Investment limit increase mooted

The Law Society intends to apply to the Securities and Investments Board (SIB) to increase the limit of investment business firms can conduct but still be regulated by the society.

Stewart Bushell of the society's monitoring unit says that it wants to increase the proportion investment business can contribute from the 20 per cent of income. "But we have not discussed what the level should be," he says.

Other recognised professional bodies have limits ranging up to 49 per cent, says Bushell. "We are likely to go for something between 20 and 49 per cent."

The society says it has been contacted by a couple of firms which are approaching the limit and there is no reason why it should not continue to regulate them.

Bushell says: "Once we have had discussions with our members, we will make a formal application to the SIB."

The Association of Investment Managers (Asim) welcomes the move.

Asim chair David Lough says that it is inconsistent that the Scottish law firms can handle up to 49 per cent and firms here are restricted to 20 per cent.

He adds: "A number of our members are concerned about reaching the limit."