Updated Q&A: on 5 October 2015, the Central Bank published the 16th Edition of its AIFMD Q&A, adding responses dealing with the provision of directed brokerage services, whether existing authorised alternative investment fund managers are required to insert a board composition rationale into their programmes of operations and whether unitholder approval is required in respect of certain nonmaterial changes to a trust deed of a unit trust or a deed of constitution of a common contractual fund.
Proposed changes to Central Bank AIF Rulebook: the Central Bank is consulting on proposed changes to its AIF Rulebook. Proposed policy changes include extending the categories of investors who are exempt from the eligibility criteria and the minimum subscription amount required to invest in a qualifying investor alternative investment fund (QIAIF), amending the reporting requirement applicable to alternative investment fund (AIF) depositaries where they provide services to a non-Irish AIF, amending the capital and reporting requirements applicable to alternative investment fund managers (AIFMs), extending the list of requirements from the 2013 Irish AIFMD Regulations applicable to QIAIFs with registered AIFMs and aligning the rules applicable to collateral received by retail investor AIFs under an over-the-counter (OTC) derivative, (reverse) repurchase agreement or securities lending agreement with the new Central Bank UCITS Regulations.
Central Bank report: the Central Bank published a Report on Anti-Money Laundering, Countering the Financing of Terrorism and Financial Sanctions Compliance in the Irish Funds Sector. See the recent Briefing by our Asset Management and Investment Funds Group for further details.
BANKING UNION: BRRD
Central Bank FAQ: the Central Bank published FAQs on the payment of levies to the Bank and Investment Firm Resolution Fund set up under the 2015 Irish Regulations that transposed the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive (BRRD).
Further information: for further information on BRRD in Ireland, read our recent Client Briefing.
CAPTIVE INSURERS AND REINSURERS
Governance: the Central Bank published its Corporate Governance Requirements for Captive Insurance and Captive Reinsurance Undertakings 2015. Further detail is set out in our Insurance Group's November 2015 Insurance Regulatory Update.
CENTRAL BANK INDUSTRY FUNDING
2015 guide: the Central Bank published its Guide to the 2015 Industry Funding Regulations. Among other matters, it confirms that credit servicing firms and ICAVs are now in scope.
CENTRAL BANK'S STRATEGIC PLAN
Key focus areas: the Central Bank has published its Strategic Plan 2016-2018 which confirm key focus areas as including the delivery of the new Central Credit Register, the implementation of Solvency II and cooperation with the Single Resolution Board (SRB) once the Single Resolution Mechanism (SRM) goes live on 1 January 2016.
CONTRACTS FOR DIFFERENCE
Results of themed inspection: the Central Bank recently published the results of its themed inspection into retail clients who invested in contracts for difference in 2013 and 2014, finding that 75% made a loss and noting that issues had been identified in relation to execution-only sales. All MiFID firms were written to in relation to the results of the inspection, and the letter also set out recommendations for improving compliance arrangements.
COUNTERCYCLICAL CAPITAL BUFFER
Central Bank FAQ and identification: the Central Bank published an FAQ - Countercyclical Capital Buffers and Other Systemically Important Institutions Buffers, and has identified both Bank of Ireland and AIB as domestically systemically important for the purposes of the 2014 Irish CRD IV Regulations. The countercyclical capital buffer means that banks need to hold additional capital when there is strong credit growth in the economy. The buffer can then be released, partially or fully, either in the case of a crisis or when credit growth and associated risks recede.
This article contains a general summary of developments and is not a complete or definitive statement of the law. Specific legal advice should be obtained where appropriate.