‘We had to exit Americans because of Fatca’: UTI International

Praveen JagwaniUTI International (Singapore) chief executive officer Praveen Jagwani says the asset manager had to remove American investors because of the compliance burden

Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (Fatca) brings.

The regulation requires financial institutions to use enhanced due diligence to identify US citizens that have invested in either non-US financial accounts or non-US entities.

Fatca, which will become effective this year, was launched with the intention to keep US citizens from hiding income. Asset managers face severe consequences if they fail to enter an agreement with the Internal Revenue Service.

The intent behind Fatca is to keep US persons from hiding income and assets overseas.

Speaking at a recent Funds Global Asia roundtable in Singapore, Jagwani says Fatca is the single most difficult act of regulation for the asset management industry.

“We offer a Guernsey-domiciled Indian equity fund and because of six American investors, our compliance cost has gone up significantly,” Jagwani says.

“In order not to penalise the remaining investors, we have unfortunately had to decide to exit the American investors.”

UTI International is a subsidiary of one of India’s largest asset managers, UTI Asset Management Company.

Margaret Harwood-Jones, managing director and global head of investors and intermediaries, Standard Chartered, another roundtable participant, says there is no place in the world where businesses can hide from the impact of any foreign regulation.

“Even when it is only half a dozen investors buried somewhere in a particular fund, they have to be fully identified and properly treated in order to comply with Fatca,” Harwood-Jones says. “The obligation to report, to comply with the plethora of new regulation is important yet onerous indeed.”

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