Publication of revised guidelines by Asset Management Association of Switzerland
On 17 June 2021, the Asset Management Association Switzerland (AMA) published revised guidelines, as the industry is entering the final phase of implementation of the Financial Services Act (FinSA). The amended guidelines will enter into force on 1 January 2022 but still require formal recognition by FINMA.
The transition periods of the FinSA and the revised Collective Investment Schemes Act (CISA) expire at the end of this year. In view of this, the AMA revised the following guidelines:
- Code of Conduct;
- Guidelines for real estate funds;
- Technical guidelines (Guidelines for money market funds, Guidelines on the valuation of assets and the handling of valuation errors, Guidelines on the calculation and publication of performance data, Guidelines on the calculation and disclosure of the TER).
Furthermore, the provisions of the old Transparency Guidelines were integrated into the revised Code of Conduct. The Distribution Guidelines of 22 May 2014 and the KIID Guidelines of 20 January 2012 will cease to apply as of 31 December 2021.
The revised guidelines mainly reflect the new systematic and terms contained in the FinSA, CISA and Financial Institutions Act (FinIA), providing for consistency amongst the different new legal bodies. In addition, some other amendments not resulting from the new regulations were adopted.
It is important to highlight that AMA has reiterated the view that fund distribution is mainly considered as a financial service under FinSA. Therefore, the distribution of collective investment schemes and the related code of conduct in relation to the provision of financial services are now governed by the FinSA. The FinIA now governs the licensing and supervision of fund management companies and fund managers (now collectively referred to as “managers of collective assets”). The respective provisions have largely been adopted from the old CISA. Only product-specific rules remain in the CISA (e.g. the duty to obtain authorisation for certain collective investment schemes or the duty to appoint a representative and paying agent for foreign collective investment schemes), even if the prospectus requirements and the duty to issue a key information document (KID) are essentially regulated by the FinSA. The guidelines of AMA cover mainly the aspects that remain with the CISA.
The revised guidelines will enter into force on 1 January 2022. They have not yet been recognised by FINMA as a minimum standard but have already been published to allow enough time for the fund and asset management industry to implement the laws by the end of the year. By then, FINMA’s recognition is also expected. In addition, the following future steps have been announced by AMA:
- Updated model documents such as the Model Distribution Agreement are expected to be published within the next days (mid-2021).
- The question whether the minimum standard shall apply to custodian banks and managers of collective assets which fall under the so called “de minimis” threshold is being discussed and will be communicated at a later stage after a broader consultation.
For more information see: Asset Management Association Switzerland | Guidelines (valid as of 1… (am-switzerland.ch).
Sandra ZyssetAssociate Attorney at law
Sandra Zysset, attorney at law, is an associate in our Zurich office. She is specialised in finance transactions including acquisition finance and transportation finance, financial restructurings as well as regulatory matters.T: +41434346700 E: [email protected]