Swedish regulator outlines 2012 fund targets
Per Nordkvist, financial supervisor at Finansinspektionen, the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority, says that the regulator is focused on improving the organisation of control functions and reporting procedures at asset management firms.
Sweden’s Finansinspektionen (FI), like its national market equivalents across Europe, is busy juggling a number of objectives: from reacting to implementation of latest EU-level regulations and directives, to providing feedback to local Parliamentary Committee hearings, to making announcements in line with its consumer protection mandate, and ensuring that banks, insurers, and other types of financial services providers operate in line with the rules and regulations governing the industry.
Collective investments make up a key area of its work, and this year there are two issues in particular that financial supervisors such as Per Nordkvist at FI are pursuing in 2012. “What we have been looking at and will continue to look at during this year is how control functions are organised at companies, and the state of reporting made to boards, and how boards react to the information in those reports,” he says.
“What we have seen in supervision since changes occurred in 2008, when the compliance role went beyond an advisory role and become one of control, is that it seems not to have been noticed by everyone in the industry. Sometimes where it has been noticed, it has not been applied in the correct way.
“It is very important that these compliance functions are independent and staffed by the right people, who have the right authority to pursue their work.”
Improperly implemented control functions create risk if relevant work is not done correctly. This, in turn, can lead to problems in fund companies that affect products and shareholders directly, Nordkvist says.