The Technical Committee of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) released a report last week setting out principles designed to assist market authorities when considering requirements regarding point of sale disclosure. Specifically, the principles articulated by the report for disclosure of key information are:
- Key information should include disclosures that inform the investor of the fundamental benefits, risks, terms and costs of the product and the remuneration and conflicts associated with the intermediary through which the product is sold. Such product disclosure could include the name of the investment and type of product, the risk and reward profile of the product and its fees and costs.
- Key information should be delivered, or made available, for free, to an investor before the point of sale, so that the investor has the opportunity to consider the information and make an informed decision about whether to invest.
- Key information should be delivered or made available that is appropriate for the target investor.
- Disclosure of key information should be in plain language and in a simple, accessible and comparable format to facilitate a meaningful comparison of information disclosed for competing collective investment scheme products.
- Key information disclosures should be clear, accurate and not misleading to the target investor. Disclosures should be updated on a regular basis.
- In deciding what key information disclosure to impose on intermediaries and product producers, regulators should consider who has control over the information that is to be disclosed.
Closer to home, as we discussed in December, the Ontario Minister of Finance has now approved amendments to National Instrument 81-101 Mutual Fund Prospectus Disclosure, (first published in October 2010 and approved with minor changes) to implement point of sale disclosure for mutual funds. These amendments became effective on January 1.