Financial Services

What's coming down the pipeline?

Published on 15th Apr 2021

Despite the tumultuous year we’ve just had, the investment fund industry has shown tremendous resilience. We are seeing a number of the key trends of 2020 accelerating, as issues such as sustainability, the use of technology, and culture and diversity attract the attention of governments, regulators, fund managers and investors on a global scale.


For UK fund managers marketing into Europe, 2021 will see a number of significant regulatory changes take effect. From the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation, to the new EU marketing rules coming into force in this summer, managers will need to have their compliance roadmaps in place. With the review of the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) ongoing at European level, 2021 might also be the year we see a tightening of the rules around delegation, substance and reverse solicitation.

Finally, as the UK finds its feet outside of the EU and seeks to rebuild from the Covid-19 pandemic, 2021 will also be a year of reform. With the Financial Services Bill progressing through Parliament, a review of the UK funds regime underway and the recent publication of the Kalifa Review of UK Fintech, exciting changes (and opportunities) are on the horizon.

If you would like to discuss any of these developments, please get in touch with one of our experts listed below.


Date Description
April 2021 The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is expected  to publish a consultation on setting up a framework for a long-term asset fund. This follows the convening of an industry working group between HM Treasury, the Bank of England and the FCA to facilitate investment in productive finance.
16 April 2021 The International Organization of Securities Commission's survey on liquidity risk management for collective investment schemes closes to comments.
20 April 2021 HM Treasury's call for input on its review of the UK funds regime closes to comments.
May 2021 The FCA is aiming to consult on options for introducing a new duty of care for financial services firms and potential alternative approaches following its April 2019 Feedback Statement (FS19/2).
12 May 2021 Deadline for comments on the European Supervisory Authorities' consultation paper on draft regulatory technical standards regarding disclosures of financial products investing in economic activities that contribute to an environmental investment objective.
July 2021 The Financial Stability Board (FSB) to report to the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting on progress in the area of the financial implications of climate change and sustainable finance, as per its Work Programme 2021.
2 August 2021

New rules under the Cross-border Distribution Directive EU/2019/1160 (CBDD) and the Cross-border Distribution Regulation EU/2019/1156 (CBDR) relating to the marketing of alternative investment funds in the EEA take effect.

In addition:

  • The European Commission has to report on reverse solicitation under the CBDD and CBDR.
  • Deadline for the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) to develop associated marketing guidelines.

See our Technical Guide on the changes here.

Q3 2021 European Commission intends to publish a legislative proposal amending the Alternative Investment Funds Managers Directive.
Q3 2021 European Commission intends to adopt a report on the review of the European Long-Term Investment Fund Regulation.
October 2021

The FSB's work in 2021 will focus on the specific issues identified in its holistic review of the March market turmoil, including money market funds (MMFs), open-ended funds, margining practices, liquidity, structure and resilience of core bond markets, and cross-border USD funding.

The FSB's policy proposals to enhance MMF resilience are due in a final report in October 2021.

End of 2021 The FCA has extended its temporary Covid-19 measures on the requirement for firms to issue 10% depreciation notifications to investors (COBS 16A.4.3 UK) until the end of 2021, while it undertakes policy work on the future of the requirement.


1 January 2022 The SFDR Regulatory Technical Standards expected to come into force.
2 February 2022 ESMA is required to publish a central database containing national marketing requirements, details of fees and charges, and information about Alternative Investment Funds and UCITS (Undertakings for the Collective Investment in Transferable Securities) being marketed.


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* This article is current as of the date of its publication and does not necessarily reflect the present state of the law or relevant regulation.

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