It is essential to protect and maintain Ireland’s reputation as a leading location for regulated investment funds. The Department monitors and engages in the EU legislative process as it relates to investment fund structures. It develops primary and secondary domestic legislation and engages with all of the relevant stakeholders in the investment funds regulatory sphere. Stakeholders include the European Institutions, other government departments, the Central Bank and relevant Industry representative bodies
The following are the main EU financial services files which the Funds section is currently engaged with.
The Undertakings for collective investment in transferable securities directive (UCITS) makes a number of changes to the main Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities Directive in the following areas:
• depositary eligibility
• standard of depositary liability
S.I. No. 143/2016 - European Union Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities Amendment Regulations 2016 transposes the Directive into Irish law
The Packaged Retail and Insurance-Based Investment Products Regulation (PRIIPS) aims to provide simplified information to investors in retail investment products that come in ‘packaged’ form. 'Packaged form' is where the products intercede between the investor and the markets through a process of “packaging”, wrapping or bundling together assets. Doing this creates different exposures, provides different product features, or achieves different cost structures, as compared with a direct holding.
The European long-term investment funds (ELTIF) set out a new investment fund framework designed for investors who want to put money into companies and projects for the long term. These funds would only invest in businesses that need money to be committed to them for long periods of time. The transposed regulation is at ELTIF.
This Directive amends a number of existing pieces of European legislation to prevent issuers from relying mechanistically on credit ratings agencies. The funds unit deals with those elements of the Directive that effect UCITS and Alternative Investment Fund Managers.
The Regulation on European social entrepreneurship funds (EuSEF) sets out a new “European Social Entrepreneurship Fund” label, so investors can identify funds that focus on investing in European social businesses. The EuSEF Regulation has been transposed and is available here .
The Regulation on European venture capital funds (EuVECA) sets out a new “European Venture Capital” label, so investors can identify funds that focus on investing in European ‘start-up’ businesses. EuVECA has been transposed and can be found here .
Money Market Funds (MMF) are an important source of short-term financing for financial institutions, corporates and governments. The MMF Regulation aims to preserve the integrity of the internal market by promoting more resilient and robust MMFs, and has been transposed into Irish law here.
Upcoming Proposals from the European Commission include
• Securities Law Directive
• UCITS VI
• Domestic Legislation
In addition to its work on EU financial services files, the funds unit is responsible for primary and secondary legislation applicable to investment fund structures. As part of this role the unit was responsible for the Irish Collective Asset-management Vehicles Act 2015 .
Through the ICAV Act, the funds unit have introduced a funds structure that streamlines the way in which funds are established and operated. The ICAV Act minimises the administrative complexity and cost of establishing and maintaining collective investment schemes in Ireland. It also allows Ireland to maintain its competitive advantage as a funds domicile of choice in Europe.