Investment management update
This month’s edition includes the following updates:
- the publication of the Long Term Asset Fund (LTAF) final rules;
- the Government’s roadmap to greening finance; and
- the EU’s creation of a new sub-set of ESG funds under the Taxonomy Regulation.
Asset management and financial services
- The Financial Services Regulatory Initiatives Forum, a body established to coordinate efforts between the UK’s financial regulators, has published its latest Regulatory Initiatives Grid. The grid contains 134 initiatives, including several related to ESG, the FCA’s new Consumer Duty, and a proposed review of appointed representatives (you can read our analysis of the review on our website).
- The FCA has published its long-awaited final rules for the Long Term Asset Fund (LTAF). The LTAF is a new UK authorised open-ended fund vehicle that aims to make it easier for pension savers and sophisticated retail investors to access private and illiquid assets. The LTAF will be launched on 15 November 2021. See our summary of the rules.
- The FCA has published its final rules for the Investment Firms Prudential Review (IFPR) in respect of its first two policy statements. A third and final policy statement is due to be published by the end of 2021.
- The Government has published its roadmap to greening finance. The roadmap outlines the components of the UK’s proposed sustainable finance regulatory regime. This spans Sustainability Disclosure Requirements, a green product label, a UK Green Taxonomy, stewardship initiatives and the UK’s approach to influencing the global approach to sustainable finance. You can read our analysis of the report on our website.
- The Government has published details of the new statutory framework requiring companies to report against the recommendations of the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures. Reporting (which is to include scenario analysis) will begin for financial years starting on or after 6 April 2022 and will apply to private companies with more than 500 employees and turnover above £500m.
- Ahead of the new regime, the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has published a report on voluntary reporting under the TCFD Framework, with recommendations.
- The Pensions Regulator has published its prosecution policy in relation to new criminal offences under the Pension Schemes Act 2021, which (alongside new financial penalties and bases for issuing contribution notices) came into force on 1 October 2021.
- The Treasury is asking for views on secondary capital raises by companies listed in the UK. It invites views on seven topics and secondary capital raises in general. It requests responses by 16 November 2021.
- The EBA has published final draft regulatory technical standards (RTS) on the disclosure of investment policies by investment firms. The disclosures concern a firm’s stewardship of investee companies and voting behaviour. The disclosures are due to begin on 31 December 2021.
- The ESAs have published their final report and final draft RTS under Article 8 of the Taxonomy Regulation. The legislation details additional disclosure rules for ESG funds that pursue environmental objectives (effectively, a subset of Article 8/light green and Article 9/dark green funds under the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation or SFDR). The European Commission is likely to adopt the Taxonomy RTS, along with the SFDR final RTS in a single legislative instrument by the end of the year).
- IOSCO has published its updated Principles on Outsourcing. The final report details seven principles for firms that outsource parts of their business. The last version of the principles was created in 2005.
Derivatives and trading
- The Government is consulting on a new regime to allow entities incorporated outside the UK to redomicile and move their registration to the UK whilst retaining their legal form. The consultation closes on 7 January 2022.
- The EU has permanently reduced the threshold for reporting net short positions under the Short Selling Regulation from 0.2% to 0.1%. The rule impacts any shares traded on an EU trading venue.