Shearman & Sterling LLP | FinReg | UK Regulator Consults on Addressing Liquidity Mismatch in Open-Ended Property Funds
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  • UK Regulator Consults on Addressing Liquidity Mismatch in Open-Ended Property Funds

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has launched a consultation on liquidity mismatch in authorized open-ended property funds. The FCA wants to tackle the potential for investor harm that arises because the terms for dealing in units of some property funds are not aligned with the time that it takes to buy or sell the buildings that the funds invest in. Responses to the consultation may be submitted until November 3, 2020. The FCA intends to publish its final policy statement and rules as soon as possible in 2021.

    The FCA's proposals seek to address the structural issues arising from the mismatch between holding illiquid assets and offering daily redemptions and the potential harm caused by the liquidity mismatch of U.K. authorized property funds that are non-UCITS retail schemes (known as NURS) that invest directly in property. The FCA is proposing to introduce a notice period of up to 180 days for these funds with the object of removing the potential for some investors to gain at the expense of others and to decrease the probability of liquidity runs on funds that lead to rapid sales of assets.

    The FCA clarifies that the proposals in this consultation paper are only directly relevant to U.K.-authorized property funds that are NURS. The FCA is continuing its work with the Bank of England on illiquid assets in open-ended funds and will consult on additional solutions once the Financial Policy Committee has completed its work.

    View the FCA's consultation paper (CP20/15).

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    TOPIC: Funds