UCITS V finally implemented in Norway
The UCITS V directive (2014/91/EU) prescribing new rules relating to UCITS manager remuneration, depositaries and administrative sanctions has applied in the EU member states since 18 March 2016. The inclusion of the directive in the EEA agreement and implementation in Norwegian law has been delayed due to certain constitutional issues. On 15 December 2017 the Norwegian Ministry of Finance finally decided that provisions implementing the directive shall enter into force in Norway as of 1 January 2018.
UCITS V is being implemented through amendments in the Norwegian Securities Funds Act, adopted on 16 December 2016, and in the Norwegian Securities Funds Regulation, adopted on 18 December 2017. Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2016/438 regarding detailed obligations on depositaries and duties to hold financial instruments in custody has yet to be included in the EEA agreement and will therefore not enter into force at this stage.
The primary purpose of UCITS V is to increase the level of protection for investors in UCITS (Undertakings for the Collective Investment of Transferable Securities), particularly by introducing new and stricter rules for depositaries, new remuneration rules for fund managers' key staff and new administrative sanctions for supervisors, harmonized across the EEA.
Even though Norwegian authorities had already adopted national law regulations on certain of the subjects covered by UCITS V, the said directive causes important changes to Norwegian law. Fund managers must inter alia make changes to their remuneration policies for key staff to meet new and more detailed requirements. Depositaries' duties and liabilities towards the fund are also extended and new rules regarding outsourcing is being introduced. Finally, the Financial Supervisory Authority of Norway is empowered to impose administrative sanctions on management companies, including its key staff and board members if acting with gross negligence.
It should be noted that Norwegian authorities have not passed any gold-plating regulations beyond the requirements of the UCITS V-directive.
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Klaus Henrik Wiese-Hansen
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Vegard André Fiskerstrand
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