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Date Ref. Title Section Type Download Info Summary Related Documents Translated versions
22/03/2012 2012/207 ESMA’s Report on the Supervision of Credit Rating Agencies Final Report PDF
323.81 KB
This report provides an overview of ESMA’s supervisory activity on Credit Rating Agencies (CRAs) registered in the European Union and summarises the results of ESMA’s first examination of the three groups of registered CRAs (Fitch Ratings, Moody's Investors Services, and Standard & Poor's Rating Services). The examination referred to in this document is the first step in an ongoing supervisory process conducted by ESMA and therefore does not represent a full scope investigation. The observations set forth in this Report refer to common issues affecting CRAs activities. As of the date of this document, ESMA has not determined whether any observation highlighted below constitutes a breach of the provisions of the Regulation. ESMA is still progressing in its assessment of the areas discussed in this Report. This Report is not based on a decision by ESMA’s Board of Supervisors; therefore it is published without prejudice to the possibility of further investigations which could lead to enforcement or supervisory actions.
12/01/2012 2012/3 Annual report on the application of the Regulation on credit rating agencies as provided by Article 21(5) and Article 39a of the Regulation (EU) No 1060/2009 as amended by Regulation No 1095/2010 Final Report PDF
141.98 KB
This is the first report under the new CRA regulation, however, please note that CESR published a report about the application of the Regulation in the EU and, in particular, on the implementation of the requirements established in Annex I of the Regulation on 6 December 2010 (CESR/10-1424), according to Article 21(4) of the Regulation which was subsequently amended by Regulation No (EC) 513/2011. At the time of publication, 16 CRA's have been registered.
01/11/2012 2012/715 ESMA Opinion on emergency measure by Spanish CNMV under Section 1 of Chapter V of Regulation No. 236/2012 on short selling and certain aspects of credit default swaps Opinion PDF
79.2 KB
ESMA Opinion ESMA is adopting the following opinion on the notified measure, on the basis of Article 27(2) of Regulation 236/2012 on Short selling and certain aspects of credit default swaps: On the adverse events or developmentsESMA considers that there are adverse developments which constitute a serious threat to financial stability and to market confidence in Spain. On the appropriateness and proportionality of the measure ESMA considers that the measure is appropriate and proportionate to address the above-mentioned threats that persist in Spain. On the duration of the measureESMA considers that the duration of the measure is justified and appreciates the CNMV’s statement in its notification of intent whereby the measure may be lifted during the period of enforcement of the measure, if considered necessary.
01/11/2012 2012/717 ESMA Opinion on emergency measure by the Greek HCMC under Section 1 of Chapter V of Regulation No. 236/2012 on short selling and certain aspects of credit default swaps Opinion PDF
95.45 KB
ESMA Opinion ESMA is adopting the following opinion on the notified measure, on the basis of Article 27(2) of Regulation 236/2012 on Short selling and certain aspects of credit default swaps: On the adverse events or developmentsESMA considers that there are adverse developments which constitute a serious threat to financial stability and to market confidence in Greece. On the appropriateness and proportionality of the measure ESMA considers that the measure is appropriate and proportionate to address the above-mentioned threats that persist in Greece. On the duration of the measureESMA considers that the duration of the measure is justified and appreciates the HCMC’s statement in its notification of intent whereby the measure may be lifted during the period of enforcement of the measure, if considered necessary.
03/01/2013 2012/875 Report to the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on the budgetary impli-cations of Regulation (EU) No 236/2012 on short selling and certain aspects of credit default swaps Final Report PDF
532.88 KB
29/01/2013 2013/149 Emergency measure by the Greek HCMC under Section 1 of Chapter V of Regulation No 236/2012 on short selling and certain aspects of credit default swaps Opinion PDF
96.52 KB
01/02/2013 2013/158 Guidelines on the exemption for market making activities and primary market operations under Regulation (EU) 236/2012 of the European Parliament and the Council on short selling and certain aspects of Credit Default Swaps Final Report PDF
501.8 KB
30/01/2013 2013/159 Q&A on Implementation of the Regulation on short selling and certain aspects of credit default swaps (2nd update) Q&A PDF
873.32 KB
02/12/2013 2013/1775 Sovereign ratings investigation- ESMA’s assessment of governance, conflicts of interest, resourcing adequacy and confidentiality controls Final Report PDF
302.99 KB
This report summarises the findings of the European Securities and Markets Authority’s (ESMA) general investigation into sovereign credit ratings issued by Fitch Ratings, Moody’s Investors Service and Standard & Poor’s which took place between February and October 2013, as indicated in its Credit Rating Agencies (CRAs) 2013 Supervision and Policy Work Plan. In this report ESMA describes the observed deficiencies and main concerns while also identifying a number of good practices in the following areas: • the role of senior management and other non-rating functions in the rating process and the actual or potential conflicts of interest which could arise; • the actual or potential conflicts of interests generated by the involvement of sovereign analysts in research and publication activities; • confidentiality of sovereign rating information and controls in place prior to publication of ratings (including IT and access controls to confidential information); • timing of publication of sovereign ratings, including timely disclosure of rating changes; • monitoring of the adequacy and expertise of resources dedicated to sovereign ratings; • preparation of rating committees; and • definitions of roles and responsibilities among different analytical functions. ESMA’s investigation revealed shortcomings in the sovereign ratings process which could pose risks to the quality, independence and integrity of the ratings and of the rating process. As of the date of this document, ESMA has not determined whether any of the observations made in this report constitute serious indications of the possible existence of facts liable to constitute one or more infringements of the CRA Regulation.
18/03/2013 2013/308 Annual report on the application of the Regulation on credit rating agencies- 2012 Final Report PDF
601.08 KB
This is the second annual report on the application of the Credit Rating Agencies Regulation. 
30/04/2013 2013/542 Emergency measure by the Greek HCMC under Section 1 of Chapter V of Regulation No 236/2012 on short selling and certain aspects of credit default swaps , Opinion PDF
96.41 KB
27/10/2014 2014/1312 ESMA opinion on emergency measure by the Italian CONSOB under the short-selling regulation Opinion PDF
137.35 KB
11/11/2014 2014/1355 ESMA opinion on the renewal of short positions ban in Italy Opinion PDF
114.46 KB
18/12/2014 2014/1378 Opinion- Investment-based crowdfunding Opinion PDF
460.92 KB
Crowdfunding is a means of raising finance for projects from ‘the crowd’ often by means of an internet-based platform through which project owners ‘pitch’ their idea to potential backers, who are typically not professional investors.  It takes many forms, not all of which involve the potential for a financial return.  ESMA’s focus is on crowdfunding which involves investment, as distinct from donation, non-monetary reward or loan agreement.  Crowdfunding is relatively young and business models are evolving. EU financial services rules were not designed with the industry in mind. Within investment-based crowdfunding a range of different operational structures are used so it is not straightforward to map crowdfunding platforms’ activities to those regulated under EU legislation. Member States and NCAs have been working out how to treat crowdfunding, with some dealing with issues case-by-case, some seeking to clarify how crowdfunding fits into existing rules and others introducing specific requirements.To assist NCAs and market participants, and to promote regulatory and supervisory convergence, ESMA has assessed typical investment-based crowdfunding business models and how they could evolve, risks typically involved for project owners, investors and the platforms themselves and the likely components of an appropriate regulatory regime. ESMA then prepared a detailed analysis of how the typical business models map across to the existing EU legislation, set out in this document.
21/02/2014 2014/151 Credit Rating Agencies Annual Report 2013 Final Report PDF
507.61 KB
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published its Annual Report 2013 (Report) on credit rating agencies (CRAs) in the European Union (EU). The Report also outlines ESMA’s supervisory work plan for this year. ESMA has found that CRAs continue to progress in how they comply with the CRA Regulation, including improved internal transparency and disclosure to the market on credit rating activities as well as empowerment of the compliance function. However, ESMA considers that improvements are still necessary, notably in the following areas: • validation of rating methodologies, to ensure that a credit rating assessment is a comprehensive risk assessment leading to high quality ratings; • internal governance, ensuring the full independence of the internal review function and thereby reducing the risk of potential conflict of interest; and • robust IT systems to support the rating process, including information security controls and protection of confidential rating information. These issues form the basis for much of ESMA’s supervision activities as outlined in its 2014 work plan. This includes the completion of the two on-going supervisory reviews into CRAs’ monitoring of structured finance ratings and into small and medium-sized CRAs. A new thematic investigation on how CRAs review and validate their rating methodologies will also be launched, as well as dedicated work on CRAs’ IT systems and controls. Following the entry into force of the amended CRA Regulation in June 2013, ESMA will also complete a specific assessment on CRAs’ compliance with the new regulatory requirements.
16/12/2014 2014/1524 ESMA’s investigation into structured finance ratings Final Report PDF
436.29 KB
The European Securities and Markets Authorities (ESMA) has published this report to inform of the outcome and findings of its general investigation in the way credit rating agencies (CRAs) conduct surveillance of structured finance credit ratings, as indicated in ESMA’s Credit Rating Agencies Annual Report 2013. The investigation took place between October 2013 and September 2014 and involved the four largest CRAs providing credit ratings on structured finance instruments in the EU, namely DBRS Ratings (DBRS), Fitch Ratings (Fitch), Moody’s Investors Service (MIS) and Standard & Poor’s (S&P). 
18/12/2014 2014/1560 Advice- Investment-based crowdfunding Final Report PDF
482.2 KB
Crowdfunding is a means of raising finance for projects from ‘the crowd’ often by means of an internet-based platform through which project owners ‘pitch’ their idea to potential backers, who are typically not professional investors.  It takes many forms, not all of which involve the potential for a financial return.  ESMA’s focus is on crowdfunding which involves investment, as distinct from donation, non-monetary reward or loan agreement.Crowdfunding is relatively young and business models are evolving. EU financial services rules were not designed with the industry in mind.  Within investment-based crowdfunding a range of different operational structures are used so it is not straightforward to map crowdfunding platforms’ activities to those regulated under EU legislation. Member States and NCAs have been working out how to treat crowdfunding, with some dealing with issues case-by-case, some seeking to clarify how crowdfunding fits into existing rules and others introducing specific requirements.To assist NCAs and market participants, and to promote regulatory and supervisory convergence, ESMA has assessed typical investment-based crowdfunding business models and how they could evolve, risks typically involved for project owners, investors and the platforms themselves and the likely components of an appropriate regulatory regime. ESMA then prepared a detailed analysis of how the typical business models map across to the existing EU legislation, set out in sections 1 to 6 of this document.
27/03/2014 2014/332 Structured Retail Products- Good practices for product governance arrangements , Opinion PDF
203.1 KB
Legal basis 1.    Regulation (EU) No 1095/2010 (ESMA Regulation)  sets out the European Securities and Markets Authority’s (ESMA) scope of action, tasks and powers which include “enhancing customer protection”, and “foster[ing] investor protection”.  2.    In order to continue delivering on this investor protection statutory objective, ESMA is issuing this opinion on certain aspects linked to the manufacturing and distribution of structured retail products (SRP). This opinion takes into account relevant work done in this field both at European and interna-tional level.  3.    This opinion is without prejudice to the requirements for the provision of investment services and activities established in the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID)  and its implementing measures (notably, Directive 2006/73/EC), the regulatory developments arising from the MiFID review or existing product rules that may apply to SRPs.  4.    ESMA’s competence to deliver an opinion is based on Article 29(1) (a) of the ESMA Regulation. In accordance with Article 44(1) of the ESMA Regulation, the Board of Supervisors has adopted this opinion. Background 5.    In its July 2013 report on ‘Retailisation in the EU’ , ESMA highlighted that, from a consumer protec-tion perspective, retail investors may face difficulties in understanding the drivers of risks and returns of structured products. If retail investors do not properly understand the risk and reward profile of structured products, and if the products are not properly assessed against the risk appetite of retail investors, retail investors might be exposed to unexpected losses and this might lead to complaints, reputational risks for manufacturers and distributors, and a loss of confidence in the regulatory framework and, more broadly, in financial markets. 6.    In 2013, ESMA mapped the measures adopted in the EU Member States in relation to complex products in order to identify issues and to better understand the rationale behind national initiatives (by looking at similarities and differences in the various approaches, and reviewing how complexity has been treated in the different EU Members States). 7.    As a result, ESMA has developed a broad set of non-exhaustive examples of good practices, attached as Annex 1 hereto, illustrating arrangements that firms - taking into account the nature, scale and complexity of their business - could put in place to improve their ability to deliver on investor protection regarding, in particular, (i) the complexity of the SRPs they manufacture or distribute, (ii) the nature and range of the investment services and activities undertaken in the course of that business, and (iii) the type of investors they target. These good practices should also be a helpful tool for competent authorities in carrying out their supervisory action. Opinion 8.    ESMA considers that sound product governance arrangements are fundamental for investor protec-tion purposes, and can reduce the need for product intervention actions by competent authorities. 9.    ESMA considers that, when supervising firms manufacturing or distributing an SRP, competent authorities should promote, in their supervisory approaches, the examples of good practices for firms set out in Annex 1 hereto. 10.    Although the good practices set out in Annex 1 hereto focus on structured products sold to retail investors, ESMA considers that they may also be a relevant reference for other types of financial in-struments (such as asset-backed securities, or contingent convertible bonds), as well as when financial instruments are being sold to professional clients. 11.    The exposure to risk is an intrinsic feature of investment products. The good practices set out in Annex 1 refer to product governance arrangements and do not (and cannot) aim at removing investment risk from products.
05/08/2014 2014/939 Report to the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on ESMA’s staffing and resource for CRA supervision Final Report PDF
322.49 KB
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) is required by Article 39a of Regulation (EU) No 462/2013 of the European Parliament and the Council of 21 May 2013, amending Regulation (EC) No 1060/2009 on credit rating agencies (CRA Regulation), to assess the staffing and resources needs arising from the assumption of its powers and duties under the CRA Regulation and submit a report to the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission of these needs. The Report describes the tasks that ESMA carries out in view of its responsibilities under the CRA Regulation. For each task the report analyses the implications in terms of processes and activities to be carried out. The report also provides the implications in terms of resources and budget. While ESMA experienced a steep increase of resources in the initial years following the entry into force of the CRA Regulation, incremental growth in staff numbers in 2015 and 2016 can be envisaged to adequately cope with additional tasks following from the CRA3 Regulation.
01/07/2015 2015/1005 Questions and Answers: Investment-based crowdfunding: money laundering/terrorist financing Q&A PDF
157.73 KB

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