EU legislation establishing Europe-wide key features documents for funds could be adopted as the blueprint for the new UK disclosure regime by the Treasury and FSA, according to Autif.
The new Ucits directive, expected to be enacted next year, aims to set Europe-wide standards for simplified prospectuses. Autif welcomes the initiative but is urging the Government to resist measures in the draft directive which could see UK fund managers required to meet capital adequacy requirements similar to life office reserves.
It is also concerned some EU states are dragging their heels in the negotiations to keep their own key features regime and protect less competitive domestic fund managers.
Autif says if there is a failure to achieve compromise, it will be urging the Government to withdraw the UK from the directive altogether.
It plans to highlight the European dimension in its response to the FSA's consultation on disclosure.
Autif members say the lack of standardised disclosure documents is one of the key stumbling blocks to UK fund managers breaking into the European market.
The trade body says a proper debate needs to be held urgently. Autif deputy director-general Sheila Nicoll says: “Generally, as we understand it, this is well supported by both the FSA and the Treasury. One of the main concerns of our members when looking towards Europe is the need to produce 15 different key features documents for the different members' states.”
A Treasury spokesman says: “This is a draft directive which is under discussion but the UK Government clearly supports the principle of effective key features documents which already exist within the UK.”