On 21-22 November 2023, the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) hosted the ASIC Annual Forum with a focus on ‘navigating disruption’. With heightened geopolitical uncertainty and market volatility, ASIC outlined its key focus areas for 2024:Read More
By: Jim Bulling and Ben Kneebush
As previously discussed in our post, the Australian Treasury has proposed to introduce mandatory climate-related financial disclosure standards in Australia. This will have a profound impact on the financial services industry, as financial services entities (including superannuation funds) will be captured by this disclosure framework. Under a phased implementation, reporting commences on 1 July 2024 for certain large entities.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
The Australia Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) has published a report on its regulatory interventions made between 1 July 2022 and 31 March 2023 in relation to greenwashing concerns (which can be accessed here). The report covers ASIC’s issuance of greenwashing infringement notices during the period and its observed increase in representations made by listed companies, managed funds and superannuation funds on environmental, social and governance credentials.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
By Jim Bulling and Anabelle Weinberg
1. ASIC takes further action on greenwashing
ASIC has issued three infringement notices to investment manager Vanguard Investments Australia Ltd (Vanguard) in further action against alleged greenwashing.
ASIC was concerned that Product Disclosure Statements for the Vanguard International Shares Select Exclusions Index Funds may have misled the public by overstating an investment screen which claimed to prevent investment in companies involved in significant tobacco sales.Read More
By Jim Bulling and Anabelle Weinberg
1. New requirements for Australian Superannuation Funds in relation to unlisted assets
The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has revoked Prudential Standard SPS 530 Investment Governance and issued a new version which will commence on 1 January 2023.Read More