The FCA has published its final rules on the UK’s Sustainability Disclosure Requirements (SDR) regime. The key features include:Read More
Following their adoption and publication in draft form by the European Commission last June, two new EU Taxonomy delegated acts were published in the Official Journal on 21 November, and will apply from January 2024. They confirm new and amended technical screening criteria (TSCs) in relation to the environmental objectives in the Taxonomy Regulation. This is a significant build-out in the application of the Taxonomy Regulation given that for an economic activity to be taxonomy-aligned, it must:Read More
On 1 November 2023, the Central Bank of Ireland, published its European Long Term Investment Fund (ELTIF) consultation paper (the “CP”) which is now open for industry feedback for an expedited six week period until 13 December 2023. The CP relates to the proposed standalone ELTIF chapter set to be introduced into the Central Bank’s Alternative Investment Fund Rulebook, which will facilitate ELTIFs becoming a standalone regulated product in Ireland as discussed in our previous blog here.Read More
On 14 September, the European Commission launched both a public consultation and a targeted consultation on the implementation of the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR).
The Commission aims to understand how the SFDR has been implemented since its initial application in March 2021, as well as to gain an understanding of its potential deficiencies, and to explore potential improvements of the European framework for sustainable finance. These consultations form part of the Commission’s comprehensive assessment of the SFDR framework that was first announced by Commissioner Mairéad McGuinness in December 2022. While the public consultation is addressed to a wide range of individuals and organisations with a general knowledge of the SFDR, the targeted consultation is aimed at financial market participants (FMPs), investors, NGOs, public authorities, regulators, and others that are either subject to the provisions of the SFDR or otherwise have an in-depth knowledge or experience in the area of sustainable finance disclosures.Read More
On the 16 August 2023, following positive engagement with the Central Bank of Ireland (the “CBI”), Irish Funds (the Irish funds industry representative body) announced that the CBI had indicated that it intends to develop a standalone European Long Term Investment Fund (ELTIF) chapter to be included in the CBI’s Alternative Investment Fund (‘AIF’) Rulebook. This will result in ELTIFs becoming a standalone regulated product in Ireland and facilitate the authorisation by the CBI of ELTIFs under Regulation (EU) 2015/760 and its upcoming amending regulation, Regulation (EU) 2023/606 (the ‘ELTIF Regulations’).Read More
On 6 July, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) announced it had launched a Common Supervisory Action (CSA) with National Competent Authorities (NCAs) on the integration of sustainability risks and on sustainability-related disclosures in the investment fund sector.Read More
On 20 July, the European Commission announced political agreement between the European Parliament and the European Council on proposed amendments to the EU’s Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD). This follows the Commission’s proposal in the form of a draft directive amending AIFMD (AIFMD 2) issued in November 2021, protracted negotiations between the Commission, the Council and the European Parliament since 8 March of this year, and the issuance in June of a compromise text by the Council.Read More
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has suggested that the European Commission should clarify the costs that UCITS management companies and AIFMs may pass on to investors under existing rules that prohibit “undue costs”. Costs for this purpose include fees payable to the manager and other fund service providers and all other one-off, recurring or transaction-related costs. The purpose of the proposed clarification would be to provide for better convergence between the approaches of different EU member states, and a better basis for national regulators to take supervisory and enforcement actions in this area.Read More
On 24 March, the Central Bank of Ireland issued a “Dear Chair” letter following its review in 2021 of the costs and fees charged to UCITS as part of the ESMA Common Supervisory Action (the CSA).
The letter, which is addressed to Irish UCITS fund management companies (FMCs), sets out the Central Bank’s main findings from the 2021 review and its expectations on actions to be taken by FMCs to address deficiencies identified. Despite the focus being on UCITS FMCs, the Central Bank specifically emphasises that it will expect its findings and actions to be considered also by Irish AIFMs with reference to AIFs under management.Read More
On 12 April 2023, the German Ministry of Justice (Bundesministerium der Justiz) published a legislative proposal which would broaden the eligible assets for German open-ended real estate funds to include certain renewable energy assets. The proposal mentions both facilities for the generation, transport and storage of electricity, gas or heat from renewable energy sources, and charging stations for electric vehicles and bikes. The proposed rules would, for the first time, allow investment in facilities which are on open land and not directly connected with a building held by the fund. The new rules may also have an impact on non-German real estate funds available to certain German investors. For example, German pension schemes may require that non-German real estate funds share certain features with similar German funds.