On 1st March, 2013 the MFSA published a revised set of Investment Services Rules for Retail Collective Investment Schemes (the “RCIS Rules”) and appendices (including a revised Appendix 11 Investment Services Rules for Investment Services Providers) reflecting ESMA’s Guidelines on ETFs and other UCITS issues (ESMA/2012/832) (the “Guidelines”) issued in December, 2012. Click here for a copy of the Guidelines. The revised RCIS Rules are available for download from the MFSA’s website.

The revised RCIS Rules introduce a number of new requirements applicable to:

  • UCITS ETFs,
  • index-tracking by UCITS,
  • the use of efficient portfolio management (EPM) techniques and over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives by UCITS,
  • the management of collateral received by UCITS, and
  • the eligibility of financial indices for investment by UCITS,

as well as new investor disclosure requirements in relation to the above.

As advised in the MFSA’s January, 2013 consultation about the implementation of the Guidelines, the revised RCIS Rules and appendices apply as follows:

Immediately:

  • UCITS licensed on or after 18th February, 2013 (the “Cut-Off Date”) must comply with the revised RCIS Rules immediately.
  • Any reinvestment of cash collateral after the Cut-Off Date by all UCITS (whether licensed before or after the Cut-Off Date) must be in compliance with the revised RCIS Rules.
  • UCITS ETFs licensed prior to the Cut-Off Date must comply with the provisions relating to the treatment of secondary market investors immediately.

Upon the next amendment of the fund name or revision of any fund documents (including prospectus, supplements, M&A & KIIDs):

  • UCITS ETFs changing their name for any other reason before the 18th February, 2014 must comply with the identifier requirements.
  • All UCITS amending their prospectus, supplements, M&A, KIIDs, or other fund documentation must comply with the requirement relating to the contents of the fund rules or instrument of incorporation.

By 18th February, 2014:

  • All UCITS licensed prior to the Cut-Off Date must (unless required to comply earlier as noted above) comply in full with the revised RCIS Rules by 18th February, 2014.

The Revised RCIS Rules will not apply to:

  • Structured UCITS licensed prior to the Cut-Off Date will not be required to comply with the revised RCIS Rules provided that they do not accept any new subscriptions after the Cut-Off Date. Such Structured UCITS can, however, continue to actively manage their financial contracts.

If you would like further information on the revised RCIS Rules or the Guidelines and how these will impact you, please contact any of the members of our Investment Management & Funds Group.