Friday, January 19, 2018

UTC to implement new US regulations


ABIDING BY RULES: Chairman of the Unit Trust Corporation Wendell Mottley, centre, answers questions from unit holders during their AGM on Wednesday at the Southern Academy for the Performing Arts, San Fernando. Looking on are Kendra Thomas-Long and executive director of UTC Ian Chinapoo. —Photo: DEXTER PHILIP

Mark Fraser

THE board of directors of the Unit Trust Corporation (UTC) will be implementing new United States-initiated regulations and will also be considering ways in which unit holders can have access to greater withdrawals of their US dollars.

At the UTC’s 32nd annual general meeting on Wednesday, UTC’s executive director Ian Chinapoo said that the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) will be implemented. 

The AGM was held at the Southern Academy for Performing Arts (SAPA) in San Fernando.

Chinapoo said: “This act requires non-US financial institutions such as the Trinidad and Tobago Unit Trust Corporation, who may come into contact with US taxpayers, to seek to identify and report on US citizens or residents who may be holding financial assets in institutions outside of the US. It requires that US citizens or residents, who live outside the United States, declare their financial accounts and related income received. It also requires us to report to the IRS about our American clients.”

Chinapoo also said investors may soon be able to access more of their US cash from the US Income Fund.

He said: “We are not able to hold a significant float of US cash in the investment centres at this time and keeping a large amount of US cash on hand will not bring returns or accretive value to your investment. Some customers, however would like to access their account for physical US cash. Therefore, we are considering ways that we can facilitate greater US cash withdrawals. However, please bear with us as we work to optimise the deployment of your funds.”

He said UTC made some changes in 2013 which were necessary to stay competitive in the global market.

Some of these included the discontinuation of the International Suite of Funds (ISOF) because it did not attract many investors and the Energy Fund which formed part of the ISOF.

UTC chairman Wendell Mottley said the UTC was modernising its strategies and proposals were made to the Ministry of Finance for amendments to be made to the Finance Act.

Mottley said: “The amendments are aimed at improving our strategic capacity, enhancing our governance, compliance and risk management accountabilities as well as streamlining our operations and financial reporting.”

Although the corporation was very successful, it cannot become complacent, he said.

At the end of 2013, there were 824,207 unit holders. And over the last 32 years, the corporation made payments in excess of $8.3 billion to unit holders, Mottley said.

He said the corporation performed well in 2013 with its North American Fund, the Universal Retirement Fund and the Growth and Income Fund posting returns of 14.6 per cent, 11.8 per cent and 10.3 per cent respectively.