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EU opens up more funds to UK IFAs

IFAs will have a broader range of funds at their disposal under a new EU investment fund directive, commonly known as Ucits II, approved this week.

In a first step towards an integrated single market for financial services, investment managers will be all-owed to market their funds across the EU after registration with that country&#39s regulatory authority. It also proposes minimum capital adequacy requirements.

UK fund managers will also be able to create a new category of mixed funds, combining direct equity investment and fund of funds within a single product for the first time. The rules regarding cash and derivatives in funds will also be relaxed.

After protracted negotiation, the measure has been debated and approved by the European Parliament. It is likely to be ratified by the EU Council of Ministers by the end of the year and introduced in the UK by 2003.

Autif deputy director general Sheila Nicoll says: “We hope the Government will implement the directive swiftly so that this country can have a headstart.

“It will mean a wider range of funds available to put in an Isa and will also lead to a relaxation of the kinds of fund offered.”

Plan Invest investment manager Paul Barnes says: “The more flexibility we have the better but I think the traffic is more likely to be from this country than the other way round although there could be a market for the lower-risk lower-return Euro-pean products.”


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