Guidelines for marketing and information by fund
Adopted by the Swedish Investment Fund Association at the Board Meeting held on 6th December 2004 and last updated on the 20th of June 2012.
1. Information on funds. 4
1.1 Full prospectus. 4
1.2 Key Investor Information Document (KIID). 5
1.3 Annual Reports and Half-yearly Reports. 5
1.4 Individual cost accounting. 6
2. Marketing. 6
2.1 General provisions relating to investment fund marketing. 6
2.2 Historic return (past performance). 7
2.2.1 Calculation of return. 7
2.2.2 Time periods. 7
2.2.3 Inflation. 8
2.3 Mathematical examples and suppositions concerning future performance. 8
2.4 Comparisons. 8
2.4.1 Comparisons with other funds. 8
2.4.2 Comparative index. 9
2.4.3. Comparisons with other types of saving. 9
2.4.4 Other businesses or their product. 9
2.5 Graphic presentation. 9
2.6 Value judgements. 9
2.7 Risk. 10
2.8 Information on KIID and full prospectuses. 10
2.9 Fees. 10
2.10 Marketing of funds with specific environmental, social or other similar investment orientations. 11
3. Guidance and advice about investment funds. 12
3.1 Advice in connection with individual portfolio management. 12
3.2 Provision of information and financial advice by distributors. 13
Guidelines for marketing and information by fund management companies
These guidelines address issues relating to information on and marketing of investment funds, and to the provision of financial advice. The guidelines include, through points 2.1-2.8, an agreement with the Swedish Consumer Agency concerning the marketing of funds.
Rules governing information can also be found in some of the Association’s other guidelines.
1. Information on funds
Fund management companies shall, in conjunction with the sale of investment funds or direct contacts with customers outside the framework of a special licence to offer investment advice, clearly state that this does not constitute financial advice. The information shall otherwise comply with the requirements imposed with regard to marketing in general, see below.
An up to date full prospectus shall be provided for every investment fund together with, pursuant to the Swedish Investment Funds Act, an up to date Key Investor Information Document (KIID). Annual and Half-yearly Reports shall be drawn up for the investment fund. Every unit holder shall also receive an annual individual cost accounting.
If a standardized and non-individualized investment model is provided without direct contact with the customer, information shall be provided stating that this is a simplified model and that contact with a personal financial advisor is recommended for anyone requiring financial advice based on their individual requirements.
1.1 Full prospectus
Special requirements apply to the contents of full prospectuses under the provisions of the Swedish Investment Funds Act. The full prospectus shall also include the investment fund provisions.
1.2 Key Investor Information Document (KIID)
Under the provisions of the Swedish Investment Funds Act, the investor shall always be provided with the investment fund’s KIID prior to purchasing units in the fund. The purpose of the KIID is to supply the most essential information in accordance with a uniform structure. The Commission regulation (EC) 583/2010 contain special requirements with regard to the content of the KIID. The KIID shall be updated at least once every twelve months and be reviewed at other times, as is further detailed in the regulation. The Swedish Investment Fund Association has produced the KIID manual for investment funds to assist its member companies in the production of these KIIDes.
1.3 Annual Reports and Half-yearly Reports
The Annual Report and the Half-yearly Report shall contain the information needed to enable an evaluation of the performance and position of every investment fund.
The fund management company shall, for every investment fund under its management, draw up and submit
1. an Annual Report, within four months of the end of the financial year, and 2. a Half-yearly Report for the first six months of the year, within two months of the end of the second quarter of the financial year.
Communication of reports
The documents shall, upon request, be sent or handed out to the unit holders, free of charge, and be available at the fund management company and at the depository. The fund management company shall, in conjunction with annual statements containing individual cost accounting (see point 1.1.4), ask the unit holders whether they wish to receive the Annual Report and the Half-yearly Report.
The Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority regulation, FFFS 2008:11, contains accounting rules for investment funds.
Chapt. 19, § 51 of the regulation states that investment funds shall include certain key ratios in their Directors Report. The Swedish Investment Fund Association’s guideline for the key ratios for investment funds complement FSA regulation and is intended both to ensure that the information meets a certain minimum standard, and to allow investors to make comparisons between investment funds. Key ratios shall be included for, among other figures, returns, costs, risk, turnover rate and turnover through associated companies. The same guideline also states that typical examples shall be included in the Annual Report with regard to the management cost for both one-off amounts and for ongoing savings.
1.4 Individual cost accounting
The fund management company shall, under the provisions of chapt. 4, §§ 22 and 23 of the Swedish Investment Funds Act, provide every unit holder with annual written details of the percentage of the total costs for the investment fund that refers to their unit holding. This should be done in accordance with the Swedish Investment Fund Association guidelines for the annual reporting of costs to unit holders.
2.1 General provisions relating to investment fund marketing
All marketing shall be designed and formulated in accordance with good marketing practice (laws and other ordinances, legal precedents, good business practice, etc). In the marketing of funds to consumers, relevant and factual information shall be provided and the risks associated with the product on offer shall be explained. The information shall be clearly expressed.
By marketing is meant advertising and other commercial communications intended to promote sales, regardless of the advertising carrier (newspaper ads, direct marketing, TV advertising, web pages, posters, etc) and other measures in accordance with the Swedish Marketing Practices Act. Most of the rules presented below do not apply to marketing intended to raise brand awareness that contains no product information and where only the fund management company is mentioned. The rules express a minimum standard.
Fund legislation imposes special requirements regarding the content of KIID and full prospectuses and of Annual Reports and Half-yearly Reports. If the prospectus or Report contains strictly commercial information over and above these specific requirements, these guidelines on marketing of funds apply.
The Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority regulations regarding securities operations (FFFS 2007:16) include rules governing marketing material in conjunction with securities companies’ sale of financial instruments, such as investment fund units. Special rules apply, for example, to time periods in connection with reporting of returns.
2.2 Historic return (past performance)
2.2.1 Calculation of return
If details of the historic return are provided in the marketing, the return shall be calculated in accordance with generally accepted practice in the industry. This implies, amongst other things, the following.
In the case of information concerning a given fund’s return for the time period selected, the calculation shall be based on the fund’s net asset value, in order to achieve a comparable value for all funds. For funds which pay dividends, the net asset value shall be complemented by amounts distributed from the fund.
The Swedish Investment Fund Association’s standard for calculating rate of turnover for investment funds should be used.
“Dividends” paid to charitable purposes shall be treated in the same way as other dividends when calculating the return.
The return shall be calculated using up-to-date information, and the date of the latest listed price shall be given. Deductions shall be made in the calculation for all charges withdrawn from the fund. It shall be made clear whether front-end and withdrawal charges are additional and on which currency the return is based.
2.2.2 Time periods
The return earned during a particular successful period must not be highlighted in a way that gives a distorted overall impression of the performance of the fund. The account must provide a balanced picture of its actual performance.
When information on previously achieved return is provided in the marketing, information on the return for, at a minimum, the period that corresponds to the fund’s investment horizon must be included and presented prominently.
The recommended time period for short fixed income funds is one year; for bond funds, two years; for mixed funds, three years; and for equity funds, five years. The information shall relate to “rolling” periods or the latest calendar year. It shall be clearly indicated to what period the presentation relates. The closing date for the period covered shall be stated.
Newly started funds may provide information about the return earned since the day the fund was started, provided it is clearly stated that the fund has only recently been started.
When figures are provided showing the capital growth achieved so far over five years or more, it shall be made clear whether or not inflation has been taken into account.
2.3 Mathematical examples and suppositions concerning future performance
It shall be clearly stated, in conjunction with suppositions regarding future performance, that they are only to be considered as mathematical examples. Several alternatives should be provided in this context, using different preconditions.
Mathematical examples to illustrate a fund’s future growth in value shall correspond, in their entirety, with good practice and must not be misleading in any respect. This means, amongst other things:
- that mathematical examples shall be based on cautious and clearly stated assumptions,
- and that it clearly must be stated that suppositions with regard to growth in value do not constitute a guarantee.
General information about the effect of inflation and tax implications for the consumer, if any, shall be provided when it is necessary to give a correct impression.
If mathematical examples are used to illustrate future growth in value, it shall be made quite clear that the example is only illustrative.
If the return earned by a fund is compared with the return on another fund, a group of funds, an index or any other type of saving, the following must be observed.
The account shall be presented in such a way that the comparison as a whole is in accordance with generally accepted practice and is not misleading in any respect. The various sections of the comparison shall be relevant and be based on facts that are capable of verification. This means, for example:
2.4.1 Comparisons with other funds
If the comparison is with other funds, it shall be clearly indicated how they have been selected. The selection of funds must be fair, which means, for example, that the funds shall in all essentials have the same investment policy. If a comparison is made with an average of other funds, it shall be stated whether or not the average is weighted.
2.4.2 Comparative index
If the comparison is with an index, it shall be readily apparent which index has been used. The index selected shall be relevant and relate to the investment orientation of the fund. Dividend-adjusted indices only shall be used, if such indices exist, in comparisons with market indices. If no dividend-adjusted index is available, another market index may be used. It must always be stated whether dividends are included. If the fund management company has combined separate indices, the composition shall be specified. The performance of the fund and the index shall be stated in the same currency and calculated in an equivalent way.
2.4.3. Comparisons with other types of saving
If comparisons are with another type of savings product, the principles on which the comparison is based shall be clearly stated. The return on the fund and the return on the other type of savings product shall be calculated in an equivalent way. The periods of the comparison shall be the same and shall be based on the rules for time periods indicated in point 2.2.2 above.
2.4.4 Other businesses or their product
References by a business in its advertising to another business or that business’ products are only permissible if the comparison does not discredit or is not disparaging of the other business’ operations, circumstances, products, brand names, trading name or other features.
2.5 Graphic presentation
Any presentation of past performance or mathematical examples with suppositions concerning future return illustrated in the form of curves or presented in some other graphic manner must give a correct picture and be relevant.
2.6 Value judgements
Placements of capital or returns may not be described in such terms as “safe”, “guaranteed” or similar value judgments if it cannot be verified that it is guaranteed that the investor’s capital will be repaid or that a given return will be earned. Words such as “secure” and similar value judgments may not be used for marketing purposes if they are not placed in a relevant context.
Unconditional words expressing value, such as “best”, “biggest” and “leading”, may not be used if the claim is not capable of verification.
Terms such as “Swedish champion”, “Nordic champion”, “Manager of the Year” and similar distinctions should not be used if they have not been awarded by a reliable assessor who is totally independent of the fund management company and are not based on representative material. It is incumbent on whoever is carrying out the marketing to verify that these claims are correct and responsible
In the marketing of funds, it shall always be made clear that such investments involve a risk.
The following information or a text with a similar content shall always be included in the marketing of funds. The text may not be placed in a position where it is not readily visible.
“Past performance is no guarantee for future returns. The value of the money invested in the fund can increase or decrease and there is no guarantee that all of your invested capital can be redeemed.”
The above information need not be stated in connection with the marketing of funds where the invested capital and return are guaranteed.
It is incumbent on fund management companies to make an assessment of the risk that an investment in the fund being marketed is likely to involve. If the fund management company considers that a fund shall be classified as a fund entailing a higher risk, e.g. because the fund’s value may vary substantially due to the composition of the fund and the management methods used by the fund management company, this shall be made quite clear in the marketing material.
2.8 Information on KIID and full prospectuses
If marketing material extends an offer to consumers to buy units in a fund, it shall, pursuant to the Swedish Investment Funds Act, be made clear in the offer that the KIID and full prospectus of the fund are available and details shall be provided of where they can be obtained.
Fund management companies are reminded that they are obliged, pursuant to the Swedish Investment Funds Act, to provide a clear account of all fees and charges in the fund’s KIID and full prospectus, which shall be made available to customers before any units are bought.
2.10 Marketing of funds with specific environmental, social or other similar investment orientations
In January 2004, the Ethical Fund Marketing Committee (ENF), at the request of the Consumer Ombudsman, issued an advisory statement that includs a number of requirements that must be met before a fund may be marketed as “ethical”. The ENF has, in response to an enquiry by the Swedish Investment Fund Association, deemed it necessary to revise this statement, and in May 2009, issued a new statement that was further clarified in September 2009, and which replaces the former statement.
To summarize, this statement stipulates the following, which should be observed by fund management companies.
ENF believes that the following criteria must be met before a fund may be marketed using the term “ethical” or other formulations that indicate or imply that the fund orientates its investments in line with special environmental, social or other similar considerations.
- The fund management company shall have a clearly defined process for selecting its investments. This shall apply regardless of whether the fund management company applies positive or negative criteria in its selection process or the company’s policy is to attempt to influence those companies in which it invests in a desired direction.
- The fund management company shall maintain a function for the ongoing monitoring and ensuring of compliance with the selection process.
- If the fund management company claims that the fund’s investments are chosen on the basis of negative selection criteria, a maximum of five per cent turnover in the company in which the investment is made, or in the corporate Group of which the company is a member, may entail operations that do not live up to the special requirements established by the fund management company.
- The fund management company shall, in addition to the information regarding the fund’s investment orientation that must be provided in fund provisions, KIIDs and full prospectuses, provide clear and easily accessible details of:
- the company’s investment policy for the fund, including information on selection criteria and
- turnover limits, and
- the company’s selection process for the fund and the way in which compliance with the process is monitored and ensured.
The information shall be provided on the company’s website, but must also
always be available in written form,
- The fund management company shall, in its Annual Reports and Half-yearly Reports, describe to what extent compliance with the investment policy has been achieved with regard to the orientation of investments based on specific considerations. The fund management company shall, to the extent that deviations from the policy have occurred, provide details of the measures taken as a result thereof.
3. Guidance and advice about investment funds
Fund management companies should work to ensure that the unit holders can make informed decisions about funds. In order to help fund savers the Swedish Investment Fund Association has developed www.fondkollen.se which contains tools for selecting and evaluating funds and show how the savings amount, charges and return interact over time. Fund management companies are recommended to communicate fondkollen.se for example at their websites or in the annual report.
3.1 Advice in connection with individual portfolio management.
Under the provisions of the Swedish Securities Market Act, financial advisory services is an activity for which a license is required. A license to provide financial advisory services may only be granted to fund management companies who have been licensed to offer individual portfolio management. Such activities are regulated by the Swedish Securities Operations Act and the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority regulation FFFS 2007:16.
All financial advice supplied to consumers within the framework of a fund management company’s license to provide financial advisory services shall:
- be based on the needs and interests of the client
- take into account the level of the client’s knowledge
- take into account the customer’s preferred risk level
- include risk- and price-related information
- be characterized by open disclosure with regard to whether the advisor receives a direct commission
And shall otherwise comply with the requirements imposed in FFFS 2007:16.
Fund management companies shall ensure that those employees that provide financial advisory services have the necessary professional skills and possess such other competence as the business requires. The proficiency requirements developed by Swedsec should be indicative.
3.2 Provision of information and financial advice by distributors
If advice on the fund management company’s funds is provided via a distributor, the fund management company should maintain a policy for appointing distributors. A written agreement should be drawn up between the fund management company and the distributor. The agreement should state that the distributor agrees to adhere to relevant guidelines from the Swedish Investment Fund Association and that it is responsible for ensuring that any financial advice provided in connection with the sale of funds is provided in compliance with applicable legislation, directives and other relevant regulatory frameworks applicable to the operations conducted by the distributor.
The distributor is responsible for ensuring that financial advisors possess the competence required. The Proficiency requirements developed by SwedSec should be indicative.
The fund management company shall provide distributors with the requisite product information and support with regard to the fund management company’s investment fund products.
For appendix 1 please refer to the Swedish version.
 With marketing intended to raise brand awareness (in Swedish “profilskapande”) is meant the communication of information about the fund company, or securities company, where the information itself can not be understood as an invitation to purchase products or services.
 The content of these documents are specified in FFFS 2008:11 and apply to all funds. The Swedish Investment Fund Association has, additionally, issued Guidelines for reporting of key ratios in relation to investment funds in Annual Reports and Half-yearly Reports.
 See Appendix 1.
 See this definition in the Swedish Investment Funds Act (2004:46), chapt. 4, §16, subsection 2, point 2.
 The entire statement is available from the Swedish Investment Fund Association website at www.fondbolagen.se.
Share this page