ETF facts, mutual fund risk methodology now finalized

By Staff | December 8, 2016 | Last updated on December 8, 2016
2 min read

The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) has published final amendments that require fund managers to use a standard CSA mutual fund risk classification methodology for mutual funds and ETFs in the Fund Facts and ETF Facts, respectively.

Currently, fund managers must identify a mutual fund’s risk level on a five-category scale (ranging from low to high) prescribed in the Fund Facts, and the fund manager chooses the methodology. That will change.

A standardized methodology “will allow investors to more readily compare the investment risk levels of different mutual funds,” says Louis Morisset, chair of the CSA and president and CEO of the Autorité des marchés financiers, in a release.

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In December 2015, the CSA published for comment proposed amendments introducing the methodology. The majority of commenters supported a standardized, mandatory risk classification methodology. After considering those comments, the CSA made non-material changes to the earlier proposal.

The ETF Facts amendments come into force on March 8, 2017. Starting September 1, 2017, the investment risk level of conventional mutual funds and ETFs must be determined using the methodology for each filing of a Fund Facts or ETF Facts, and at least annually.

CSA also published final amendments mandating a summary disclosure document and delivery regime for ETFs (ETF Facts).

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Like the Fund Facts for mutual funds, the ETF Facts is written in plain language, is no more than two pages double-sided and highlights key information about the potential benefits, risks and costs of investing in an ETF. It also includes additional content that speaks to the trading and pricing characteristics of ETFs.

Delivery of the ETF Facts will be on a post-sale basis, while delivery of Fund Facts is on a pre-sale basis. If the CSA looks at requiring pre-sale delivery of the ETF Facts, any proposals will be subject to the consultation process.

The ETF Facts amendments also come into force on March 8, 2017, and there will be a phased implementation. Effective September 1, 2017, ETFs must have ETF Facts that are filed and available on the ETF’s or the ETF manager’s website. Dealer delivery obligations related to the ETF Facts come into effect December 10, 2018.

The methodology amendments are here. Amendments to the ETF Facts are here.

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The staff of have been covering news for financial advisors since 1998.