Investment Association (IA) CEO Chris Cummings has called on new Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey and the Financial Conduct Authority to keep the UK markets open during the current coronavirus crisis.
In an open letter to Bailey published today (25 March), who picked up the mantle last week (16 March), Cummings wrote that the IA and the wider industry is in favour of the markets remaining open to continue to meet clients' needs.
"Given ongoing market uncertainty and continued media speculation, which is unhelpful during the current situation, we wish to assure you that our industry supports the continued opening of public markets," Cummings wrote.
"As investment managers, our utmost priority remains serving our clients' needs in these testing times. Access to public equity and debt markets is a critical component in our ability to do so - to manage savers' investments and mitigate risks, discover prices, access cash, and support companies."
Cummings also pointed out the industry assists governments globally in raising money to fund the hefty Covid-19 support programmes required.
"We recognise that markets have experienced extreme volatility, high trading volumes, and indeed diminished liquidity in recent days," he continued.
"However, closure of the markets themselves would not resolve these issues. In fact, it is our view that any closure would have the opposite effect to that intended and even the rumour of market closures can lead to adverse consequences for savers."
He added: "We wish to work with the Government, jointly with all other stakeholders, to ensure that public markets remain open through the global pandemic.
"Further, we stand ready, to support you in finding innovative solutions for any parts of the market that are struggling in these volatile times.
"This action has also been called for in a joint European trade association letter to finance ministers and the European Commission, and would deliver on the Financial Stability Board's opinion expressed in its guidance.
"We also note the European Securities & Markets Authority's statement."