Asset Management & Investment Funds: Irish Practice Developments - Aug 2020
CBI markets update
The Central Bank of Ireland (CBI) published issue 8 2020 of its markets updates. It contains updates from the CBI, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) and the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO). CBI updates include:
- Central Bank Q&A on the payment of distributions and variable remuneration by investment firms during the COVID-19 pandemic
- Central Bank publishes findings from inspection of investment firms’ compliance with appropriateness test for consumers
- Investor Warning: Retail investors at risk when trading in volatile markets
- Central Bank of Ireland communicates its expectations of investment firms when engaging in unregulated activities
The Companies (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Covid-19) Act 2020
The Companies (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Covid-19) Act 2020 has been commenced. The commencement was announced by way of press release on Friday, 21 August.
- The Commencement Order has not yet been published, so we cannot confirm that the commencement date is also 21 August, but this is likely.
- There is no mention of retrospective application (backdating of the legislation) in the press release.
- It would seem, based on the press release, that all provisions of the Act have been commenced at the same time.
The Act provides for the amendments required to the Companies Act 2014 in order to effect company law changes during the pandemic, which include:
- sealing by companies - individually executed documents deemed to be one instrument
- general meetings - postponement up to 31 December and/or electronic meetings
- dividend resolutions may be changed
This development was discussed in more detail in our July Question of the month.
COVID-19: CBI statement on e-signatures in regulatory documents and forms
The CBI issued a statement on the use of electronic signatures in regulatory documents and forms.
The CBI confirmed that, in the absence of any specific legal provision requiring a wet ink signature, regulated firms may use electronic signatures to submit regulatory documents and forms. Individuals using electronic signatures will be accountable for the content submitted in the same way as if they had used a traditional signature. The CBI reserves the right to require a wet ink signature where appropriate.
The CBI has stated that it will not comment on the use of electronic signatures more generally and regulated firms are advised to seek their own legal advice on the use of electronic signatures in specific circumstances. The CBI expects regulated firms to continue to meet their regulatory and statutory obligations on an ongoing basis including the requirement to have adequate internal systems and controls.
Cybersecurity: CBI expectations for funds and fund service providers
An increase in remote working has brought with it an increase in cybersecurity risks. Our Asset Management & Investment Funds team takes a look at the CBI's expectations around cybersecurity and implications for the Irish investment funds industry.
As part of our Soundbite Series, listen to a five minute overview of the key requirements from Olga Ashe, Associate.
ALG AudioLab Cybersecurity CBI expectations for funds and fund service providers
For more detailed information on the requirements you can download our publication from the link below.
AML: Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) (Amendment) Bill 2020
The cabinet approved the publication of the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) (Amendment) Bill 2020.
The Bill includes provisions to:
- transpose the criminal justice elements of the Fifth EU Money Laundering Directive (5AMLD) and strengthens existing legislation
- improve the safeguards for financial transactions to and from high-risk third countries
- bring a number of new 'designated bodies' under the existing legislation, including virtual currency providers and associated online 'wallet providers' for virtual currencies
- enhance the customer due diligence (CDD) requirements of the existing legislation
- provide for Ministerial guidance which will clarify domestic "prominent public functions"
This new legislation also includes a number of technical amendments to other provisions of Acts already in force.
Amendments will also address Ireland's international obligations relating to a robust regulatory framework for new technologies, new products and new practices, as identified by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
You can read our analysis of the General Scheme of the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) (Amendment) Bill 2019 in January 2019 here.
AML: CBI Submission to EU Commission's AML/CFT Action Plan
The CBI published its submission to the Commission's consultation on the European Commission's action plan for an EU policy on preventing money laundering and terrorism financing.
AML: Beneficial ownership and Irish investment funds
Beneficial ownership requirements for Irish authorised fund management companies and for collective investment schemes structured as companies, ICAVs, unit trusts, CCFs and ILPs are evolving. Corporate entities started the filing process with the Irish registrar of beneficial ownership of companies in November 2019. ICAVs and unit trusts may now file with the CBI's registrar of beneficial ownership of ICAVs and unit trusts. Our Asset Management & Investment Funds team has prepared a summary of the beneficial ownership requirements for Irish authorised investment funds.
As part of our Soundbite Series, listen to a five minute overview of the key requirements from Nollaig Greene, Knowledge Lawyer.
ALG AudioLab Beneficial ownership and Irish investment funds
For more information on the requirements you can download our publication from the link below.
Go to publication.
For more information in relation to any of these topics please speak with your usual contact on the A&L Goodbody Asset Management & Investment Funds team.
Date published: 1 September 2020