Having commenced in September 2014, the Central Bank of Ireland (the "Central Bank") finalised its CP861 project in December 2016. The objective of CP86 was to introduce initiatives "designed to underpin the achievement of substantive control by fund management companies, acting on behalf of investment funds, over the activities of their delegates."
The process concluded with the Central Bank publishing a:
- feedback statement (the "Feedback Statement") on the third consultation of CP86; and
- paper entitled Fund Management Companies – Guidance (the "CP86 Guidance Paper").
The new measures apply to Irish authorised fund management companies (capturing UCITS management companies, AIFMs, self-managed UCITS and internally managed AIFs).
The designated email address
One element of CP86 is the introduction of a requirement for fund management companies to maintain a designated email address.
The purpose of the email address is to ensure that fund management companies can comply with the Central Bank's statutory based requests for information and to facilitate effective and efficient communication between both parties. The CP86 Guidance Paper indicates that the email address will be used by the Central Bank for the following (among other) purposes:
- sending letters, including formal letters, to the fund management company or investment fund;
- requesting meetings;
- issuing surveys or requests for information;
- disseminating industry letters and notes; and
- more generally acting as a portal for other fund management company/supervisory related communication activities.
Email address requirements
The CP86 Guidance Paper sets out the following requirements for the email address:
- It should be approved by the directors of the fund management company as the designated email address;
- It should be continuously monitored. By continuously monitored, the Central Bank means that at least daily the designated email address should be checked for any communication(s) from the Central Bank;
- Appropriate security, data protection and privacy processes and procedures should be implemented to ensure it complies with all applicable laws, regulations, conditions and rules;
- It should have sufficient capacity to accommodate a regular level of communication from the Central Bank;
- The person monitoring it should have the relevant expertise to ensure that Central Bank Communications are correctly considered and, where required, forwarded to the relevant party to address the content of the communication; and
- Central Bank communications received at the email address should be addressed within the time frame provided in the communication (see "Response procedures" below).
Separately, the Central Bank has indicated that the email address should have sufficient capacity to accommodate emails of size 20MB per file.
The Central Bank has also stated that the arrangements for the designated email address, in terms of naming convention, day-to-day operation and monitoring is a matter for the board to determine.
The CP86 Guidance Paper cautions that compliance with response times indicated in the Central Bank's communications and the quality of information received will be a principal means by which the Central Bank can assess, evidence and establish: (i) the control and resources of a fund management company; (ii) the quality of oversight and governance provided by the directors and designated persons; and (iii) the fitness and probity of directors and designated persons.
This therefore should be factored into the procedures and processes to be put in place regarding the ongoing monitoring and onward transmission of Central Bank communications. Otherwise, the Central Bank has not provided any indication of the implications if the conditions relating to the email address in the CP86 Guidance Paper are not met on an ongoing basis. However, it is noted that the CP86 Guidance Paper refers to the Central Bank's "broad powers" to require fund management companies to provide the Central Bank with information within such time as it may specify.
In certain instances, the Central Bank may send a bulk email. To avoid such emails being rejected as spam, the main supervisory email address firstname.lastname@example.org should be added to the contact list for the designated email address.
This is the primary, but not necessarily the only, email address that the Central Bank will use to communicate with fund management companies.
Updates and changes
Changes to a designated email address must be communicated to the Central Bank via the Online Reporting System as a "Regulatory Report". Changes to a fund designated email address should be communicated within five business days.
Transition and timing
The deadline for having a designated email address in place is stated, in the Central Bank's Questions and Answers, as 30 June 2017. However, the Central Bank is engaging directly with fund management companies to request that the designated email address is communicated to it (via the email address CP86email@centralbank.ie) before 28 April 2017 – with the earlier date being set to assist the Central Bank's introduction of this regime from an operational perspective.
 Consultation on Fund Management Company Effectiveness – Delegate Oversight Consultation Paper ("CP86")
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.