Good news for AIFMs that have been struggling to meet the 21st January AIFMD authorisation application filing deadline set by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Her Majesty’s Treasury (HMT)! The FCA has deferred the deadline to 22nd July. AIFMs now have until the 22nd of July to file their applications where the previous July deadline was for approval and non-compliant firms would be forced to cease trading until the FCA had reviewed their application. A big sigh of relief can be heard resounding through Europe in appreciation for the pragmatic approach taken by the FCA. The FCA’s decision to change the filing deadline is a direct result of concerns raised by stakeholders in the industry to what has been seen as a difficult deadline to meet. The FCA has, however, reiterated that AIFMs must remain focused on becoming authorised under the directive and should continue striving to meet the January deadline or close to it to ensure that applications can be scrutinised and approved for the July timeframe.
Following the announcement by the FCA and HMT, can we expect this pragmatic approach to be applied to larger fund markets in Europe such as Ireland and Luxembourg?
The three regulators in the largest AI markets have the following authorisations under the current deadlines:
UK FCA – 22nd January 2014 – (30 Authorized)
Ireland CBI – 21st February 2014 – (6 Authorized)
Luxembourg CSSF– 1st April 2014 – (10 Authorized)
The number of authorised AIFMs so far for both the CSSF and the CBI may reveal the direction to be taken. With time not on the side of the authorities in both Luxembourg and Ireland, the more pragmatic approach would be to follow a similar example set by the UK authorities and extend the filing periods to 22nd July. A collective approach will further unite European regulators in defending and promoting their jurisdictions, whilst allowing the industry to comply with the AIFMD.