COVID-19: ESMA issues a public statement on the deadlines for the publication of periodic reports by fund managers

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published a public statement to promote coordinated action among national competent authorities (NCAs) due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It concerns the obligations of:

• UCITS management companies;
• self-managed UCITS investment companies;
• authorised AIFMs;
• non-EU AIFMs marketing AIFs pursuant to Article 42 of the AIFMD;
• EuVECA managers; and
• EuSEF managers,

to publish annual and half-yearly reports in respect of funds under management.

ESMA is aware that undertaking a timely audit and publishing accounts within existing timelines presents considerable difficulties for funds managers and auditors. While ESMA advised fund managers to exercise their best efforts to meet the deadlines under the relevant regulatory regime, it also cautioned NCAs to adopt a risk-based approach and act in a proportionate manner.

Accordingly, ESMA expects a one or two-month grace period for fund managers depending on the date of the deadline and type of report.

ESMA urged fund managers to inform NCAs and investors of any anticipated delays as soon as possible. It also reminded fund managers to continue to adhere to disclosure requirements established in Article 17 of the Market Abuse Regulation.

The Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) already issued a circular on 20 March 2020 dealing with the timelines of regulatory reports by various Maltese entities (including listed companies, credit institutions, insurance/reinsurance undertakings, insurance intermediaries, MiFID firms, fund managers, investment funds and CSPs). In this respect, kindly refer to our regulatory briefing at the following link.

Until now, fund managers and investment funds have been granted a two-month extension in respect of annual reports, audited financial statements and interim/annual financial returns due by March or April 2020.

In view of ESMA’s public statement and the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, the MFSA should shortly follow-up with details for post-April submissions.