Speaking before a banking conference, German Finance Minister Peer Steinbruck said that the credit crisis is opening the eyes of American and British regulators to the dangers of hedge funds and the need for regulation, the International Herald Tribune reports.

“In light of the current crisis, I could imagine that the hesitant behavior by the U.S. and Great Britain will change even before” the next meeting of G-7 finance ministers in October.

Germany is going to continue to ask hedge funds to submit to a voluntary code of conduct, added Steinbruck, who has been calling for more oversight of hedge funds since the collapse of Amaranth Advisors a year ago, stopping short, however, of calling for regulation.

He said he was concerned by how the U.S. credit crisis has spread to Germany and caused banks there to cut back on lending.

Christine Lagarde, France’s finance minister, concurred with Steinbruck’s comments in an interview last month. “We have been proven right,” she said. “We need more transparency and better governance in financial markets, and we need it on a G-7 basis.”

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