Q2 2021 Regulatory Update
- Starting in the EU, ESMA updated several Q&As relating to AIFMD, UCITs, EMIR Implementation, MiFID II/MiFIR, SFTR, CSDR, sustainability-related disclosures for benchmarks and Securitisation regulatory frameworks, while also releasing the 2020 annual AIF statistical report.
- Further to earlier updates relating to EU ESG framework, the Securities and Markets Stakeholders Group released advice on the Joint Consultation paper on Taxonomy-related sustainability disclosures released in March.
- With the ESEF regulation coming into effect in most EU countries in 2022, ESMA released its (1056 page!) final report on the draft RTS relating to the regulation’s taxonomy.
- On the AML/CFT front, the European Banking Authority recently launched a consultation on the creation of a central AML/CFT database in the EU.
- The EU Cross Border Distribution of Funds Directive, which focuses on pre-marketing in the EU, comes into effect on 2 August 2021. ESMA also recently published guidelines on the Directive. See our Insights for further details.
- Digital finance is a growing topic of interest which has not escaped ESMA’s radar with a consultation launched on the topic running until 1 August 2021.
- New prudential regimes for investment firms are coming into effect in the EU, with the introduction of the Investment Firm Directive/Regulation from 26 June 2021. Its UK equivalent, the IFPR, or Investment Firm Prudential Regime, remains under consideration with a second recent consultation launched by the FCA.
- Staying with the UK, the FCA launched several other consultations, one being on the much-anticipated change in listing rules in order to boost London as a jurisdiction of choice. Another consultation launched relates to the Long-Term Asset Fund with the objective of attracting more retail investors into private funds. On the Real Estate side, a consultation was also launched on residential property developer tax.
- The Channel Islands saw increased activity on economic substance for partnerships requirements further to last year’s ECOFIN report, with both Jersey and Guernsey releasing draft regulations for the former and a Circular for the latter. Read our Insights on the Jersey substance requirements for further details. The Guernsey Financial Services Commission also amended its Private Investment Fund regulatory framework by increasing the number of paths allowed to create a PIF. for the latter. Read our Insights on the Jersey substance requirements for further details. The Guernsey Financial Services Commission also amended its Private Investment Fund regulatory framework by increasing the number of paths allowed to create a PIF.
- The Luxembourg government recently published a draft bill with the objective of amending certain requirements for securitisation vehicles which will likely boost the Grand Duchy’s activity for these vehicles. Read our Insights for further details.
- In Mauritius, the Government formally launched the Special Purpose Fund in early June. Read our Insights for further details.
- In the US, the SEC published a Risk Alert which highlighted several risks relating to ESG practices by market participants. On the tax compliance side, the regulator also released draft forms for K2 and K3 reporting.
- The Cayman Islands authorities launched two consultations, one on the cancellation of licenses or certificates of registration for regulated mutual funds and private funds and the other being a second round of consultations relating to economic substance requirements for partnerships, a move similar to the Channel Islands mentioned above and also related to ECOFIN’s report.
- The Cayman Islands also announced the delaying of the Fund Annual Returns reporting deadlines for Privat Funds to 30 September 2021. CIMA also released amendments to Pillar three disclosure requirements.
- In Hong-Kong, the government approved the carried interest concession bill with the aim to boost the attractivity of the jurisdiction for private funds. Listen to our webcast for further details. On the ESG side, the HKMA released guidelines on the Green and Sustainable Finance Grant Scheme which will focus on general bond issuance and external transaction related fee review costs, and last for three years. Another new grant scheme released by Hong Kong focuses on Open-Ended Fund Companies and Real Estate Investment Trusts, running from 10 May 2021 to 9 May 2024. Read our Insights for further details.
- In Singapore, and in line with the recent increased interest in SPACs, the MAS launched a consultation on a proposed framework for listing rules.
Finally, the G7 Communiqué, hinted at upcoming reforms on corporate tax with the introduction of a global minimum rate of 15% and a new approach to taxation of multinationals in countries they operate. Next steps will be discussed at the upcoming G20 and at OECD levels.