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05 February 2019

European Commission: Capital Markets Union: Agreement reached on measures to improve the EU's investment fund market

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The Commission has welcomed the political agreement reached by the European Parliament and EU Member States on new rules to make it easier, quicker and cheaper for EU asset managers to sell funds to a wider range of investors.

Investment funds are an important tool to channel private savings into the economy and increase funding possibilities for companies. The EU investment funds market amounts to a total of €14.3 trillion. However, this market has not yet achieved its full potential. 70% of the total assets under management are held by investment funds authorised or registered for distribution only in their domestic market. Only 37% of Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities (UCITS) and about 3% of alternative investment funds (AIFs) are currently registered for distribution in more than 3 Member States. This is partly due to regulatory barriers that currently hinder the cross-border distribution of investment funds. 

This agreement will remove some of these barriers for all kinds of investment funds, making cross-border distribution more transparent, while removing overly complex and burdensome requirements and harmonising diverging national rules. Increased competition will give investors more choice and better value, while safeguarding a high level of investor protection.

More specifically, the main changes introduced by the new rules will:

  • Make it easier for EU alternative investment fund managers to test the appetite of potential professional investors in new markets (so-called ‘pre-marketing'). This will help them to take more informed commercial decisions before entering a new market.
  • Clarify customer service obligations for asset managers in their host Member State. This should ensure that investors have access to a uniform, high level of customer service across the EU without imposing on asset managers the cost of maintaining a physical presence or local facilities in all host markets.
  • Align procedures and conditions for managers of collective investment funds to exit national markets when they decide to terminate the offering or placement of their funds (so-called de-notification procedure)
  • Introduce increased transparency and creation of a single online access point for information on national rules related to marketing requirements and applicable fees. This should help managers who want to increase their cross-border activities to save the cost of legal advice on national rules.

Press release

© European Commission

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