Reducing barriers to cross-border distribution of investment funds

EESC opinion: Reducing barriers to cross-border distribution of investment funds

Key points:


  • supports systematic efforts to launch all the key elements of the CMU by 2019 and anticipates that the prospective benefits will include expanding investment opportunities, streamlining the process of financial intermediation;
  • thinks it important, to establish a balanced relationship between investor protection requirements, which are key in this regard, while also giving the designers and distributors of investment products enough room for creativity;
  • thinks that the key regulatory barriers to cross-border distribution of investment funds at this time are marketing requirements, regulatory fees, notification procedures and administrative requirements at national level. However,  is aware of the existence of other obstacles, such as the harmonisation of tax rules;
  • takes the view that the main reasons for the existing barriers to the cross-border distribution of investment funds lie primarily not with the current regulations, but above all from the lack of instructions from the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), as a result of which each national jurisdiction has different rules;
  • believes that in order to achieve an economy-of-scale effect, manifestations of "national inventiveness" in working out charging structures should be curbed and a path taken of having clearly defined and unambiguous national provisions that are consistent throughout the EU;
  • welcomes and supports the intention to improve transparency regarding regulatory fees;
  • welcomes the creation of the ESMA database, but notes that this should not involve the imposition of additional notification requirements on asset managers;
  • is inclined to take the view that the decision on termination of the proposed rules for discontinuing promotion and marketing of investment funds should be optional and depend on the decision of the asset manager;
  • recommends more detailed rules be established to ensure the verification of qualifications and competence of persons providing investment services.