Fund managers warn over risks of leaving the EU

 
Billy Bambrough
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Financial managers have warned leaving the EU may not make life easier on the finance industry (Source: Getty)

A group of finance industry leaders have warned influential MPs that quitting the EU would risk damaging businesses in the UK.

Executives from three investment trade associations told the Treasury Select Committee EU leaving the EU would create extra barriers for their businesses.

Guy Sears, interim CEO of the Investment Association (IA), said: “There would be massive disruption to the way we currently organise our business.”

Sears comments put him at odds with the IA's chair who has previously played down the negatives of a Brexit.

“There are lots of reasons why companies come to London and to the UK to do business,” she said. “We live in a global world; we don’t live in a little European neck of the woods — we have to compete globally,” IA chair Helena Morrissey said in October last year.

Committee member Wes Streeting MP told City A.M: “I was surprised there was not more of an emphatic call to leave the EU then we heard yesterday.”

The finance leaders warned there may not be the kind of reduction in red tape that many are hoping for if the UK votes to leave.

John Barrass, deputy chief executive of the Wealth Management Association, said: “The benefits [of EU membership] do outweigh the costs.”

The Prime Minister David Cameron is currently renegotiating the UK's relationship with Brussels and has promised a referendum on Britain's membership by the end of 2017.

Jin Krol, deputy chief executive of the Alternative Investment Management Association, said leaving would mean “higher cost to operate funds.”