Throughout August you will have seen a number of regulators publishing updated circulars, opinions and notices in relation to the application of the ESMA Guidelines on stress test scenarios under the Money Market Fund Regulation (EU) 2017/1131 (MMFR). Including regulators such as the: MFSA, CMVM, Central Bank of Ireland, FSMA & CSSF.
In 2019, the Bank of England (BoE) and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) launched a joint review into vulnerabilities associated with the liquidity mismatch. The review built on the FPC’s 2015 assessment; the FCA’s 2019 Policy Statement on funds investing in inherently illiquid assets; and the work by the FSB and the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO).
Liquidity risk in managed funds has been a prominent and increasing concern of regulators globally, particularly in the past two years, in the wake of some high-profile liquidity events. The New Zealand Financial Market Authority (FMA), following a familiar trend we’ve seen recently from many regulators, has published a liquidity risk management report.
In early 2020, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) launched a Common Supervisory Action (CSA) on UCITS liquidity risk management (LRM). The purpose of this exercise was to simultaneously conduct coordinated supervisory activities in 2020 and to assess whether UCITS managers comply with their liquidity management obligations.
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has launched a consultation on potential reforms of the EU Money Market Funds Regulation (MMFR). This follows the SEC’s request for comment seen last month, which similar to the ESMA consultation, reviews the stress experienced by MMFs during the March 2020 crisis and assesses and proposes potential reforms.
ESMA has published the results of the 2020 Common Supervisory Action (CSA) on UCITS liquidity risk management (LRM). UCITS are characterised by the offer to investors of on-demand liquidity. Article 84(1) states that UCITS shall repurchase or redeem its units at the request of any unit-holder. If the assets held within the fund cannot be sold quickly to meet redemption requests, there could be severe issues in paying redeeming investors. This can be exacerbated in times of stress when investors may look to redeem en masse whilst the market for the assets is drying up.
IOSCO has launched a Thematic Review on the implementation of Liquidity Risk Management Recommendations. The Thematic Review aims to assess the extent to which the Recommendations have been implemented through member regulatory frameworks.
This week we return to our refresher series on liquidity risk rules around the world, and in particular, the rules in the United States. With the COVID-19 vaccine rollout well underway, and the end of crisis in sight, we thought we would look back at how the volatility last year caused by COVID impacted the US market and compliance with SEC liquidity rules.
Throughout the year regulators have focused on liquidity, and as this year draws to a close, that focus shows no signs of diminishing. “Asset managers need to step up their efforts to ensure the liquidity of their funds is adequately managed and that they are prepared for future shocks” – that was the closing remarks from Steven Maijoor’s Keynote Address at EFAMA’s Investment Management Forum which heavily focused on liquidity risk.
On Wednesday, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved 3 to 2, the 458 page derivative use rules aimed at enhancing the regulatory framework for derivatives in the U.S. The Investment Company Act limits the ability of registered funds and business development companies to engage in transactions that involve potential future payment obligations, including obligations under derivatives such as forwards, futures, swaps and written options. The new rules, which apply to mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), close-end funds, as well as business development companies, will permit funds to enter into these transactions if they comply with certain conditions outlined below, which are designed to increase investor protection.