Stock market boom drives fund assets to a record high

Pension schemes are becoming increasingly important in the fund business. The industry association BVI is of the opinion that it can do even more – if it were better regulated.

2019 was a good year for the German fund industry with net inflows of 119 billion euros and thus an increase of 15 percent, although it had started poorly. But in view of the rising share prices, the assets under management rose to the new record of 3.4 trillion euros. Tobias Pross, President of the industry association BVI, proudly announced this success at the annual press conference on Tuesday.

The weight of the special funds, i.e. the assets of insurers and pension institutions in particular, is growing steadily. This is one of the central issues that are currently on the BVI’s agenda. “When it comes to securing the future of the population, there is already no way around the fund industry,” said Managing Director Thomas Richter.

But for this, the state must set the right course. The BVI records as a success that it has succeeded in averting a state fund together with insurers and building societies for the time being. In the form discussed, as a quasi-mandatory product and part of private old-age provision, it would have significantly distorted competition. Now it is a matter of further developing the planned standard product together with the Ministry of Finance. Simplifying the Riester pension is a good approach. This they by no means failed, so Richter. No private pension scheme in Europe is so popular.

In this context, the BVI has clearly rejected the planned financial transaction tax. The original goals of limiting speculation or asking those responsible for the financial crisis to pay for it had long since been abandoned; it was only about tax revenue. The solidarity surcharge on capital income must also be abolished.

A regulatory turnaround is also called for in the EU. We are satisfied with the regulation on sustainability (taxonomy), according to Richter, not least because its application remains voluntary, but for example because it imposes a reporting obligation on companies that makes it easier for asset managers. However, the taxonomy in the form presented only relates to climate change and thus to a very small part of the complex of topics.

On the other hand, the Capital Markets Union does not move from the spot Due to misunderstood consumer protection is overregulated. The European Infrastructure Fund ELTIF as a new vehicle, for example, is a “blow job” and the warning notices for securities prescribed in the investor protection guidelines discourage investors from buying. “Then the EU asks itself why the Capital Markets Union is not working,” says Richter. He does not want to be misunderstood: “We love this project.”