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The following posts provide a snapshot of the principal U.S., European and global financial regulatory developments of interest to banks, investment firms, broker-dealers, market infrastructures, asset managers and corporates.

  • European Securities and Markets Authority Publishes Final Guidance on Liquidity Stress Tests for Investment Funds
    09/02/2019

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published a report containing its final guidelines on liquidity stress testing in Alternative Investment Funds and Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities. The guidelines have been published in accordance with the European Systemic Risk Board's 2018 Recommendation, which was designed to address liquidity and leverage risk in investment funds. ESMA's guidelines will apply from September 30, 2020.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: Funds
  • UK Conduct Regulator Discusses Enhanced Liquidity Requirements for UCITS
    08/06/2019

    Andrew Bailey, the Chief Executive of the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority, has written to Lord Myners of the House of Lords concerning the establishment of U.K. requirements for liquidity standards for Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities (UCITS) that are more stringent than existing EU requirements. Andrew Bailey's letter was prompted by Lord Myners' query as to whether the U.K. government has ever formally reviewed the case for imposing more stringent requirements or whether it must abide by the requirements in the EU UCITS Directive.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: Funds
  • UK Conduct Regulator Concludes No Changes Needed to Banking Senior Managers Regime
    08/05/2019

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has published the findings of its review into the implementation of the Senior Managers and Certification Regime for the banking sector. The SM&CR came into force for banking firms in March 2016 with the aim of making individuals in the banking sector more accountable for their conduct. The FCA conducted the review to determine how the SM&CR has been implemented in the three years since its introduction. The review is intended to aid understanding of the impact of the regime and the FCA does not intend to make any policy changes on the basis of its findings. The FCA's review focuses on the implementation of the existing banking SM&CR, but an expanded SM&CR regime will come into force for all FCA solo-regulated firms from December 9, 2019. Firms falling within scope of the expanded regime should, where appropriate, also take the findings of the FCA's review into account in their implementation of the SM&CR.

    Read more.
  • UK Consultation on Draft Law Ensuring Trustee Oversight of Investment Consultants and Fiduciary Managers
    07/29/2019

    The U.K. Department for Work and Pensions has opened a consultation on draft Occupational Pension Schemes (Governance and Registration) (Amendment) Regulations 2019. The consultation runs until September 2, 2019. The draft Regulations are intended to implement into law certain of the remedies made by the U.K. Competition and Markets Authority in its Investment Consultants and Fiduciary Managers Markets Investigation. The CMA published a Final Report in December 2018 that set out its finding of adverse competition in the investment consultants and fiduciary managers markets and the remedies to address that finding. The CMA's final Order to implement the remedies was published on June 10, 2019.

    Read more.
    TOPICS: CompetitionFunds
  • Revised EU Guidelines on Stress Testing of Money Market Funds Published
    07/19/2019

    Following its consultation in late 2018, the European Securities and Markets Authority has published final reports and updated guidelines on stress testing money market funds and the requirements imposed upon MMFs to report information to national regulators under the EU Money Market Funds Regulation.

    The MMF Regulation has applied directly across the EU since July 21, 2018. MMFs are fund vehicles that invest in highly liquid short-term debt instruments, such as government bonds, and are often regarded as a short-term cash management function alternative to bank deposits. The MMF Regulation requires MMFs and MMF managers to measure the impact of the common reference stress test scenarios, as specified by ESMA in guidelines, and to report the outcomes to their national regulators. The first MMF reports are due by the end of Q1 2020.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: Funds
  • International Body Issues Statement on Liquidity Risk Management Recommendations for Investment Funds
    07/18/2019

    The International Organization of Securities Commissions has issued a statement on its Liquidity Risk Management Recommendations for investment funds. The statement is in response to the U.K.'s Financial Policy Committee's Financial Stability report which stated that the IOSCO Liquidity Risk Management Recommendations do not prescribe how it should be ensured that funds' assets and investment strategies are consistent with their redemption terms. IOSCO's statement sets out how the Recommendations provide a comprehensive framework for regulators to address liquidity risks in funds. IOSCO notes that the Recommendations allow some flexibility as to how they are implemented by jurisdiction due to the diversity of the funds sector. IOSCO does not believe that a global prescriptive standard is appropriate and will undertake an exercise in 2020 to assess how the recommendations have been implemented across the globe.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: Funds
  • UK's Expanded Senior Managers and Certification Regimes Enter into Force
    07/17/2019

    The Bank of England and Financial Services Act 2016 (Commencement No. 6 and Transitional Provisions) Regulations 2019 have been made. The Regulations bring into force, from December 9, 2019, the expanded Senior Managers and Certification Regimes for all Financial Conduct Authority solo-regulated firms authorized under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000, which include asset managers and investment firms carrying out certain activities. These firms need to complete their initial certification assessments for existing certified staff and new hires by December 9, 2020, although they must have identified certification staff by December 9, 2019. A transitional provision states that the regime will only apply to Claims Management Companies that are authorized by the FCA by December 9, 2019 and to other CMCs on the date that they obtain their authorization.

    Read more.
  • EU Consultation on Performance Fees for Retail Funds
    07/16/2019

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has launched a consultation on proposed guidelines on performance fees in Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities. The consultation closes on October 31, 2019 and ESMA will publish its final guidelines once it has considered all of the feedback.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: Funds
  • EU Legislative Package for Cross-Border Distribution of Investment Funds Published
    07/12/2019

    A Regulation and a Directive aimed at facilitating the cross-border distribution of investment funds have been published in the Official Journal of the European Union. The Directive amends the Directive on Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities and the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive by introducing new provisions and amending certain existing provisions of those pieces of legislation. The new Regulation aims to increase transparency on the rules and procedures applicable to cross-border marketing of investment funds and regulatory fees and charges levied by national regulators. Member states are required to transpose the Directive into national laws by, and apply those laws from, August 2, 2021. Certain provisions of the Regulation will apply directly across the EU from 1 August 2019, with the remaining provisions applying from August 2, 2021.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: Funds
  • UK Secondary Legislation Published to Implement Changes under EMIR REFIT
    06/17/2019

    The Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Over the Counter Derivatives, Central Counterparties and Trade Repositories) (Amendment) Regulations 2019 have been made and will come into force on July 9, 2019.

    Read more.
  • Final Investment Consultancy and Fiduciary Management Market Investigation Order Published
    06/10/2019

    The U.K. Competition and Markets Authority has published the final Investment Consultancy and Fiduciary Management Market Investigation Order 2019. The Order imposes legal obligations on pension scheme trustees, investment consultancy firms and fiduciary management providers, implementing the CMA's remedies to its finding of an adverse effect on competition in both the investment consultancy and fiduciary management markets. On February 11, 2019, the CMA published a draft Order for comment, and the responses to the draft Order have been published alongside the Order.

    Read more.
    TOPICS: CompetitionFunds
  • UK Financial Conduct Authority Publishes Policy Statement on Shareholder Engagement
    05/30/2019

    The Financial Conduct Authority has published a Policy Statement containing final Handbook text and guidance on new rules to improve shareholder engagement and increase transparency around stewardship. The FCA consulted on the rules from January to March 2019. The final rules will come into effect on June 10, 2019.

    Read more.
  • EMIR Refit Regulation Published
    05/28/2019

    The Regulation amending the European Market Infrastructure Regulation, known as EMIR Refit or EMIR 2.1, has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

    The EMIR Refit amendments aim to introduce a simplified and more proportionate approach to certain aspects of EMIR as part of the EU's broader "Regulatory Fitness and Performance Program".

    Read more.
  • EU Delegated Regulation on Conflicts of Interest Published Under Social Entrepreneurship Fund Regulation
    05/22/2019

    A Commission Delegated Regulation on conflicts of interest arising in relation to European social entrepreneurship funds has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union. The Delegated Regulation sets out the parameters for conflicts of interest policies, which must be introduced by "social entrepreneurship" funds within scope of the European Social Entrepreneurship Fund Regulation. The Delegated Regulation will enter into force on June 11, 2019 and will become directly applicable in all EU Member States on December 11, 2019.

    Read more.
  • EU Delegated Regulation on Conflicts of Interest Published Under European Venture Capital Regulation
    05/22/2019

    A Commission Delegated Regulation on conflicts of interest arising in relation to European venture capital funds has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union. The Delegated Regulation sets out the parameters for conflicts of interest policies, which must be introduced by venture capital funds within scope of the European Venture Capital Regulation. The Delegated Regulation will enter into force on June 11, 2019 and will become directly applicable in all EU Member States on December 11, 2019.

    Read more.
  • UK Conduct Regulator Warns Firms About Supervision of Appointed Representatives
    05/20/2019

    The FCA has published the findings of its review examining how firms in the investment management sector comply with their regulatory obligations in respect of appointed representatives used to carry out activities on their behalf. The FCA has also published a "Dear CEO" letter addressed to the Chief Executive Officers of all FCA-regulated principal firms in the sector, urging them to review their practices in relation to such representatives.

    Read more.
  • European Commission Investigates Anti-Competitive EU Loan Syndication
    05/05/2019

    A report examining competition within the European syndicated loan market has been published, following a call by the European Commission for an examination of the sector. The report was prepared at the request of the Commission by consultancy firm Europe Economics with input from boutique competition law firm Euclid Law.

    Read more.
  • EU Technical Advice on Incorporating Sustainability Factors Into EU Regulation
    05/03/2019

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published its final report and technical advice to the European Commission on incorporating sustainability risks and factors into European regulation. The European Commission sought advice from ESMA and the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority in July 2018 on the introduction of environmental, social and governance considerations into the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II, the Insurance Distribution Directive, the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive, the Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities Directive and the Solvency II Directive. The introduction of sustainability considerations into European regulation sits against the backdrop of the European Commission's Sustainability Action Plan, which aims to encourage sustainable investment and mitigate climate change risk in line with the 2016 Paris Agreement and UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In response, ESMA opened consultations seeking input from stakeholders, which closed on February 19, 2019.

    Read more.
  • UK Competition Authority Consults on Draft Investment Consultancy and Fiduciary Management Market Investigation Order 2019
    02/11/2019

    The U.K. Competition and Markets Authority has published for consultation a draft Investment Consultancy and Fiduciary Management Market Investigation Order 2019. The draft Order is intended to implement the remedies proposed by the CMA in its Final Report on the Investment Consultancy and Fiduciary Management Market Investigation, published on December 12, 2018. Any feedback on the draft Order should be provided by March 13, 2019.

    View the draft Order.

    View the explanatory note to the draft Order.

    View the notice of an intention to make an Order.

    View details of the CMA's Final Report.
    TOPICS: CompetitionFunds
  • European Supervisory Authorities Recommend Further Risk Warnings for Retail Investors
    02/08/2019

    The Joint Committee of European Supervisory Authorities has published a Final Report following their consultation on targeted amendments to the Key Information Document for Packaged Retail and Insurance-based Investment Products. Since January 1, 2018, the EU PRIIPs Regulation has required manufacturers of PRIIPs to prepare and publish a stand-alone, standardized Key Information Document for each of their PRIIPs. Those advising retail investors on PRIIPs, or selling PRIIPs to retail investors, must provide retail investors with a KID in good time before the transaction is concluded. The PRIIPs Regulation exempts, until December 31, 2019, management and investment companies and persons advising on or selling Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities from the obligation to produce and provide a PRIIPs KID. This is because the UCITS Directive separately requires these entities to provide investors with a Key Investor Information Document, with different but broadly similar contents requirements. As a result, if there were no changes made to the EU legislation, UCITS would be subject to duplicative information requirements from January 1, 2020. To address this situation, the ESAs proposed amending the Regulatory Technical Standards under the PRIIPs Regulation by moving the UCITS KIID requirements to the PRIIPs RTS.

    Read more.
  • EU Agrees Final EMIR Refit
    02/05/2019

    On February 5, 2019, the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament reached a preliminary agreement on the draft Regulation amending the European Market Infrastructure Regulation, known as EMIR Refit or EMIR 2.1. The final text is likely to be published in the Official Journal of the European Union in April or May this year. Subject to a few exceptions, the changes will apply directly in all EU member states 20 days from that publication date. There may be minor drafting changes as the text is vetted by technicians and translated prior to its publication, but the legal position should be unaffected by this.

    Read more.
  • European Securities and Markets Authority Consults on Stress Tests for Investment Funds
    02/05/2019

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published a consultation paper on its proposed guidelines for liquidity stress testing in Alternative Investment Funds and Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities. The paper has been published in response to the European System Risk Board's 2018 Recommendation on mitigating liquidity and leverage risks in investment funds, which requires that ESMA produces guidance on the practice to be followed by managers for the stress testing of liquidity risk for AIFs and UCITS. 

    Read more.
    TOPIC: Funds
  • UK Regulator Consults on Proposed Changes to Handbook to Implement EU Shareholder Rights Directive II
    01/30/2019

    The Financial Conduct Authority has launched a consultation on proposed revisions to the Handbook to implement changes made to the EU Revised Shareholder Rights Directive. The Directive aims to promote shareholder engagement, effective stewardship and long-term investment decision-making through enhancing the transparency of engagement policies and investment strategies across the institutional investment community.

    Read more.
  • European Securities and Markets Authority Publishes Recommendations on Crypto-Assets and Initial Coin Offerings
    01/09/2019

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published a report on the application and suitability of the EU securities regulatory framework to crypto-assets, including Initial Coin Offerings. The report is in response to the European Commission's request in its FinTech Action Plan 2018. Like the European Banking Authority, which published a report on the same day in relation to banking sector issues, ESMA found that EU activities related to crypto-assets are fairly low and do not present any financial stability risks.

    ESMA's report focuses on the legal qualification of crypto-assets under EU financial securities laws and highlights that this may differ across EU member states because it will be subject to the national laws implementing EU legislation. ESMA notes that there is currently no legal definition of crypto-assets and that a key consideration is whether a crypto-asset qualifies as a financial instrument under the revised Markets in Financial Instruments package. Where a crypto-asset qualifies as a MiFID financial instrument, the full requirements under various securities legislation may apply, subject to any applicable exemptions.  According to ESMA, the rules in the Prospectus Directive would apply to an issue of crypto-assets offered to the public, including through an ICO, where the instruments are transferable securities. 

    Read more.
  • UK Draft Directions for EEA Funds and Fund Managers Wanting to Continue to Market in the UK Post-Brexit
    01/07/2019

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has published two draft Directives relating to Brexit under the: (1) draft Collective Investment Schemes (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019; and (2) Alternative Investment Fund Managers Regulations 2013, as amended by the draft Alternative Investment Fund Managers (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019. These draft regulations will establish a Temporary Permissions Regime enabling EEA funds that currently market in the U.K. under an EEA passport to continue to do so for three years after the U.K. exits the EU.

    Read more.
  • UK Competition Authority Publishes Final Report on the Investment Consultants Market Investigation
    12/12/2018

    The U.K. Competition and Markets Authority has published its Final Report on the Investment Consultants Market Investigation. The Investigation assessed the supply and acquisition of investment consultancy services and fiduciary management services. In its Provisional Decision Report, published on July 18, 2018, the CMA concluded that there is an adverse effect on competition which may result in material detriment to customers in both the investment consultancy and fiduciary management markets, although there are more concerns with the fiduciary management market. This finding is confirmed in the Final Report.

    In investment consultancy, the CMA considers that there is a low level of engagement by some customers in choosing and monitoring their provider. In addition, some customers may have difficulty in accessing and assessing the information needed to evaluate the quality of their existing investment consultant and identifying whether it would be to their advantage to use an alternative provider.

    Read more.
    TOPICS: CompetitionFunds
  • UK Legislation Published to Onshore the European Long-Term Investment Funds Regulation For Brexit
    11/19/2018

    HM Treasury has published a draft version of the Long-term Investment Funds (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018. The draft Regulations correct deficiencies in the directly applicable European Long-term Investment Funds Regulation to be retained on Brexit, which governs funds that invest into infrastructure and other long-term projects. The draft Regulations will primarily affect fund managers operating ELTIFs registered in the UK.

    Read more
  • International Body Proposes Framework for Assessing Fund Leverage
    11/14/2018

    The International Organization of Securities Commissions has launched a consultation on a proposed framework to help assess leverage used by investment funds. The consultation follows a recommendation to IOSCO from the Financial Stability Board in its January 2017 report, "Policy Recommendations to Address Structural Vulnerabilities from Asset Management Activities." The FSB recommended, among other things, that IOSCO should identify and/or develop consistent measures of leverage in funds to facilitate more meaningful monitoring of leverage for financial stability purposes and help enable direct comparisons across funds and at a global level.

    Read more.
    TOPICS: FundsShadow Banking
  • EU Supervisory Authority Consults on Proposed Guidelines on Money Market Fund Reporting Requirements
    11/13/2018

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has launched a consultation on proposed Guidelines for Money Market Fund Managers, to assist them in complying with their obligations, under the Money Market Funds Regulation, to report information to the relevant national regulator of each MMF they manage. The reporting obligation applies on at least a quarterly basis (or annually for MMFs with total assets under management not exceeding Euro 100 million). The European Commission adopted Implementing Technical Standards in April 2018, which specify the content of a reporting template that will be developed for the information. The ITS have applied since July 21, 2018 and MMF managers must begin submitting reports under the MMF Regulation in the first quarter of 2020.

    Read more.
    TOPICS: FundsShadow Banking
  • EU Proposals Aim to Avoid Duplicative Information Requirements on Investment Managers
    11/08/2018

    The Joint Committee of the European Supervisory Authorities have launched a consultation on amendments to the Key Information Document for Packaged Retail and Insurance-based Investment Products.

    Since January 1, 2018, the EU PRIIPs Regulation has required manufacturers of PRIIPs to prepare and publish a stand-alone, standardized Key Information Document for each of their PRIIPs. Those advising retail investors on PRIIPs, or selling PRIIPs to retail investors, must provide retail investors with a KID in good time before the transaction is concluded. The PRIIPs Regulation exempts until December 31, 2019 management and investment companies and persons advising on or selling Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities from the obligation to produce and provide a PRIIPs KID. The UCITS Directive requires these entities to provide investors with a Key Investor Information Document. As a result, if there were no changes made to the EU legislation, UCITS would be subject to duplicative information requirements from January 1, 2020. To address this situation, the ESAs are proposing to amend the Regulatory Technical Standards under the PRIIPs Regulation by moving the UCITS KIID requirements to the PRIIPs RTS.

    Read more.
  • UK Legislation Published to Onshore the EU Venture Capital Funds and Social Entrepreneurship Funds Regulations for Brexit
    10/31/2018

    HM Treasury has published the draft Venture Capital Funds (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018 and the draft Social Entrepreneurship Funds (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018, along with explanatory information. HM Treasury is also preparing draft Long-term Investment Funds (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018 and will publish these in due course.

    These draft "onshoring" statutory instruments will amend deficiencies in the retained versions of the following directly applicable EU Regulations:
    • the European Venture Capital Funds (EuVECA) Regulation, which governs funds that invest into small and medium-sized enterprises;
    • the European Social Entrepreneurship Funds (EuSEF) Regulation, which governs funds that invest into social investments; and
    • the European Long-term Investment Funds (ELTIF) Regulation, which governs funds that invest into infrastructure and other long-term projects.
    Read more.
  • EU Amending Legislation Published on Duties of Third-Party Custodians Safe-Keeping Fund Assets
    10/30/2018

    Amending Delegated Regulations on the safe-keeping duties of depositaries, supplementing the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive and the Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities Directive, have been published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

    The amending Delegated Regulations were adopted by the European Commission in July 2018. They amend existing delegated regulations under AIFMD and UCITS relating to the safekeeping of AIF and UCITS clients' assets respectively, to ensure a more uniform approach is adopted across the EU. The amendments clarify that where a depositary for an AIF or UCITS delegates safe-keeping functions to a third party custodian, the clients' assets must be segregated at the level of the delegate (i.e. from the delegate's own assets but not from those of its other clients). This should prevent interpretation of the segregation obligations as requiring separate accounts per depositary and per type of fund at each level of the custody chain. The respective Delegated Regulations set out how that obligation should be fulfilled to ensure a clear identification of assets belonging to a particular AIF or UCITS and the protection of assets in the event of the depositary or custodian entering insolvency.

    The amending Delegated Regulations enter into force on November 19, 2018 and will apply directly across the EU from April 1, 2020.

    View the amending Delegated Regulation under AIFMD ((EU) 2018/1618).

    View the amending Delegated Regulation under UCITS ((EU) 2018/1619).
    TOPIC: Funds
  • European Commission Announces Work Plan for 2019
    10/23/2018

    The European Commission has published a Communication, outlining its work plan for 2019. The Communication is addressed to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions. The Communication discusses the ongoing challenges for the EU in the run-up to the European Parliamentary elections and the post-Brexit Summit in Sibiu at which a new multi-annual framework for the EU27 will be finalized.

    Separately published Annexes to the Communication relating to: (i) new initiatives; (ii) REFIT initiatives; (iii) priority pending proposals; (iv) legislative initiatives that have been withdrawn; and (v) a list of envisaged repeals. Priority pending proposals of particular relevance to financial institutions include legislative proposals relating to the forthcoming sustainable finance package, cross-border distribution of collective investment schemes, crowdfunding, amendments to the European Market Infrastructure Regulation, prudential regulation and supervision of investment firms and a proposed amending regulation relating to minimum loss coverage for non-performing exposures.

    Read more.
  • UK Conduct Regulator Consults on Brexit-Related Changes to Its Rulebook and Binding Technical Standards
    10/10/2018

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has published its first consultation on proposed changes to the FCA Handbook to ensure a functioning legal and regulatory framework for financial services in the event of a "no-deal" scenario whereby the U.K. exits the EU on March 29, 2019 without a ratified Withdrawal Agreement in place and there is consequently no transitional period for firms. The proposed amendments will not take effect if the U.K. enters into a transitional period after exit day.

    The consultation includes the FCA's proposals in relation to the Binding Technical Standards it has been empowered by HM Treasury to amend prior to Brexit and to maintain afterward. These are the retained EU "Level 2" delegated and implementing regulations that set out regulatory technical standards and implementing technical standards. The consultation also sets out the FCA's proposed approach to non-legislative "Level 3" materials such as guidelines, recommendations and opinions that will also be onshored.

    The FCA states in the consultation that the majority of the proposed changes are consequential in nature and follow the amendments to retained EU law that HM Treasury is proposing, as set out in the series of financial services-related statutory instruments being made under the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018.

    Read more.
  • UK Conduct Regulator Consults on Post-Brexit Temporary Permissions Regime for EEA Firms and Funds
    10/10/2018

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has published a consultation on its proposed approach to a Temporary Permissions Regime for EEA firms and investment funds that currently provide services in the U.K. - either via a branch or cross-border - pursuant to a single market passport. The proposed TPR is designed to minimize the potential harm caused by an abrupt loss of the passport in a "no-deal" scenario, in which the U.K. exits the EU without a ratified Withdrawal Agreement, which would mean that there would be no transitional period following Brexit and that the U.K. would be treated as a third-country after exit day. The TPR will enable EEA firms and investment funds to continue to provide services in the U.K. for a limited period following exit day.

    The proposed TPR will take effect on March 29, 2019 in the event of no deal. Should the U.K. and EU negotiations lead to ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement, the TPR will not enter into force. Instead, during the transitional period, firms and investment funds would continue to have access to the same passporting arrangements as they do now.

    Read more.
  • UK Conduct Regulator Consults on Illiquid Assets and Open-Ended Funds
    10/08/2018

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has launched a consultation on illiquid assets and open-ended funds, following responses from stakeholders to a discussion paper it issued early in 2017. After observing the impact of certain temporary fund suspensions following the U.K.'s 2016 referendum on exiting the EU, the FCA considers that open ended funds investing in illiquid assets have a potential structural liquidity mismatch which, under stress, can create a "first mover" advantage that may lead to runs on funds and sales of fund assets at reduced prices.

    The FCA is consulting on a number of proposals to alleviate the risk of poor outcomes to retail investors in open ended funds, specifically non-UCITS retail schemes (NURSs), that invest in illiquid assets. The consultation includes a proposed approach to defining "inherently illiquid assets," examples of which include property or infrastructure investments.

    In addition to the responses received to its discussion paper, the FCA's consultation proposals are also informed by its supervisory work and by the revised version of the Recommendations on Liquidity Risk Management for Collective Investment Schemes published in February 2018 by the International Organization of Securities Commissions.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: Funds
  • Draft UK Post-Brexit Legislation to Onshore Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive Published
    10/08/2018

    HM Treasury has published a draft of the Alternative Investment Fund Managers (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018, along with explanatory information. The draft Regulations will onshore the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive for Brexit.

    The draft Regulations are primarily relevant for Alternative Investment Fund Managers that are already regulated in the U.K. under the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Regulations 2013 and AIFMs currently marketing EEA AIFs in the U.K. They are also relevant for fund managers that market EEA Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities (UCITS) into the U.K. HM Treasury has published separately the draft U.K. legislation to onshore EU legislation for UCITS funds for Brexit.

    The draft Regulations have been prepared in preparation for a "no-deal" scenario, in which the U.K. exits the EU on March 29, 2019 without a ratified Withdrawal Agreement. The no-deal scenario addressed in the draft Regulations involves no transitional period following Brexit and the U.K. being treated as a third-country under EU law after exit day. The changes set out in the draft Regulations will not take effect on exit day if the U.K. enters a transition period.

    Read more.
  • Draft UK Post-Brexit Legislation to Onshore EU UCITS Directive Published
    10/08/2018

    HM Treasury has published a draft of the Collective Investment Schemes (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018, along with explanatory information. The draft Regulations will onshore the Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities (UCITS) Directive for Brexit.

    The draft Regulations are primarily relevant for EEA fund managers operating UCITS authorized in the U.K., fund managers marketing EEA UCITS into the U.K. and depositaries that provide services to U.K. authorized funds. HM Treasury has also published separately the draft U.K. legislation to onshore EU legislation for Alternative Investment Funds for Brexit.

    The draft Regulations have been prepared in preparation for a "no-deal" scenario, in which the U.K. exits the EU on March 29, 2019 without a ratified Withdrawal Agreement. The no-deal scenario would mean that there would be no transitional period following Brexit and that the U.K. would be treated as a third-country after exit day. The changes set out in the draft Regulations will not take effect on exit day if the U.K. enters a transition period.

    Read more
  • European Supervisory Authorities and European Commission Disagree on Retail Fund Investor Disclosures
    10/01/2018

    The Joint Committee of the European Supervisory Authorities (i.e., the European Banking Authority, the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority and the European Securities and Markets Authority) has published a letter it has sent to the European Commission, in response to a request from the European Commission on August 10, 2018 for the ESAs to develop guidance on facilitating the production and distribution of information on investment funds.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: Funds
  • Proposed Revisions to EU Guidelines on Stress Testing of Money Market Funds
    09/28/2018

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has opened a consultation on proposed updates to the Guidelines on stress test scenarios for Money Market Funds under the Money Market Fund Regulation. The MMF Regulation has applied directly across the EU since July 21, 2018. MMFs are fund vehicles that invest in highly liquid short-term debt instruments, such as government bonds and often regarded as a short-term cash management function alternative to bank deposits.

    The MMF Regulation tasks ESMA with developing Guidelines on common reference parameters of the stress test scenarios to be included in the stress tests that managers of MMFs are required to conduct. ESMA's original Guidelines, published in March 2018, include specifications for the stress tests, including common parameters and scenarios which take into account certain hypothetical risk factors. The Guidelines must be reviewed at least annually and updated for any market developments.

    The consultation paper proposes updating the section in the Guidelines on the establishment of common reference stress test scenarios, the results of which should be included in the reporting template that managers of MMFs are required to use. ESMA is seeking feedback on the methodology, risk factors, data and the calculation of the impact. The calibration of stress test scenarios is not within scope of the consultation. However, feedback on how to calibrate the scenarios would be welcomed by ESMA.

    Responses to the consultation should be submitted by December 1, 2018. ESMA intends to finalize the revised Guidelines in Q1 2019.

    View the consultation paper.
    TOPIC: Funds
  • UK Conduct Regulator Consults on Rule Alignments for EU Securitization Framework
    08/01/2018

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has launched a consultation on proposed changes to its rules to ensure consistency with the provisions of the directly applicable EU Securitization Regulation (also known as the STS Regulation) and related amendments to the Capital Requirements Regulation, which take effect across the EU on January 1, 2019. This forthcoming EU legislation will introduce a new framework for simple, transparent and standardized securitizations, intended to make the EU securitization market function more effectively.

    Read more.
    TOPICS: FundsSecurities
  • UK Competition Authority Consults on Proposed Remedies to Adverse Competition in the Investment Consultancy and Fiduciary Management Markets
    07/18/2018

    The U.K. Competition and Markets Authority has published a Provisional Decision Report in respect of the Investment Consultants Market Investigation in which it is assessing the supply and acquisition of investment consultancy services and fiduciary management services. The CMA has already published several working papers and an Issues Statement as part of the investigation.

    The Provisional Decision Report sets out the CMA's assessment of the investment consultancy and fiduciary management markets, its general conclusions on competition, its provisional decision on competition and provisional remedies to address the identified competition issues. The CMA's provisional finding is that there is an adverse effect on competition which may result in material detriment to customers in both the investment consultancy and fiduciary management markets, although there are more concerns with the fiduciary management market.

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    TOPICS: CompetitionFunds
  • UK Conduct Regulator Publishes Interim Report on Investment Platforms Market Study
    07/16/2018

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has published an Interim report as part of its market study to ascertain whether competition between investment platforms is working in the interests of consumers. The FCA launched the investment platforms market study in July 2017 after potential competition issues in the sector were highlighted in the course of its asset management market study, on which it issued its final report in June 2017.

    The FCA has been assessing competition in the sector by exploring a range of areas, namely: barriers to entry and expansion; business models; platform profitability; the impact of financial advisers; and consumer preferences and behaviour. Noting the increasing vertical integration in the sector, the FCA has also been examining commercial relationships between platforms, asset managers, discretionary investment managers and financial advisers.

    The FCA has found that the market appears largely to be working well for both advised and non-advised consumers and that customer satisfaction is currently high. However, the FCA has found that there are some customers for whom the market is not working as well as it should. The interim report highlights the issues the FCA has identified and consults on proposed remedies. The report is supported by eight annexes covering elements of the FCA's research and findings so far.

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    TOPICS: CompetitionFundsMiFID II
  • EU Secondary Legislation for Money Market Funds Published
    07/13/2018

    A Commission Delegated Regulation amending and supplementing the European Money Market Funds Regulation has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union. The MMF Regulation, which applies directly across the EU from July 21, 2018, allows MMFs to invest in securitizations or asset-backed commercial paper and incentivizes the investment in simple, transparent and standardized securitizations. The Delegated Regulation amends the MMF Regulation (or MMFR) by applying the requirements for STS securitizations provided for in the Securitization Regulation (also known as the STS Regulation).

    The MMF Regulation also allows an MMF to enter into a reverse repurchase agreement provided that certain conditions are met. The assets received by the MMF under that agreement must be money market instruments that meet certain requirements. A derogation from those requirements provides that an MMF may also receive instruments that are either: (i) issued or guaranteed by the EU, a central authority or central bank of a Member State, the European Central Bank, the European Investment Bank, the European Stability Mechanism or the European Financial Stability Facility; or (ii) issued or guaranteed by a central authority or central bank of a third country. The Delegated Regulation supplements the MMF Regulation by providing the quantitative and qualitative liquidity requirements for the assets that an MMF receives under a reverse repurchase agreement where the derogation is being used.

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    TOPICS: FundsSecurities
  • European Commission Adopts Regulations Clarifying Duties of Third-Party Custodians Safe-Keeping Fund Assets
    07/12/2018

    The European Commission has adopted revisions to the Delegated Regulations on the safekeeping duties of depositaries under both the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive and the Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities Directive. The Commission consulted on the proposed changes between May 29 and June 26, 2018. Following feedback received during that consultation the Commission has agreed to defer the date from which the revisions will apply to 18 months after publication in the Official Journal of the European Union. It had been proposed that the revisions would apply from six months of publication. In addition, the Commission has made certain changes to the text to improve the clarity of the requirements without introducing any further substantive changes.

    The adopted Delegated Regulations are subject to review by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union. If there is no objection from either of those bodies, the revised Delegated Regulations should apply directly across the EU from Spring 2020.

    View the amending Delegated Regulation under AIFMD.

    View the amending Delegated Regulation under UCITS.

    View details of the proposed revisions to the Delegated Regulations.
    TOPIC: Funds
  • UK Financial Conduct Authority Confirms UK Rule Alignments for the EU Money Market Funds Regulation
    07/11/2018

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has published a Policy Statement outlining the rule changes necessary to align its rulebook with the provisions of the EU Money Market Funds Regulation.

    The FCA has made changes to amend, delete or disapply rules in its Handbook to MMFs to ensure those rules do not conflict with the MMFR. The regulator consulted on the proposed changes between January and March 2018. The amended rules apply from July 21, 2018 to new MMFs, including funds with substantially similar objectives to MMFs, once they are authorized as MMFs under the MMFR. Funds already operating as either MMFs or funds falling within the current definition of short-term money market funds in the FCA's rules will benefit from transitional provisions and will have until July 21, 2019 to apply for authorization under the MMFR.

    The MMFR takes effect directly across the EU from July 21, 2018. The effect of the MMFR in the U.K. will be that authorized unit trusts, authorized contractual schemes, open-ended investment companies and alternative investment funds can all apply to be authorized as MMFs. As a directly applicable EU regulation, the MMFR does not require transposition into national law. However these changes have been made to ensure the U.K. rules are in line with EU laws and empower the FCA to authorize funds as MMFs, to levy fees and to enforce requirements under the MMFR.

    View the Policy Statement (FCA PS 18/17).

    View details of the FCA consultation on proposed Handbook changes.

    View details of the U.K. implementing regulations for the MMFR.
    TOPICS: FundsShadow Banking
  • UK Competition and Markets Authority to Impose Confidentiality Ring for Provisional Decision Report on the Investment Consultants Market Investigation
    07/02/2018

    The U.K. Competition and Markets Authority has published a notice of intention to operate a confidentiality ring, following publication of the Provisional Decision Report on the Investment Consultants Market Investigation. The CMA is assessing the supply and acquisition of investment consultancy services and fiduciary management services. As part of the investigation, the CMA has received information and/or data from a number of parties. This data has been used by the CMA in the investigation, in particular in preparing the Provisional Decision Report, which will be published in mid-July 2018. The notice:
    • provides a description of the data that has been used;
    • sets the timing of the confidentiality ring - from 9.30 am on the date of publication of the Provisional Decision Report until 5 pm on the date five weeks thereafter; and
    • stipulates the access conditions under the confidentiality ring, including completion of an undertaking by those wishing to access the confidentiality ring, the form of which is set out in an annex.

    View the CMA's notice.

    View the form of undertaking.
    TOPICS: CompetitionFunds
  • UK Implementing Regulations for the Money Market Funds Regulation Published
    06/11/2018

    The Money Market Funds Regulations 2018 have been laid before Parliament and will enter into force partly on June 28, 2018 and fully on July 21, 2018. The EU Money Market Funds Regulation came into force on July 20, 2017 and will apply directly across the EU from July 21, 2018. MMFs are fund vehicles that invest in highly liquid short-term debt instruments, such as government bonds, often used by institutions as a short-term cash management function as an alternative to bank deposits. The effect of the MMFR in the U.K. will be that authorized unit trusts, authorized contractual schemes, open-ended investment companies and alternative investment funds can all apply to be authorized as MMFs.

    The MMFR does not require transposition into the national law of EU Member States. However, U.K. legislation must be amended to empower the Financial Conduct Authority to authorize funds as MMFs, to levy fees and to enforce requirements under MMFR.

    Read more.
    TOPICS: FundsShadow Banking
  • EU Consultation on Duties of Third-Party Custodians Safe-Keeping Fund Assets
    05/29/2018

    The European Commission is consulting on revisions to the Delegated Regulations on the safekeeping duties of depositaries under both the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive and the Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities Directive. Both the AIFMD and the UCITS Directive require that where a depositary delegates safekeeping functions to third party custodians, the assets also need to be segregated at the level of the delegate. The respective Delegated Regulations set out how that obligation should be fulfilled to ensure a clear identification of assets belonging to a particular AIF or UCITS and the protection of assets in the event of the depositary or custodian entering insolvency.

    The proposed changes follow the European Securities and Markets Authority's Opinion, "Asset segregation and application of depositary delegation rules to CSDs", issued on July 20, 2017. In its Opinion, ESMA identified that the delegation rules are being applied in different ways by EU Member States' national regulators and market participants and invited the Commission to make clarifications to the rules. The Commission concurs that the Delegated Regulations need to be amended to ensure a more uniform approach is adopted across the EU.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: Funds
  • Implementing Technical Standards Published For Reporting by Money Market Fund Managers
    05/15/2018

    A Commission Implementing Regulation has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union, setting out Implementing Technical Standards for a standard reporting template to be used by money market fund managers when complying with their reporting requirements under the Money Market Funds Regulation. The Commission Implementing Regulation is based on the final draft ITS submitted by the European Securities and Markets Authority to the European Commission in November 2017.

    The MMFR requires MMF managers to report quarterly to the relevant national regulator, supplying information including on the characteristics, portfolio indicators, assets, and liabilities of the MMF. This information is required to enable those national regulators to detect, monitor and respond to risks in the MMF market. The information is also forwarded to ESMA, which maintains a central database of MMFs.

    Read more.
    TOPICS: FundsShadow Banking
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