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The Swedish Consumer Agency’s review regarding the information provisions for fund companies

The Swedish Consumer Agency’s review regarding the information provisions for fund companies

The Swedish Consumer Agency has during the year of 2014 examined the compliance of information provisions of the Swedish UCITS Act. The examination covered forty companies and The Consumer Agency has examined the marketing materials targeted to both new and existing customers, such as advertising in newspapers and other periodicals on the Internet, on television, on the radio, posters, monthly newsletter, information brochures and customer letters. The Consumer Agency has reviewed the materials that have been requested by the companies, which means that the companies’ websites have not been examined.

The Swedish Consumer Agency noted after their examination that deficiencies in marketing have been observed in several of the examined companies. The shortcomings that have been observed are above all that information has been given that there is a Key Information Product (KID) and an information brochure, but information is lacking where to find this information and where it is available at the companies. At previous examinations of marketing of funds the Consumer Agency has found out that many companies are finding it difficult to determine what is to be regarded as marketing. The Consumer Agency has also noted that, for example, customer letter and customer magazines are areas that are not traditionally perceived as marketing and companies therefore have a problem with the information provided in such form. This is because the information disclosed in these areas count as marketing as defined in Section 3 in the Swedish Marketing Practices Act, which many companies have not complied with. It happens that information that is to be provided to consumers in accordance with the Swedish UCITS Act has been completely left out from, for example, newsletters, customer letters and sometimes even advertisements.

The Consumer Agency has also observed that the information have been provided in an inadequate manner, and for example, placed in the back of an information brochure, in the footer and sometimes in a color that is difficult for the consumer to understand. The Swedish Consumer Agency has initiated supervision cases in the companies where deficiencies in marketing have been found.

By Caroline Olausson

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