ETF Facts document mandatory by 2017

By Andrew Rickard | December 09 2016 09:45AM

Photo: Freepik

All companies that offer exchange-traded funds (ETFs) will have to produce and file a summary disclosure document called “ETF Facts” next year. By the end of 2018, the document will have to be delivered to the client within two days of the purchase.

The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) published final amendments yesterday that will require companies to produce a plain-language summary that is similar to the Fund Facts document already required for conventional mutual funds. It must be no more than two pages double-sided and describe the potential benefits, risks, and costs of investing in an ETF, as well as information about the product's trading and pricing characteristics.

“ETF Facts will help investors make more informed decisions about ETFs, and we encourage advisors and investors to use it as a tool in their conversations about a purchase decision,” says Louis Morisset, chairman of the Canadian Securities Administrators and president and CEO of the Autorité des marchés financiers.

The changes are scheduled to come into force on March 8, 2017, and the CSA says the measures will be phased in: on September 1, 2017 ETFs will be required to produce and file an ETF Facts and make it available on their websites, while dealer delivery obligations will come into effect on December 10, 2018.

One difference between ETFs and mutual funds is that ETF Facts must be delivered after the sale, while the Fund Facts is made available beforehand. "The CSA expects to consider the feasibility of requiring pre-sale delivery of the ETF Facts and any proposals in this regard will be subject to the consultation process," reads the announcement.