COVID-19 Coronavirus Business Impact: Central Bank of Ireland Announces COVID-19-related Forbearance Measures

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The Central Bank of Ireland (“CBI”) has issued a markets update1 (the “Update”) confirming flexibility for filing dates relating to certain regulatory returns due from investment firms, fund service providers and investment funds over the COVID-19 period.

The CBI also clarifies certain other matters in the Update including:

  • its expectations regarding deadlines for submission of reports regarding safeguarding of client assets or investor money;
  • its expectations regarding risk mitigation programme (RPM) implementation dates; and
  • postponement of its regular assessments of the domestic regulatory policy framework for investment firms.

The update follows a number of recent announcements by ESMA issued on 9 April calling on national regulators to exercise flexibility in relation to issues arising from COVID-19 disruption.

The decision by the CBI to allow funds and investment firms this flexibility in relation to submission of regulatory returns is welcome news for the industry during these challenging times.

Regulatory Returns

The Update provides for extension periods for the filing of returns and the Table A setting out these extensions is reproduced below.

Investment firms that are in a position to meet the existing reporting deadlines should do so.

The Update states that all reports and returns not listed the Table or dealt with elsewhere in the Update, should continue to be submitted in a timely manner to the CBI.

Table A – Investment Firms and Fund Service Providers


Regulated Entity Type


Returns type


Extension Period


Applicable period

Annual Audited Accounts

 

 

 

Investment firms

Fund service providers

Annual Audited Accounts Data Entry/ Annual Audited Accounts Upload – Individual and Consolidated (including bank statements submitted with these returns)

2 months

Submissions falling due from April to July 2020 inclusive

Investment firms, Fund service providers

Related Party Annual Accounts Upload

2 months

Submissions falling due from April to July 2020 inclusive

Capital Adequacy Returns

     

MiFID investment firms subject to CRR/CRD IV

COREP Own Funds Individual and Consolidated

1 month

Reporting dates March to May 2020

MiFID investment firms subject to CRR/CRD IV

Leverage Reporting Individual and Consolidated

1 month

Reporting dates March to May 2020

MiFID investment firms subject to CRR/CRD IV

Asset Encumbrance Individual and Consolidated

1 month

Reporting dates March to May 2020

MiFID investment firms subject to CRR/CRD IV

Large Exposures Individual and Consolidated

1 month

Reporting dates March to May 2020

CRD IV Exempt FOR Firms

COREP Individual and Consolidated

1 month

Reporting dates March to May 2020

CRD IV Exempt Firm
IIA non-retail investment business firms

Capital Adequacy Statement

1 month

Reporting dates March to May 2020

Fund service providers

Minimum Capital Requirement

1 month

Reporting dates March to May 2020

Fund administrators

Own Funds Requirement

1 month

Reporting dates March to May 2020

Management/Interim Accounts

     

Investment firms, Fund service providers

Management/Interim Accounts (all frequencies) - Individual and Consolidated (including bank statements submitted with these returns)

1 month

Reporting dates March to May 2020

Investment firms

Management Accounts Budget vs Actual

1 month

Reporting dates March to May 2020

Financial Statements of Investment Funds

The Update states that the CBI expects that authorised investment funds will file financial statements with the CBI within usual time frames. However, where an authorised investment fund is not in a position to meet these deadlines the CBI will allow flexibility as summarised in Table B below.

This is provided that the relevant authorised investment fund (or its management company or AIFM) promptly notifies the CBI and informs investors as soon as practicable of the delay, the reasons for such a delay and to the extent possible the estimated publication date. The CBI states that where it is normal practice to publish financial statements through a website, notification of delay should also be made via the website.

Table B – Investment Funds

Investment fund type

Return Type / Applicable Period

Extension Period

UCITS investment fund

Annual audited financial statements referring to a year-end occurring on or after 31 December 2019 but before 1 April 2020

2 months

 

Annual audited financial statements referring to a year-end occurring on or after 1 April 2020 but before 1 May 2020

1 month

 

Semi-annual financial statements referring to a reporting period ending on or after 31 January 2020 but before 1 April 2020

1 month

 

Alternative Investment Funds

Annual audited financial statements referring to a year-end occurring on or after 31 December 2019 but before 1 April 2020

2 months

 

Annual audited financial statements referring to a year-end occurring on or after 1 April 2020 but before 1 May 2020

1 month

 

Semi-annual financial statements referring to a reporting period ending on or after 31 January 2020 but before 1 April 2020

1 month

Additional items

As mentioned above, the CBI covers a number of other matters in the Update that are not discussed in detail in this update. These items include:

Pillar 3 Disclosures

The CBI expects MiFID investment firms that are subject to the Capital Requirements Regulation and Capital Requirements Directive IV to advise of any delay, the reasons for such delay and, to the extent possible, the estimated publication date of their Pillar 3 reports, if they are delayed.

Client Asset and Investor Money Requirements

The Central Bank will allow certain flexibility for investment firms and fund service providers, in respect of deadlines for the submission of assurance reports in respect of investment firms and fund service providers’ arrangements for the safeguarding of client assets or investor money for submissions falling due from April to July 2020 inclusive, where it is not possible to comply with the applicable deadlines as a result of COVID-19 related issues.

Additional Data Requests

To examine the effects of COVID-19 on the financial sector, the CBI has indicated that it will require additional targeted information to be submitted by investment firms (such as the requested made relating to liquidity) during this period and that it will expect firms to reply to such requests in an expedient manner.

Risk Mitigation Programmes (RMPs) for Investment Firms and Fund Service Providers

The CBI states that it expects investment firms to be in a position to meet the existing RMP implementation dates and to engage with the Central Bank where they have difficulties in relation to meeting specific RMP submission dates.

Updates to Central Bank Regulatory Policy Frameworks

The CBI will delay updates to any regulatory policy frameworks relating to the funds industry, specifically its feedback statement in relation to Treatment, Correction and Redress of Errors in Financial Statements.

ESMA Announcements

The CBI confirms that it will apply measures outlined in recent announcements by ESMA as described in the Update. The blanket application of the ESMA measures by the Central Bank should provide some reassurance to industry participants that any further measures announced by ESMA will also be implemented by the CBI.

Footnotes

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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