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Date Ref. Title Section Type Download Info Summary Related Documents Translated versions
04/12/2019 ESMA34-32-352 Q&A on the Application of the AIFMD , Q&A PDF
500.53 KB
04/12/2019 ESMA35-43-349 Q&As on MiFID II and MiFIR investor protection topics , Q&A PDF
1017.84 KB
24/10/2019 JC-2019-64 Joint ESA Supervisory Statement – application of scope of the PRIIPs Regulation to bonds , Statement PDF
802.39 KB
12/07/2019 ESMA35-36-1743 Statement Product Intervention Statement PDF
104.99 KB
29/03/2019 ESMA34-43-392 Q&A on the application of the UCITS Directive Q&A PDF
407.27 KB
30/01/2019 ESMA71-99-1095 New IMSC Chair , Statement PDF
85.59 KB
19/12/2018 ESMA35-43-1328 Brexit Statement- information to clients , Statement PDF
212.95 KB
09/11/2018 ESMA35-36-1262 Technical Q&As on product intervention measures on CFDs and binary options Q&A PDF
147.84 KB
07/11/2018 ESMA71-99-1058 ESMA new SC chairs , , Statement PDF
142.32 KB
30/05/2018 ESMA71-99-991 Statement of the EBA and ESMA on the treatment of retail holdings of debt financial instruments subject to the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive , Statement PDF
926.71 KB
15/12/2017 ESMA71-99-910 Statement on preparatory work of the European Securities and Markets Authority in relation to CFDs and binary options offered to retail clients , Statement PDF
209.47 KB
28/06/2017 ESMA35-36-885 Product Intervention- General Statement , Statement PDF
123.04 KB

This statement provides an update on the European Securities and Markets Authority’s (ESMA) work in relation to the sale of contracts for differences (CFDs), binary options and other speculative products to retail investors.

 

ESMA has been concerned about the provision of speculative products such as CFDs, rolling spot forex and binary options to retail investors for a considerable period of time and has conducted ongoing monitoring and supervisory convergence work in this area. In this context, ESMA has previously published a number of Q&As on CFDs and other speculative products[1] to foster supervisory convergence, having established a CFD Task Force in July 2015, and also issued a further investor warning on the sale of CFDs, binary options and other speculative products in July 2016[2].

 

However, ESMA remains concerned that these supervisory convergence tools may not be sufficiently effective to ensure that the risks to consumer protection are sufficiently controlled or reduced. ESMA is therefore discussing the possible use of its product intervention powers under Article 40 of MiFIR to address investor protection risks in relation to CFDs, rolling spot forex and binary options.

 

ESMA is in the process of discussing the possible use of its product intervention powers under Article 40 of MiFIR, the possible content of any such measures, and how they could be applied. However, ESMA can confirm that the measures being discussed for (i) CFDs and rolling spot forex and (ii) binary options include proposals that take into account a number of measures that have been adopted or publicly consulted on by EU National Competent Authorities. These measures include leverage limits, guaranteed limits on client losses, and / or restrictions on the marketing and distribution of these products.

 

In accordance with Article 40 of MiFIR, any intervention measures must be approved by the ESMA Board of Supervisors and can only come into effect from 3 January 2018 at the earliest[3].

31/03/2017 ESMA35-36-794 Q&A Relating to the provision of CFDs and other speculative products to retail investors under MiFID Q&A PDF
948.76 KB
16/12/2016 2016/1669 2016-1669 Q&A on AIFMD Q&A PDF
436.68 KB
21/11/2016 2016/1586 Questions and Answers on UCITS Directive Q&A PDF
454.07 KB
30/09/2016 2016/1408 ESMA appoints new chairs to Standing Committees , , , Statement PDF
141.3 KB

The Board of Supervisors of the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has appointed the following individuals to serve as chairs of its standing committees:

  • Hannelore Lausch, Executive Director of the Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht (BaFin), Germany, will chair the Market Data Standing Committee;
  • Cyril Roux, Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland (CBI, will chair the Investment Management Standing Committee; and
  • Merel van Vroonhoven, Chair of the Autoriteit Financiële Markten (AFM), Netherlands, will chair the Investor Protection and Intermediaries Standing Committee.

The standing committees are expert groups drawn from ESMA staff and the national competent authorities for securities markets regulation in the Member States, and are responsible for the development of policy in their respective areas.  The appointments are for a period of two years and commence with immediate effect.

02/06/2016 2016/902 MiFID practices for firms selling financial instruments subject to the BRRD resolution regime Statement PDF
259.47 KB
31/05/2016 2016/774 Q&A on the Application of the EuSEF and EuVECA Regulations Q&A PDF
212.93 KB
02/02/2016 2016/165 Public Statement- Supervisory work on potential closet index tracking Statement PDF
258.17 KB

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) is issuing this statement to inform stakeholders and especially investors about the potential for some European collective investment funds to be ‘closet index trackers’, and to give details on the work that ESMA has been doing in this context.

Introduction

  1. ESMA’s attention was drawn to an alleged practice in the European collective investment management industry whereby asset managers claim, according to their fund rules and investor information documentation, to manage their funds in an active manner while the funds are, in fact, staying very close to a benchmark and therefore implementing an investment strategy which requires less input from the investment manager. At the same time, it is alleged that these funds charge management fees in line with those of funds that are considered to be actively managed[1]. This practice is commonly referred to as ‘closet indexing’ or ‘index hugging’.
  2. In many EU Member States, NCAs have launched or are in the process of launching specific investigations, in addition to their regular monitoring and supervisory functions, to determine the potential extent of closet indexing in their jurisdictions, with a focus on equity funds at this stage. At the same time, the issue has been the subject of considerable attention by investor protection groups and the media throughout the European Union.

Reasons for issuing this statement

  1. The issues around ‘closet indexing’ form part of a broader issue on the effectiveness of investor disclosure and the legitimate expectations of investors in respect of the service provided by some asset managers. Nonetheless, the potential practice of closet indexing in Europe raises questions that merit closer analysis. The analysis carried out by ESMA (see paragraphs 9 to 16 for more details) indicates that there might be a small, but not insignificant number of funds in the EU equity fund sector that may be closet index trackers. If the existence of this practice were to be confirmed by further supervisory scrutiny carried out at national level, this could mean that:
  1. investors could be making investment decisions based on an expectation that they will be provided with a more active fund management service than they receive in practice and, therefore, may be paying higher management fees than that usually envisaged for a passive/not significantly active management service;
  2. investors may be exposed to a different risk/return profile than they expect; and
  3. some asset managers may not provide clear descriptions of how funds are managed in key disclosure documents such as the fund’s Prospectus and Key Investor Information Document (KIID).
  1. ESMA considers it important that fund managers take their commitments in disclosure documents seriously. Managers should expect supervisory consequences where evidence for incorrect disclosures is proven.
 

[1] ESMA recognises that management fees may depend on a number of factors.

22/06/2012 2012/382 MiFID Q&A in the area of investor protection and intermediaries Q&A PDF
319.78 KB