EFAMA agrees in principle with many of ESMA’s suggested approaches in their consultation on guidelines on certain aspects of the MIFID II appropriateness and execution-only requirements.
Distribution & Client Disclosures
EFAMA monitors issues surrounding fund distribution and disclosures to investors. These include investor protection and disclosure issues arising from the evolving PRIIPs and MiFID frameworks, the shift towards digital distribution tools, and the continued integration of ESG considerations into fund products.
EFAMA welcomes the ESAs’ official approval of the revised PRIIPs RTS and is now awaiting the Commission’s endorsement to have the RTS approved by the European co-legislators.
Originally, the Commission had intended to endorse the revised RTS by Q1 2020. With less than nine months remaining until the 31 December 2021 implementation deadline, there is now simply not enough time for fund managers and other product manufacturers to properly implement the envisaged wide-ranging changes. We explain why in more detail below.
A flawed review process not tackling the heart of the issue
EFAMA has always made it clear that a revision of the PRIIPs Regulatory Technical Standard (RTS) falls short of conducting a proper Level 1 review. A review that is explicitly required by the Level 1 Regulation and is overdue for more than one year.
In July the European Commission released their long-awaited Retail Investment Strategy, including multiple proposals aimed at boosting retail participation in capital markets. EFAMA has provided comments on this in their ‘Have your say’ forum, where we briefly highlight some of our main concerns.
EFAMA, together with EBF, Insurance Europe, EACB, EAPB, ESBG and EUSIPA, issued a public letter addressed to Vice-President Dombrovskis, Commissioners McGuinness and Director-General Berrigan, remarking the importance of advice for European retail investors and the need to maintain the coexistence of fee-based and commission-based advice.
ESMA’s Consultation paper on the review of the guidelines on MiFID II product governance requirements
EFAMA wholeheartedly supports ESMA’s objective of ensuring a consistent and harmonised application of the MiFID II product governance requirements. In our response to their consultation on the topic, we raised the following points:
Funds face unique challenges in performing intermediary oversight, and especially so because of MiFID II requirements, changing regulatory landscapes, and the absence of an industry agreed-upon standard between funds and their distribution channels. To help address these challenges, a dedicated working group developed a uniform due diligence questionnaire (DDQ) that will serve as the standard for investment funds (UCITS and AIFs) in performing onboarding and ongoing oversight of distribution channels.