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Press Release

Thursday 26 July 2012

IMA WELCOMES EU DEBATE ON THE EVOLUTION OF UCITS BUT CAUTIONS AGAINST RESTRICTING INVESTOR CHOICE

The European Commission has today launched a consultation on various issues relating to the investment techniques of UCITS. The consultation also considers the need to create a culture in which retail investors take a longer-term and strategic view when investing in funds, and for UCITS to be able to participate in social businesses.

Commenting on today’s consultation, Julie Patterson, IMA Director of Authorised Funds & Tax, said:

“This consultation is timely.  It completes the package of current discussions about the evolution of UCITS, Europe’s pre-eminent regulated investment product for retail investors.

“As the Commission itself noted in 2009, the existing UCITS regulatory framework has proved very resilient, including in very difficult market conditions such as the recent credit crisis.  Moreover, enhanced guidelines on such matters as risk management have already further strengthened the UCITS framework, and the new consumer-tested disclosure document – the ‘KIID’ - is now in place.

“The Commission is right to focus on creating a European investment culture where retail investors take a longer-term and strategic view when investing in funds.  But it is important that we do not place unnecessary additional restrictions or costs on UCITS to the extent that those with modest amounts to invest cannot achieve their longer-term aspirations in a cost-effective manner.  We must avoid investment strategies being inappropriately limited within UCITS but readily accessed via less regulated products. Also, it is essential that existing, well-regulated delegation practices be allowed to continue.  The case for alignment of UCITS and AIFMD rules can only be assessed once the AIFMD Level 2 measures are published.

 “We also welcome the opportunity to secure a small number of technical changes that IMA has been seeking.  These are needed in order for investors to benefit from the operational efficiencies intended by ‘UCITS IV’.  In relation to cross border fund mergers, this will also require tax hurdles to be addressed.”

-ENDS-

Notes to editors

1. The Commission consultation covers the regulation of Money Market Funds, use of securities lending and repurchase (repo) arrangements, the treatment of centrally-cleared OTC derivatives and various other matters.

2. Other current UCITS-related discussions include yesterday’s release by ESMA of Guidelines on exchange-traded funds (ETFs), ESMA’s further consultation on the treatment of repo and reverse repo arrangements, and the Commission’s ‘UCITS V’ proposals regarding depositaries, the manager’s remuneration policy and sanctions.

For further information please contact:

Mona Patel, Head of Communications
mpatel@investmentuk.org  
020 7831 0898 or 07834 089332

Navdeep Sidhu, Press Officer
nsidhu@investmentuk.org
020 7831 0898 or 07843 517 618

Christina Bridge, Press Assistant
cbridge@investmentuk.org
020 7831 0898

About the Investment Management Association:

  • The IMA is the trade body for the UK's £3.9 trillion asset management industry (retail and institutional) which is one of the world's leading investment management centres.
  • Our role is to represent the interests of the asset management industry to government and regulators both in the UK and internationally.
  • The money our members manage is in a wide variety of investment vehicles including authorised investment funds, pension funds and stocks and shares ISAs.

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