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FSA confirm Faifs introduction

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has confirmed the introduction of retail-orientated Fund of Alternative Investment Funds (Faifs) into its regulatory regime.

The move comes as the regulator is set for further consultation on the responses given by fund managers and other parties. This is set to close on 22 May 2008 with finalised rules coming out at the end of the year.

The new proposals will shake up the current Non-Ucits Retail Scheme (NURS) structure. Changes would include the introduction of FAIFs into the current regulatory regime for Nurs as well as lifting the current 20 per cent investment restriction for unregulated collective investment schemes for Nurs.

FSA director retail policy and themes and asset management sector leader Dan Waters says: “Permitting consumers access to a wider range of innovative investment strategies through authorised onshore vehicles will allow more choice and a better opportunity for risk diversification, while maintaining consumer protection through our proportionate rules on the operation of the product. We aim to make the final adjustments to the new regime before the end of the year, including the additional areas on which we are consulting today.

“As we have previously stated, there are a number of difficult tax issues involved in the operation of onshore Faifs regime. Following constructive discussions with the Treasury on tax issues we welcome the publication today of their tax framework, setting out a new elective regime which aims to allow Faifs to operate competitively within the UK retail market.”

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