The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has announced it will bring to an end the temporary relief offered to fund managers to produce their annual and half-yearly funds reports and accounts.
In April, the regulator offered optional relief of up to two months' extension for managers to publish their reports due to the "unparalleled challenges" created by the coronavirus pandemic.
In a statement issued on 9 September, the FCA stated that "businesses have had time to adjust to the changed environment" and it intends to end the temporary relief in stages.
For funds with an annual or half-yearly accounting date on or before 31 August 2020, the relief will remain in place. For example, the authorised fund manager of a UK UCITS scheme can now publish their annual reports by 28 February 2021 instead of 31 December 2020, and half-yearly reports by 30 November 2020 instead of 31 October 2020.
For funds with an annual or half-yearly accounting date on or before 30 September 2020 (but after 31 August 2020), one month's relief will be available, meaning funds with a previous latest deadline of 31 January 2021 now have until 28 February 2021.
For funds with an annual of half-yearly accounting date after 30 September 2020, the temporary relief will expire and no extra time will be afforded to managers.
Due to "unparalleled challenges" in preparing financial information as a result of the pandemic, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has announced temporary relief for regulatory deadlines.
This optional relief will apply to UK UCITS and non-UCITS retail schemes (NURS) and will allow an additional two months to publish funds' annual reports and one extra month to publish half-yearly reports.
While the FCA acknowledges that the current government restrictions "may significantly slow the process and make it difficult to meet the deadlines" it still expects firms to publish reports on time, if they can "within the usual time limits without compromising the quality of the reporting".
The extensions mean the FCA will not begin enforcement action for breaching current rules if annual reports and assessment of value reports are published within six months of the accounting year-end date, or three months for those filing half-yearly statements.
If they wish to apply for the extension, authorised fund managers must inform the fund's depositary and auditors and email the FCA with details of which funds the extension will apply to and the intended new date of publication.
Additionally, they must publish a "prominent statement" on the website no later than the original publishing date explaining the reasons for their decision.
This new policy will be under constant review and when the disruption from the pandemic subsides, the FCA will announce how the relief will be ended in a "fair, orderly and transparent way".
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