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Date Ref. Title Section Type Download Info Summary Related Documents Translated versions
24/10/2019 JC-2019-64 Joint ESA Supervisory Statement – application of scope of the PRIIPs Regulation to bonds , Statement PDF
802.39 KB
28/03/2019 ESMA90-1-83 Brexit Update March 2019 , , , , , Statement PDF
121.13 KB
15/03/2019 ESMA33-5-735 ESMA statement on the endorsement of UK credit ratings in case of a no-deal Brexit , Statement PDF
122.54 KB
30/01/2019 ESMA71-99-1095 New IMSC Chair , Statement PDF
85.59 KB
09/11/2018 ESMA80-187-149 Public statement- Contingency plans of Credit Rating Agencies and Trade Repositories in the context of the United Kingdom withdrawing from the European Union , , Statement PDF
137.78 KB
07/11/2018 ESMA71-99-1058 ESMA new SC chairs , , Statement PDF
142.32 KB
13/11/2017 ESMA71-99-650 Kroll Bond Rating Agency Europe Limited Registration , Statement PDF
164.33 KB
20/07/2017 ESMA34-45-277 Opinion on asset segregation and custody services Opinion PDF
604.81 KB
13/07/2017 ESMA35-45-344 Opinion to support supervisory convergence in the area of investment management in the context of the United Kingdom withdrawing from the European Union , , Opinion PDF
246.6 KB
03/05/2017 ESMA33-9-174 Opening Statement for ECON Scrutiny Hearing on CRA Regulation Statement PDF
154.31 KB
30/01/2017 ESMA34-43-296 Opinion on UCITS Share Classes Opinion PDF
332.69 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.

21/07/2016 2016/1159 Public notice- Infrigement by Fitch , Statement PDF
324.96 KB
13/07/2016 2016/1122 Feedback Statement on the Discussion Paper on the validation and review of CRAs’ methodologies Statement PDF
477.03 KB
12/05/2016 ESA/2016/41 Opinion of the ESAs- ECAI credit assessments , Opinion PDF
379.79 KB
12/04/2016 2016/596 Opinion on loan origination Opinion PDF
118.55 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.

01/12/2015 2015/1778 Public Statement- Expert RA registration Statement PDF
123.49 KB
27/10/2015 2015/1605 Public Statement- INC Rating registration FINAL Statement PDF
136.3 KB
30/07/2015 2015/1235 ESMA's opinion to the European Parliament, Council and Commission and responses to the call for evidence on the functioning of the AIFMD EU passport and of the National Private Placement Regimes Opinion PDF
886.86 KB
AIFMD and the request to ESMA for an Opinion In accordance with Articles 36 and 42 of the AIFMD, non-EU AIFMs and non-EU AIFs managed by EU AIFMs are subject to the NPPR of each of the Member States where the AIFs are marketed or managed. However, the AIFMD makes provision for the passport, which is currently reserved to EU AIFMs and AIFs, to be potentially extended in future. Article 67(1) of the AIFMD establishes that, by 22 July 2015, ESMA shall issue to the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission the following: An opinion on the functioning of the passport for EU AIFMs pursuant to Articles 32 and 33 of the AIFMD and on the functioning of the national private placement regimes set out in Articles 36 and 42 of the AIFMD. Advice on the application of the passport to non-EU AIFMs and AIFs in accordance with the rules set out in Article 35 and Articles 37 to 41 of the AIFMD. Within three months of receipt of positive advice and an opinion from ESMA, and taking into account the criteria of Article 67(2) and the objectives of the AIFMD, the Commission should adopt a delegated act specifying the date when the rules set out in Article 35 and 37 to 41 of the AIFMD become applicable in all Member States. As a consequence, the EU passport would be extended to non-EU AIFs and non-EU AIFMs. In order to produce this opinion and advice, ESMA must look into the elements listed in Article 67(2) and (4) of the AIFMD , notably on the basis of the information provided by the national competent authorities (NCAs) about the EU and non-EU AIFMs under their supervision. Indeed, Article 67(3) of the AIFMD requires NCAs to provide information to ESMA quarterly as from 22 July 2013. ESMA has received input from NCAs for the periods covering 22 July 2013 to 31 March 2014, 1 April to 30 June 2014, 1 July to 30 September 2014, 1 October to 31 December 2014, and 1 January to 31 March 2015. In order to supplement the input provided by NCAs via the quarterly surveys, ESMA launched a call for evidence in November 2014 aimed at gathering information from EU and non-EU stakeholders on the functioning of the EU passport, the NPPRs and the potential extension of the AIFMD passport to non-EU countries. ESMA received 67 responses (including 15 confidential responses), from 13 non-EU Authorities, 21 EU and non-EU trade associations of asset managers, 17 EU and non-EU asset managers, and 16 other trade associations and private firms (e.g. providers of services for funds, law firms etc). Summary of the opinion In relation to the timing of the assessment of the functioning of the EU passport, ESMA considers that the delay in the implementation of the AIFMD together with the delay in the transposition in some Member States make a definitive assessment difficult. ESMA would see merit in the preparation of another opinion on the functioning of the passport after a longer period of implementation in all Member States. However, even at this early stage, ESMA has identified several issues in relation to the use of the EU passport. These issues include: i) divergent approaches with respect to marketing rules, including heterogeneity of fees charged by the NCAs where the AIFs are marketed and the definition of what constitutes a “professional investor”; ii) varying interpretations of what activities constitute “marketing” and “material changes” under the AIFMD passport in the different Member States. With that in mind, ESMA sees merit in greater convergence in the definition of these terms. Nevertheless, ESMA is of the view that there is insufficient evidence to indicate that the AIFMD EU passport has raised major issues in terms of the functioning and implementation of the AIFMD framework. In relation to the timing of the assessment of the functioning of the NPPRs, ESMA considers that the delay in the implementation of the AIFMD together with the delay in transposition in some Member states make a definitive assessment difficult. ESMA would see merit in the preparation of another opinion on the functioning of the NPPR Regime after a longer period of implementation has passed in all Member States (although this is linked to the decision to be taken by the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on whether to extend the passport to one or more non-EU countries in the meantime). ESMA is of the view that there is insufficient evidence to indicate that the NPPRs have raised major issues in terms of the functioning and implementation of the AIFMD framework.