The European Commission has been accused of launching a 'blatant attack' on London’s financial services industry with proposals to regulate hedge funds and private equity firms.

There were fears among UK-based fund managers that, if implemented, the draft legislation would drive business from the City, home to many alternative investment managers.

Jonathan Russell, chairman of the European Venture Capital Association, called the proposed European Union directive 'disproportionate, inappropriate and anti-competitive'.

The Commission’s proposals, drawn up amid public anger over the excessive financial risktaking that caused the credit crisis, would require alternative fund managers, rather than funds themselves, to register and seek government authorisation for the first time.

Financial Times, Daily Telegraph