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FSA consults on European rules for fund managers

FSA consults on European rules for fund managers

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has issued a consultation paper on how to implement European Union requirements for fund managers into UK law

The Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) rules must be implemented by 22 July 2013 and is meant to harmonise member states of the EU.

The AIFMD applies to investment companies and a wide range of firms that manage funds, including hedge funds, private equity funds and retail investment funds.

The FSA’s consultation addresses:

• the prudential regime for all types of alternative investment fund manager (AIFM), including capital requirements, risk of professional negligence, the liquid assets requirement and reporting matters, as well as changes affecting Ucits management companies;

• the regime for depositaries, including the eligibility of firms to be an AIFM depositary, the capital requirements, and the requirement to act independently; and

• the directive requirements on AIFMs, including organisational matters, duties in relation to management of funds, and transparency obligations towards investors and the Financial Conduct Authority.

The FSA said that the directive will apply to significant number of UK-based firms managing the assets of retail and professional investors.

Fund managers as well as operators of collective investments schemes, operators of personal pension schemes or stakeholder might also see their regulatory fees rise if their firms are in the scope of AIFMD.

Sheila Nicoll, head of conduct policy at the FSA, said: ‘We want to give firms as much time as we can to consider our proposals and prepare for implementation. Work is continuing at EU level and there are still uncertainties around aspects of AIFMD.

‘However, there are a number of areas where we do have certainty and we have focused on these in our consultation.  Where we can, we will take a flexible approach that seeks to avoid imposing requirements which go beyond those of the directive.’

The proposed rules and guidance reflect the Level 1 Directive only, as the European Commission has not yet issued its Level 2 regulation. The consultation closes on 1 February 2013.

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