A sales communication pertaining to an investment fund is prohibited from including a statement that conflicts with information that is contained in the fund’s regulatory offering documents. [FN 36] In addition, a sales communication pertaining to an investment fund is also prohibited from being untrue or misleading. [FN 37]
The Companion Policy to NI 81-102 lists some of the circumstances in which, in the view of the Canadian securities regulatory authorities, a sales communication would be misleading. One such circumstance is if the sales communication contains a statement that lacks explanations, qualifications, limitations or other statements necessary or appropriate to make the statement in the sales communication not misleading. [FN 38] Another circumstance is if the sales communication contains a statement about the characteristics or attributes of an investment fund that makes exaggerated or unsubstantiated claims about management skill or techniques, characteristics of the investment fund or an investment in securities issued by the fund. [FN 39]
In addition, staff are of the view that sales communications should not contain statements that are vague or exaggerated, or that cannot otherwise be verified. [FN 40]
Sales communications, including websites, play a key role in providing information about the investment objectives, investment strategies and performance of funds that investors may consider investing in. Therefore, sales communications relating to ESG that are not untrue or misleading and that are consistent with a fund’s regulatory offering documents are important in order to prevent greenwashing.
FN 36 Paragraph 15.2(1)(b) of NI 81-102.
FN 37 Paragraph 15.2(1)(a) of NI 81-102.
FN 38 Paragraph 13.1(1)1 of Companion Policy 81-102CP to National Instrument 81-102 Investment Funds (81-102CP).
FN 39 Subparagraph 13.1(1)3(b) of 81-102CP.
FN 40 OSC Staff Notice 81-720 Report on Staff’s Continuous Disclosure Review of Sales Communications by Investment Funds.