The Central Bank of Ireland (Central Bank) has responded positively to a request from industry that the operational date for the IMR should be delayed from 1 April 2016 until 1 July 2016. The Central Bank is engaged in the process required by law to effect this change including consultation with the Minister for Finance. Many funds (but not all) investment will be changing their processes to ensure that their subscription/redemption/ dividend accounts operate at an umbrella level as fund assets and so are not subject to the Investor Money Regulations (which will be effective from 1 July 2016) as detailed in our newsalert of 23 December 2015.
The transposition deadline for UCITS V is 18 March 2016. As of now the Delegated Level 2 Regulation supplementing UCITS V on the obligations of depositaries is not yet final, the ESMA Guidelines on sound remuneration policies under the UCITS Directive and AIFMD (the Guidelines) have not yet issued and the implementing technical standards are also still in draft form. By 18 March 2016, UCITS were to have in place UCITS V compliant depositary agreements, remuneration policies and procedures, whistleblowing policies and procedures, as well as prospectus and KIID updates. The ESMA UCITS Q&A (detailed below) has been of assistance in terms of the transition. Notwithstanding that Q&A, many UCITS and UCITS depositaries will be anxious to ensure that depositary agreements correctly reflect the legal position as of 18 March and any necessary disclosures are correctly reflected in prospectus and other documentation (particularly any additional depositary fees). Some updated depositary agreements will not be in place by 18 March, particularly where Central Bank review is required. While whistleblowing policies can be adopted, the correct approach to the adoption and implementation of remuneration policies and procedures is unclear. In the absence of final Guidelines, our view is that UCITS should adopt remuneration policies and procedures (if practicable) by 18 March on the basis that these will likely need to be updated. In our view, it would be unlikely that enforcement action would be taken if a policy had not been adopted, given the absence of the Guidelines.