 billion in assets should face tougher, yet-to-be-detailed scrutiny. This threshold captures 14 funds, all in the U.S.
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The industry responded by saying the FSB proposals which focused solely on the size of funds were too simplistic. It questioned why fund managers were being targeted since, it argued, they were not responsible for the crisis.
Details of the new proposals are still sketchy, but fund management industry sources, who declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of the plans, said the tools being considered include directly clamping down temporarily on a fund's market activities in times of a crisis to ensure stability.
This could include curbs on inflows and outflows of a particular asset class like a government bond, perhaps through having to impose "gates" or redemption fees to avoid runs.