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Press Release

Monday 30 January 2012

IMA: ESMA’s UCITS PROPOSALS SHOULD APPLY TO ALL EXCHANGE-TRADED PRODUCTS

The European Securities and Markets Authority’s (ESMA) proposed guidelines on ETFs and other UCITS issues, published today, take on board a number of points made by the IMA (Investment Management Association) to improve the clarity and consistent implementation of UCITS rules across the EU.

Responding to the proposals Julie Patterson, IMA Director of Authorised Funds and Tax, said:

“We agree with ESMA’s proposed guidelines for all UCITS funds to improve disclosure and to tighten rules on collateral, stock lending and use of ‘strategy’ indices.  For UK-authorised funds similar rules are already in place.  In addition, in the UK the independent depository has duties of oversight. We urge national regulators across the EU to adopt the UK’s approach to investor protection and to apply the UCITS rules and final guidelines consistently.

“The European Commission’s Packaged Retail Investment Products initiative seeks to ensure that all retail products are subject to similar rules on disclosure and selling, but we are concerned that this important principle will be eroded if different pieces of legislation apply to different products.  In particular, the issues highlighted by ESMA are relevant to all exchange-traded products, not just exchange-traded UCITS.
 
“We recognise that regulators remain concerned that some retail products are overly complex, but complexity does not necessarily equate to risk. Sophisticated investment strategies can maximise returns while minimising risk.  Removing so-called complexity could lead to investors not having access to the investment returns they seek within the UCITS framework.”

-ENDS-

Notes for Editors
The ESMA consultation paper can be found here.

For further information please contact:
Mona Patel, Head of Communications, IMA, 020 7831 0898 or 07834 089332
Christina Bridge, Press Assistant, IMA, 020 7831 0898

Email: press@investmentuk.org

About the Investment Management Association
The IMA is the trade body for the UK's £4 trillion asset management industry.  The money its members manage is in a wide variety of investment vehicles including authorised investment funds, pension funds and stocks and shares ISAs.  Our purpose is to support and promote a commercially successful and growing UK investment management industry as we seek to improve the financial outcomes for customers - savers and investors.
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