Supervision release 26 June 2019 – 31/2019

Thematic review on the organisation of depositary activities

The FIN-FSA has carried out a thematic review on the organisation of depositary activities.

Regulation concerning depositaries1 was tightened due to misconduct surfacing in the context of the financial crisis. The duties of a depositary are determined in detail in EU-level regulations, which entered into force regarding alternative investment funds on 22 July 2013, and regarding common funds on 13 October 2016.

The thematic review was conducted by means of a survey sent to all depositaries having the right to operate in Finland as a depositary for a common fund or an alternative investment fund. 12 operators responded to the survey, five of which were branches of a foreign EEA credit institution.

The depositaries were requested to provide information on the quality and scope of their depositary activities, the organisation of the depositary activities and on the performance of supervisory duties. The thematic review did not address how the custody of the funds’ assets was arranged.

The responses showed that the market for depositary services is highly concentrated: only ten depositaries provided depositary services and the majority of assets was kept in custody by the three most significant agents.

The FIN-FSA wishes to point depositaries’ attention to adequate personnel resources in supervisory duties and to the need of developing automated systems in order that the depositaries have the genuine capacity to perform all of their statutory duties.

With respect to the duties reviewed, the FIN-FSA was unable to ascertain that the depositaries perform statutory supervision in all circumstances with a frequency required by fund-level risk assessment. The supervisory procedures observed by the depositary must be based on a risk assessment conducted by the depositary, which, in the FIN-FSA's view, should be documented for example in a supervision plan.

Depositaries must also note that the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has provided interpretations concerning the application of regulation on depositaries2.

For further information, please contact

  • Merja Junnonen, Senior Legal Advisor, tel. +358 9 183 5554 or merja.junnonen(at) (until 28 July 2019)
  • Eeva Granskog, Head of Division, tel. +358 9 183 5203 or eeva.granskog(at) (from 1 July 2019 to 15 July 2019)


Thematic review on the organization of depositary activities

  • 1The Mutual Funds Act (213/2019) and the UCITS Regulation (Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2016/438 of 17 December 2015 supplementing Directive 2009/65/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council with regard to obligations of depositaries). The Act on Alternative Investment Managers 162/2014 and the AIFM Regulation (Commission Delegated Regulation No 231/2013 of 19 December 2012 supplementing Directive 2011/61/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council with regard to exemptions, general operating conditions, depositaries, leverage, transparency and supervision).
    2Questions and Answers on Application of the AIFMD and Application of the UCITS Directive