SWEDEN - The Swedish Consumer Agency has contacted some 40 fund management companies in the country and requested access to all their marketing and information material on the funds they offer.
The agency is conducting a thematic investigation of whether the funds are adhering to the marketing agreement signed with the Swedish Investment Fund Association in 2000.
So far, the agency has received information from about half the companies, and Malin Fors, a solicitor at the agency, said they were determining whether the material complied with the agreement and whether all statements in the materials were truthful.
The investigation is expected to result in a report at the end of March 2011 that will also look at whether the asset managers clearly account for the risks involved in investing in funds.
The marketing of ethical and environmental funds will be of specific interest, where the report will look at how these concepts are used and whether marketing adheres to proper standards.
The Swedish Consumer Agency is headed by a director general who is also the consumer ombudsman, which can represent consumer interests in relations with businesses, as well as pursue legal action in the courts.
In other news, the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise - the country's largest and most influential business federation, representing 50 member organisations and 60,000 member companies - has called for the merger of Collectum and Fora, the administrators of Sweden's supplementary occupational pensions.
The confederation said there would be an obvious cost-saving advantage because the two companies were engaged in similar businesses.
Collectum is the administrator for the white-collar ITP pensions, while Fora is responsible for the equivalent for blue-collar workers.
The confederation said it would also like to see a merger of the pension plans for the two categories of employees, thereby simplifying the system.