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Date Ref. Title Section Type Download Info Summary Related Documents Translated versions
10/03/2011 2011/11 Public statement of consultation practices Statement PDF
102.44 KB
14/09/2011 2011/288 Call for evidence- Empty voting , , Consultation Paper PDF
81.13 KB
25/11/2011 2011/397 Public statement on sovereign debt in IFRS financial statements , , , Statement PDF
189.46 KB
22/03/2012 2012/212 Discussion Paper- An Overview of the Proxy Advisory Industry. Considerations on Possible Policy Options , Consultation Paper PDF
524.85 KB
This Discussion Paper focuses on the development of the proxy advisory industry in Europe, which mainly serves institutional investors such as asset managers, mutual funds and pension funds. Following its fact-finding work in 2011, ESMA recognises the proxy advisory industry within Europe is, or is expected to be, growing in prominence and investors are, or are expected to be, increasingly using proxy advisor services. In this paper ESMA identifies several key issues related to the proxy advisory market which may have an impact on the proper functioning of the voting process. The range of policy options that ESMA will consider, and on which it seeks further input from market participants, consists of four broad areas, including: 1.    No EU-level action at this stage 2.    Encouraging Member States and/or industry to develop standards 3.    Quasi-binding EU-level regulatory instruments 4.    Binding EU-level legislative instruments ESMA will consider these options based on the feedback it receives from market participants, and, if appropriate, will undertake further policy action, either directly or by providing an opinion to the European Commission. The reason to bring up some policy options is due to the fact that proxy advisors are currently not regulated at a pan-European level. Nevertheless, there are relevant European rules that apply to investors (e.g. for UCITS management companies when exercising voting rights). In addition, there are also well-recognised corporate governance standards that apply to issuers at a national level (based on the “comply or explain approach”) and some complements to improve standards of stewardship among investors. All feedback received from this Discussion Paper will be duly considered. ESMA expects to publish a feedback statement in Q4 of 2012 which will summarise the responses received and will state ESMA’s view on whether there is a need for policy action in this area.
09/11/2012 2012/279 ESMA appoints new chairs to Standing Committees Statement PDF
87.88 KB
19/02/2013 2013/84 Feedback statement on the consultation regarding the role of the proxy advisory industry , Statement PDF
559.31 KB
30/09/2013 ESMA/2013/1363 Statement by Steven Maijoor, Chair European Securities and Markets Authority, ECON Committee, European Parliament 30 September 2013 Statement PDF
113.71 KB
Annex to the Statement by Steven Maijoor, Chair of ESMA, to the ECON hearing, 30 September 2013 ESMA/2013/1350
30/09/2013 ESMA/2013/1350 Annex to the Statement by Steven Maijoor, Chair of ESMA, to the ECON hearing, 30 September 2013 Statement PDF
338.74 KB

Statement by Steven Maijoor, Chair European Securities and Markets Authority, ECON Committee, European Parliament 30 September 2013 ESMA/2013/1363

12/11/2013 2013/1642 Information on shareholder cooperation and acting in concert under the Takeover Bids Directive , Statement PDF
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The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published a statement on practices governed by the Takeover Bid Directive (TBD), focused on shareholder cooperation issues relating to acting in concert and the appointment of board members. The statement contains a White List of activities that shareholders can cooperate on without the presumption of acting in concert. It also contains information on how shareholders may cooperate in order to secure board member appointments by setting out factors that national authorities may take into account when considering whether shareholders are acting in concert. The statement is in response to a request by the European Commission for clarity on these issues, following its 2012 report on the application of the TBD. It is based on information collected about the TBD’s application and common practices across the European Economic Area (EEA). The statement was prepared by the Takeover Bids Network, a permanent working group, under ESMA’s auspices, that promotes the exchange of information on practices and application of the TBD across EEA.
27/03/2014 2014/332 Structured Retail Products- Good practices for product governance arrangements , Opinion PDF
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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 , Statement PDF
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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.
23/09/2014 2014/1164 Statement by Steven Maijoor, Chair, European Securities and Markets Authority at the ECON Committee, European Parliament 23 September 2014 Statement PDF
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Dear Members of the European Parliament, Ladies and gentlemen, First of all, I would like to congratulate you on your election or re-election as a Member of the European Parliament and as a member of this important committee. Call it a “Single Capital Market” or “Capital Market Union”, the financial regulatory reform in the European Union (EU) in the last five years has made solid progress and is a decisive step towards the aim of completing the single market in financial services. This is not only a necessity to tackle failures exposed by the financial crisis, it is also a crucial part of realising the overriding objective of securing economic recovery in the EU. However, it will only reach its full potential if the single rule book is applied consistently and supervised adequately so that all stakeholders can benefit from it in daily practice. ESMA plays a key role in achieving this objective, by enhancing investor protection and by promoting stable and orderly financial markets in the EU. Since its inception three and a half years ago, ESMA has contributed to the creation of an EU single rulebook by developing technical standards and guidelines, and by assisting the European Institutions, and the European Commission in particular, in providing technical advice on such areas as: over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives, hedge funds and private equity, short selling, high frequency trading, Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs), investment advice and financial information. In the last 12 months, ESMA finalised 22 technical standards and pieces of technical advice to the European Commission, as well as seven sets of guidelines, in order to complete the legal framework in areas such as Credit Rating Agencies, prospectuses, market infrastructures, European Social Entrepreneurship Funds and European Venture Capital Funds. We are currently translating the recently agreed MiFID II/MiFIR requirements into practically applicable rules. I will not run through all the work we have done on the single rulebook in that time as you can find an overview and some statistics in the Annex to my Statement which was distributed to you. I would like to stress that throughout the entire policy process we engage as much as possible with all relevant stakeholders – through hearings, direct meetings and consultations. We have – and will continue – to interact with many stakeholder associations representing consumers, investors and market participants - and solicit the views of ESMA’s Securities and Markets Stakeholders Group (SMSG). To mention two examples, right now we are assessing the almost 800 responses we have received to our MiFID II discussion and consultation papers and ESMA has received more than 1500 questions on the implementation of the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR). ESMA has successfully developed a regime of direct supervision at EU level. We supervise 23 credit rating agencies by conducting thematic investigations, on-site visits, analysing the information CRAs provide to the public and by monitoring the implementation of remedial action plans. In June this year, ESMA concluded its first enforcement action and issued a public notice censuring Standard & Poor’s Credit Market Services France SAS and Standard & Poor’s Credit Market Services Europe Limited (S&P) for failing to meet certain organisational requirements. EMIR brings more transparency to derivatives markets by introducing mandatory reporting to trade repositories (TRs). Since November 2013, six repositories have been registered and are now supervised by ESMA. Since reporting under EMIR went live, derivatives trade data has flowed into the repositories: as of 30 June 2014, more than 1 billion new trades have been reported to the TRs. Regulators now have access, or are in the process of establishing access, to derivatives data which should help in providing a clearer picture on the risks associated with those markets. On identifying risks to investor protection and stability, ESMA has substantially improved its data and intelligence gathering capabilities. Risks in securities markets are, for example regularly, identified and reported on in ESMA’s Trend, Risk and Vulnerabilities Report. Concerning the convergence of supervisory practices we have employed a range of instruments, including Q&As, opinions and peer reviews. Regarding peer reviews, we have strengthened our methodology, including the more frequent use of on-site visits. More generally, with the reform of financial markets moving from legislation to implementation, supervisory convergence will become a higher priority in ESMA’s activities and we will increase our resources allocated to this area. That brings me to the last topic I would like to raise, which I also brought to this Committee’s attention last year, the need for a stable budget. Today, our funding comes from a combination of the EU budget, levies on the financial market entities that we supervise directly, and the Member States’ national competent authorities. We are concerned that an increasing budget contribution from national competent authorities might pose undue difficulties to their functioning. This would run counter to the reinforcement of securities markets regulation and supervision at both EU and national level as envisaged in the regulatory reform programme. ESMA’s funding should guarantee its independence and not create potential undue influence. Therefore, we believe that the co-legislators should consider increasing the funding ESMA receives from financial market entities which require ESMA’s intervention and to increase the Union’s share in ESMA’s budget through an independent budget line directly adopted by the co-legislators. Thank you for your attention.
18/12/2014 2014/1378 Opinion- Investment-based crowdfunding Opinion PDF
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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.
22/04/2015 2015/532 Investment using virtual currency or distributed ledger technology Consultation Paper PDF
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ESMA has been monitoring and analysing virtual currency investment over the last 6 months, to understand developments in the market, potential benefits or risks for investors, market integrity or financial stability, and to support the functioning of the EU single market. ESMA’s analysis is set out in this paper. ESMA is seeking to share its analysis in order to promote wider understanding of innovative market developments, and invites market participants and other stakeholders to submit feedback and any additional information on the following topics: Virtual currency investment products, i.e. collective investment schemes or derivatives such as options and CFDs that have virtual currencies (VCs) as an underlying or invest in VC related businesses and infrastructure; Virtual currency based assets/securities and asset transfers, i.e. financial assets such as shares, funds, etc. that are exclusively traded using virtual currency distributed ledgers (also known as block chains);and The application of the distributed ledger technology to securities/investments, whether inside or outside a virtual currency environment.
08/06/2015 2015/920 Impact of the Best Practice Principles for Providers of Shareholder Voting Research and Analysis , Consultation Paper PDF
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Responding to this Call for Evidence ESMA invites comments on all matters in this paper and in particular on the specific questions presented throughout the paper. Comments are most helpful, if they:a.    respond to the question stated;b.    indicate the specific question to which they relate; andc.    contain a clear rationale.  ESMA will consider all comments received by 27 July 2015. All contributions should be submitted online at www.esma.europa.eu under the heading ‘Your input - Consultations’. Publication of responses All contributions received will be published following the close of the Call for Evidence, unless you request otherwise.  Please clearly and prominently indicate in your submission any part you do not wish to be publically disclosed. A standard confidentiality statement in an email message will not be treated as a request for non-disclosure. A confidential response may be requested from us in accordance with ESMA’s rules on access to documents. We may consult you, if we receive such a request. Any decision we make not to disclose the response is reviewable by ESMA’s Board of Appeal and the European Ombudsman.Data protection Information on data protection can be found at www.esma.europa.eu under the heading Legal Notice.Who should read this Call for Evidence This Call for Evidence will be of relevance to persons and entities participating in the voting chain, particularly proxy advisors, investors, companies listed in Europe, proxy solicitors and consultants.
02/06/2016 2016/773 Discussion Paper on the Distributed Ledger Technology Applied to Securities Markets , Consultation Paper PDF
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28/10/2016 ESMA/2016/1528 European common enforcement priorities for 2016 financial statements , , Statement PDF
317.18 KB
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 Opinion PDF
224.29 KB
07/03/2017 ESMA50-1623096732-432 Opening remarks Financial Innovation Day Statement PDF
169.02 KB
07/03/2017 ESMA50-1623096732-432x Closing remarks Financial Innovation Day Statement PDF
152.27 KB

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