Ireland asks GPs for early AIFMD applications

Ireland’s securities regulator wants GPs to apply for AIFMD authorization at least five months before the directive requires them to.

Fund managers based in Ireland only have four months to submit their Alternative Investment Fund Managers directive (AIFMD) application.

Ireland’s financial watchdog, the Central Bank, has set February 21, 2014 as the latest date for receipt of AIFMD applications.

The Central Bank’s aim is to ensure that all fund managers can be fully authorized by the end of its transitional period, July 22. Ireland, like many other EU jurisdictions, gave its fund managers an extra year to become authorized under AIFMD, which launched in July this year.

The UK has also adopted an approach of asking for early applications. The UK’s financial regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), asked GPs to submit their applications by January 22.

“It can take up to six months to review an application – particularly if there are a high volume of applications at the same time,” said an FCA spokesperson in an email to PE Manager.

The spokesperson added that the application process is a “fairly rigorous exercise, and can involve lots of detailed discussion and reviews”. Early applications will help the authorization process move as efficiently as possible, he said.

Legal sources speaking toPE Manager have described these requests for fund managers to submit applications early as “gold-plating” the directive. Gold-plating is a term used in European Union law to describe the practice of national bodies exceeding the terms of European Union directives when implementing them into national law. In this instance the EU only requires fund managers to have applied for authorization by the directive’s July 22 deadline.

Under the directive, EU regulators have three months to authorize a firm’s application, although they can take up to six months in certain circumstances.

“The three months promise is for complete applications, but the FCA have found most applications [so far] to be incomplete – and therefore decided they cannot approve incomplete applications within three months,” Andrew Shrimpton, global head of regulatory compliance at Kinetic Partners, told PEM.