On 8 September 2022, the Dutch Authority for the Financial Markets (Autoriteit Financiële Markten, the AFM) announced that this fall, it will investigate the status of investment fund managers’ compliance with the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2019/2088, SFDR) and the related Taxonomy Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2020/852). In 2021, the AFM published a report on the implementation of the SFDR by Dutch funds. With this investigation, the AFM will check whether fund managers incorporated the results of that report.
One of the key points identified in the report was that the SFDR’s classification of funds as Article 8 or Article 9 funds was not always correct. Previously, the AFM asked fund managers to re-assess the classification of their funds and make adjustments where necessary. The AFM will now investigate whether fund managers have done so. In addition, the AFM will look whether managers have made information available on their website about their sustainability policy and on the integration of sustainability in their remuneration policy.
In addition, the AFM will investigate the extent in which fund managers comply with the transparency requirements in the Taxonomy Regulation. It follows from these requirements that providers of ‘sustainable’ financial products have to report how their investment contributes to the two environmental objectives on climate change in the Taxonomy Regulation. The requirement for the other environmental objectives of the Taxonomy Regulation enter into effect on 1 January 2023.
The investigation will be based on the information made available on fund managers’ websites. The AFM will request additional information from fund managers where necessary. The AFM will report the results of the investigation to the market generically, as well as individually where necessary. The AFM also notes that in 2021, it announced an investigation into compliance with the regulatory technical standards (RTS) in relation to the SFDR. However, as implementation of these RTS has been delayed to 1 January 2023, this investigation will also be delayed to 2023.