UPDATE 1-Hedge funds pose no big systemic risks -UK's FSA
* "No clear evidence" hedge funds pose major systemic risk
* October surveys show risks "contained"
* Funds running "relatively low level" of leverage
By Laurence Fletcher LONDON, Feb 23 (Reuters) - Hedge funds are using little borrowing and do not pose a big risk to the global financial system, said Britain's Financial Services Authority, in a boost to those fighting European plans to clamp down on the industry.
The two FSA surveys of UK-based large hedge fund firms and prime brokers, conducted at the end of October, show that on average hedge funds were borrowing $102 dollars in October for every $100 they had raised from investors.
"(Prime broker data suggests) ... major hedge funds did not pose a potentially destabilising credit counterparty risk across the surveyed banks," the FSA said in a statement.
It said data obtained from hedge funds suggested a "contained" level of risk.
The surveys come as some politicians continue to press for tight rules on the industry. In Europe, lawmakers are debating controversial plans to control leverage, as well as limiting where funds based outside the EU can be sold.
The surveys estimated that an average hedge fund's market "footprint" was equivalent to 328 percent of investor assets, when total long and short positions, held directly or through derivatives, were taken into account.
While leverage does not always mean higher risk, it can indicate whether or not hedge funds are taking large positions in markets. (Editing by Joel Dimmock and Will Waterman) (To read the Reuters Hedge Fund Blog click on blogs.reuters.com/hedgehub; for the Global Investing Blog click here)
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