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.
We welcome yesterday's vote by the European Parliament plenary formally adopting two ‘quick fixes’ for PRIIPs (Packaged retail investments and insurance-based products) and UCITS (Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities).
Andreas Stepnitzka, EFAMA Deputy Director, Regulatory Policy, comments:
EFAMA provided high-level comments to the Commission’s consultation on the potential review of the Directive on Distance Marketing of Consumer Financial Services.
We agree with the Commission’s interpretation that the Directive is seen as a “safety net” for financial services not already subject to product-specific legislation. Fund and asset managers are already subject to various, more stringent and detailed sectoral legislations, such as (but not limited to) UCITS, AIFMD and MiFID as well as the (more recent) Cross-Border Fund Distribution Directives.
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.