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UK announces steps to provide more consumer choice through Overseas Funds Regime

The new regime will support greater competition in the sector and more choice to consumers, supporting industry growth.

The new Overseas Funds Regime (OFR) will give investors more certainty, replacing current transitional arrangements with more permanent access to funds.

Yesterday (1 May 2024), the government and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) have jointly issued a roadmap for implementing the OFR for certain funds from the European Economic Area (EEA).  

The new regime applies to overseas investment funds, allowing them to apply to become recognised in the UK and marketed to British investors.   
The majority of the funds currently able to market to UK retail investors are based in the EEA. Yesterday’s announcement therefore ensures UK investors will continue to benefit from the choice these funds provide, with the assurance that they come from a country with equivalent consumer protections. 

Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Bim Afolami, commented: 

This new regime represents a pivotal moment for UK investors and marks a significant step forward in bolstering the UK’s investment landscape.  

By streamlining the process for overseas investment funds, we are offering UK investors more choice in a more competitive investment landscape. This is all part of our plan to maintain an open and dynamic financial market.

Sarah Pritchard, Executive Director of Markets and International, FCA, said:

We want to make sure that consumers have as much choice as possible. That’s why we are investing in our systems to make sure that the overseas funds recognition process is smooth and efficient.

The government and the FCA are dedicated to ensuring that the UK remains a global leader in financial services, fostering competition alongside innovation and investor protection. The OFR stands as a testament to this commitment, heralding a new era of industry competition and consumer choice.   

Yesterday’s announcement follows the Mansion House and Edinburgh Reformswhich have encouraged growth in the UK’s capital markets, helping to unlock £75 billion in equity funding to businesses scale up.

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