On 9 April 2020, the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (Autoriteit Financiële Markten, the AFM) announced that it follows the European Securities and Markets Authority’s (ESMA) request in its recent public statement (the Statement) to not prioritise supervisory actions where it concerns compliance with their obligation to publish annual and half yearly reports in respects of the funds they manage against the following types of fund managers:
- UCITS management companies;
- self-managed UCITS investment companies;
- authorised AIFMs;
- non-EU AIFMs marketing AIFs pursuant to Article 42 of the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive;
- European venture capital fund (EuVECA) managers; and
- European social entrepreneurship fund (EuSEF) managers.
ESMA notes that it is aware that actions taken by Member States to prevent COVID-19 contagion present significant difficulties and challenges for fund managers and auditors in preparing their funds’ annual reports and half yearly reports, carrying out a timely audit of the accounts, and publishing them within the applicable deadlines. In view of the current special circumstances, ESMA proposes in the Statement that national competent authorities apply deadlines in relation to reporting periods ending from 31 December 2019 to 30 April 2020 (inclusive) less strictly.
The AFM has decided to follow the leniency requested in the Statement. Managers are expected to inform both the AFM and their investors of any delay as soon as possible, indicate the reasons for the delay and, as far as possible, provide an estimate of the expected publication date.