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|27/03/2014||2014/332||Structured Retail Products- Good practices for product governance arrangements||MiFID - Investor Protection, Innovation and Products||Opinion||PDF
|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.|
|31/07/2014||2014/944||Potential Risks Associated with Investing in Contingent Convertible Instruments||Warnings and publications for investors, Innovation and Products||Statement||PDF
|The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) is issuing this statement to clarify to institutional investors risks from a newly emerging asset class referred to by most market participants as contingent convertibles instruments (CoCos). If they work as intended in a crisis CoCos will play an important role to inhibit risk transfer from debt holders to taxpayers. They along with standards to improve the quality and quantity of bank capital reflect a considerate response to the former regulatory capital framework. However, it is unclear as to whether investors fully consider the risks of CoCos and correctly factor those risks into their valuation. ESMA believes there are specific risks to CoCos and that investors should take those risks into consideration prior to investing in these instruments.|
|18/12/2014||2014/1378||Opinion- Investment-based crowdfunding||Innovation and Products||Opinion||PDF
|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.|
|18/12/2014||2014/1560||Advice- Investment-based crowdfunding||Innovation and Products||Final Report||PDF
|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.|
|21/05/2015||2015/856 Ann1||Investment-based crowdfunding- Insights from regulators in the EU||Innovation and Products||Final Report||PDF
|01/07/2015||2015/1005||Questions and Answers: Investment-based crowdfunding: money laundering/terrorist financing||Innovation and Products||Q&A||PDF
|12/01/2017||ESMA50-1215332076-23||Opinion on the impact of the exclusion of fund management companies from the scope of the MiFIR intervention powers||Innovation and Products||Opinion||PDF
|07/03/2017||ESMA50-1623096732-432||Opening remarks Financial Innovation Day||Innovation and Products||Statement||PDF
|07/03/2017||ESMA50-1623096732-432x||Closing remarks Financial Innovation Day||Innovation and Products||Statement||PDF
|07/03/2017||ESMA22-106-141||Joint Statement of the SMSG and the BSG on the Draft Guidelines on the Assessment of the Suitability||Joint Committee, Securities and Markets Stakeholder Group||Statement||PDF
Joint Statement of the SMSG and the BSG on the Draft Guidelines on the Assessment of the Suitability of Members of the Management Body and Key Function Holders
|28/06/2017||ESMA35-36-885||Product Intervention- General Statement||Innovation and Products, MiFID - Investor Protection||Statement||PDF
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 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.
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.
 ESMA/2016/1166 Warning about CFDs, binary options and other speculative products published 25 July 2016
|29/09/2017||ESMA71-99-602||ESMA appoints new chairs to Standing Committees||Board of Supervisors, Corporate Disclosure, Corporate Finance, Corporate Information, Innovation and Products, Market Integrity, MiFID - Secondary Markets, Post Trading||Statement||PDF
|13/11/2017||ESMA50-157-829||ESMA alerts investors to the high risks of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs)||Innovation and Products, Warnings and publications for investors||Statement||PDF
|13/11/2017||ESMA50-157-828||ESMA alerts firms involved in Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) to the need to meet relevant regulatory requirements||Innovation and Products, Warnings and publications for investors||Statement||PDF
|15/03/2018||JC-2018-04||Joint Committee Final Report on Big Data||Innovation and Products||Final Report||PDF
|23/05/2018||ESMA71-99-979||ESMA appoints new chair to its Committee of Economic and Markets’ Analysis||Innovation and Products, Risk Analysis & Economics - Markets Infrastructure Investors||Statement||PDF
|31/10/2018||ESMA22-106-1296||SMSG Opinion on EC request to ESAs on cost and performance of retail investment, insurance and pension products||Securities and Markets Stakeholder Group||Opinion||PDF
|28/10/2019||ESMA22-106-1990||SMSG Opinion on ESMA's Report on performance and cost of retail investment products||Securities and Markets Stakeholder Group||Opinion||PDF
|18/12/2020||ESMA50-157-2403||Final report on Guidelines on outsourcing to cloud service providers||Innovation and Products||Final Report||PDF
|27/01/2022||JC 2022 02||ESAs welcome ESRB Recommendation on a pan-European systemic cyber incident coordination framework for relevant authorities||Innovation and Products, Joint Committee||Statement||PDF