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FCA moves to daily supervision of property funds

The FCA has stepped up the frequency of the information it collects on property funds after investors drove hundreds of million in outflows over December, according to reports.

The Financial Times says three people briefed on the matter have told the paper that, amid fears of another liquidity crunch on Brexit uncertainty and £315m in withdrawals, the watchdog is requesting daily updates in heightened monotoring of outflows.

“Gating” of property funds was a feature of 2016’s investment market, and has been brought into starker relief by recent stock market falls.

Suspensions hit giants of the investment market, from Aviva and Columbia Threadneedle, to M&G and Standard Life Investments, brought of a liquidity mismatch between daily trading offered and the time it takes to sell property assets within funds.

Aviva Investors property boss warns shutting funds can lead to ‘perverse outcomes’

The FT says that one person briefed on the matter tells it that the FCA’s oversight rose in line with political uncertainty, as it came around the same time as prime minister Theresa May postponed a key parliamentary Brexit vote in December.

Fidelity International investment director for real estate at Adrian Benedict tells the paper: “With the no-deal Brexit deadline looming fast, any regulator is going to be thinking about ‘What was the last section of the economy that was most exposed?’ The fact that they had outflows in the back end of last year was a signal to the regulator to monitor it.”

The FCA says: “As you would expect, we regularly monitor markets and funds. We are also in frequent contact with firms and continue to engage with them on a wide range of issues.”



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