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Date Ref. Title Section Type Download Info Summary Related Documents Translated versions
20/07/2011 2011/223 Press release- ESMA consults on systems and controls for highly automated trading , Press Release PDF
57.39 KB
03/11/2011 JC 2011/094 Press release- ESMA, EBA and EIOPA appoint members of Joint Board of Appeal , , Press Release PDF
24.72 KB
09/12/2011 2011/431 Global regulators discuss OTC derivatives regulation , Press Release PDF
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Leaders and senior representatives of the authorities responsible for the regulation of the over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives markets in Canada, the European Union, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and the United Statesmet met yesterday in Paris.  
22/12/2011 2011/456 Final report- Guidelines on systems and controls in an automated trading environment for trading platforms, investment firms and competent authorities Guidelines & Recommendations PDF
407 KB

This is the final report. The guidelines along with the translations are published separately.

22/12/2011 2011/457 ESMA outlines future automated trading regime for trading platforms, investment firms and competent authorities , Press Release PDF
151.9 KB
24/02/2012 2012/122 Guidelines- Systems and controls in an automated trading environment for trading platforms, investment firms and competent authorities , Guidelines & Recommendations PDF
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ESMA Board of Supervisors (the BoS) has decided on the 26 September 2018 to withdraw the guidelines on “Systems and controls in an automated trading environment for trading platforms, investment firms and competent authorities”. The guidelines were issued by ESMA, in February 2012, to ensure a common, uniform and consistent application of MiFID and MAD. The BoS decision to withdraw the guidelines is based on the subject matter being fully incorporated into MiFID II, MAR, and relevant delegated acts.

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24/02/2012 2012/128 ESMA readies guidelines on automated trading – application deadline starts , Press Release PDF
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ESMA today publishes the official translations of its final “Guidelines on systems and controls in an automated trading environment for trading platforms, investment firms and competent authorities” (ESMA/2011/456), first published on 21 December 2011. High Frequency Trading (HFT) is one form of automated trading.   By having translated the guidelines into all the official languages of the EU, today’s publication triggers a transitional period of two months within which national supervisors have to declare whether they intend to comply with the guidelines or otherwise explain the reasons for non-compliance which would be made public by ESMA. According to the ESMA Regulation national supervisors have to make every effort to comply with the Guidelines.
24/06/2013 BoA 2013-008 Board of Appeal Decision , Decision PDF
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The joint Board of Appeal of the European Supervisory Authorities (EBA, ESMA and EIOPA) has published today its decision in an appeal brought by an Estonian company against a decision of the EBA. It concerned the question whether the suitability of the managers of a significant branch of a bank may be a matter within EU law, and not just national law. Allowing the appeal, the Board of Appeal interpreted Directive No. 2006/48/EC consistently with the EBA Guidelines on the assessment of the suitability of members of the management body and key function holders. It came to the conclusion that the “fit and proper” requirement is not restricted to the persons who direct the business of the credit institution. The matter therefore was within the EBA’s powers of investigation. Although the appellant criticised the way in which the EBA dealt with its complaint, the Board of Appeal made it clear that it did not accept that criticism. It considered that the EBA dealt with the complaint in an appropriate manner. The ground on which the appeal was allowed was one of interpretation of the applicable legal provisions. The case was remitted to the EBA to adopt the appropriate decision in accordance with the Board of Appeal’s findings. This is for information only. The decision consists of the signed Decision only. For any enquiries, please contact EIOPA’s Press Office: Anzhelika Mayer Tel.: +49 69 9511 1968
13/01/2014 BoA 2013-014 Board of Appeal Decision Global Private Rating Company v. ESMA , Decision PDF
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Board of Appeal of the European Supervisory Authorities dismisses appeal made by a refused CRA-applicant against ESMA On 10 January 2014, the Board of Appeal of the European Supervisory Authorities handed down its decision on an appeal by the appellant, Global Private Rating Company “Standard Rating” Ltd, against the refusal by the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) to register it as a credit rating agency. This is the first appeal against a decision by ESMA refusing an applicant registration as a credit rating agency. The Board of Appeal unanimously decided that the appeal should be dismissed, and that ESMA’s refusal decision should be confirmed. It stated that it accepted the appellant’s point that the registration of a credit rating agency by ESMA is a new process, and recognised that the procedures will to an extent take time fully to work out. Nevertheless, because of the responsibilities placed on credit rating agencies and their importance in the financial system generally, it considered that the onus must be on an applicant to satisfy ESMA that the relevant requirements are met. The application and its contents must be very clear, and it is not ESMA’s responsibility as regulator to remedy deficiencies.
22/05/2014 2014/557 ESMA consults on MiFID reforms , , Press Release PDF
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The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has launched the consultation process for the implementation of the revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II) and Regulation (MiFIR). This is the first step in the process of translating the MiFID II/MiFIR requirements into practically applicable rules and regulations to address the effects of the financial crisis and to improve financial market transparency and strengthen investor protection.MiFID II/MiFIR introduces changes that will have a large impact on the EU’s financial markets, these include transparency requirements for a broader range of asset classes; the obligation to trade derivatives on-exchange; requirements on algorithmic and high-frequency-trading and new supervisory tools for commodity derivatives. It will also strengthen protection for retail investors through limits on the use of commissions; conditions for the provision of independent investment advice; stricter organisational requirements for product design and distribution; product intervention powers; and the disclosure of costs and charges.MiFID II/MiFIR contains over 100 requirements for ESMA to draft Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS) and Implementing Technical Standards (ITS), and to provide Technical Advice to the European Commission to allow it to adopt delegated acts. In order to ensure that MIFID II achieves its objectives in practice, ESMA is publishing the following documents:1.    Consultation Paper on MiFID/MiFIR Technical Advice – ESMA needs to deliver this advice to the European Commission by December 2014 and is therefore subject to a condensed consultation process for this paper; and2.    Discussion Paper on MiFID/MiFIR draft RTS/ITS – this will provide the basis for a further consultation paper on the draft RTS/ITS which is expected to be issued in late 2014/early 2015. The closing date for responses to both papers is Friday 1 August. Steven Maijoor, ESMA Chair, said:“The launch of today’s MiFID II/MiFIR consultation process is an important step in the biggest overhaul of financial markets regulation in the EU for a decade. The reform of MiFID is an integral part of the EU’s strategy to address the effects of the financial crisis and aims to bring greater transparency to markets and to strengthen investor protection. These changes are key to restoring trust in our financial markets.“We appreciate the magnitude of this exercise for stakeholders. We strongly encourage all those affected by these reforms to provide their views to ensure that we take them into account in our final proposals.”The main issues covered in the Discussion and Consultation Paper are divided into those addressing the structure, transparency and regulation of financial markets, and those aimed at strengthening investor protection.Financial Markets Structure, Transparency and RegulationThe main proposals in this area cover the following issues: enhanced transparency and trading obligations - increasing pre- and post-trade transparency for many categories of instruments, e.g. shares, ETFs, certificates, bonds and derivatives, limitations to trade shares OTC and new obligations to trade derivatives on trading venues; micro-structural issues – refining the definition of high frequency trading and direct electronic access and specifying the requirements for operating in the market using algorithmic techniques; data publication and access – issues related to the development of the consolidated tape including requirements for tape providers, approved publication arrangements and reporting mechanisms, and the definition of a reasonable commercial basis for data sales; and the access to CCPs,  trading venues and benchmarks; other organisational requirements for trading venues; and commodity derivatives – new regulatory tools, including position limits. Investor ProtectionThe main proposals relating to the improved protection of retail investors include technical advice on: inducements – new limitations on the receipt of commissions (inducements); independent advice – clearly distinguishing independent from non-independent advice; product governance – requirements on the manufacture and distribution of financial products including target market and risk identification; product intervention/banning - introducing powers for both ESMA and national regulators to prohibit or restrict the marketing and distribution of certain financial instruments; and improved information on costs and charges – requirements to provide clients with details of all charges related to their investment (relating to both the investment service and the financial instrument provided) so they can understand the overall cost and its effect on their investment’s return. In addition, the draft regulatory technical standards in the investor protection area relate to the authorisation of investment firms, passporting, and certain best execution obligations.Next StepsESMA will hold three public hearings about secondary markets, investor protection and commodity derivatives issues on Monday 7 and Tuesday 8 July. Further details on the hearings will be published on ESMA’s website. 2014/548 2014/549
17/07/2014 2014/C1/02 Board of Appeal Decision , Decision PDF
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The Joint Board of Appeal of the European Supervisory Authorities (the European Banking Authority, the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority and the European Securities and Markets Authority) published its decision in an appeal brought by SV Capital OÜ, an Estonian company, against a decision of the EBA. This was the second appeal to be considered by the Board of Appeal in this matter between the same parties concerning the question whether the suitability of the managers of a significant branch of a bank raised a question of Union law. Following the Board of Appeal’s affirmative decision of 24 June 2013, the appellant requested the EBA to initiate an investigation against the Estonian and Finnish Financial Supervision Authorities because their alleged failure to take action in respect of individuals in the Estonian branch of Nordea Bank Finland PLC whom it was alleged were not fit and proper persons to be key function holders in the bank. The EBA decided that it would not initiate an investigation.  The Board of Appeal decided that the EBA had been right to raise the matter with the national supervisors, but that having done so, it was entitled to take no further action in the light of their responses. The Board accordingly dismissed the appellant’s appeal against the EBA’s decision.
02/12/2014 2014/BOA/05 Decision by the ESA BoA concerning Investor Protection Europe sprl , Decision PDF
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The Joint Board of Appeal of the ESAs decides on the inadmissibility of an appeal brought by IPE sprl, a company based in Brussels, against a decision by ESMAThe Joint Board of Appeal of the European Supervisory Authorities published today its decision in an appeal brought by Investor Protection Europe (IPE) sprl, a company based in Brussels, against a decision of the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) of 10 June 2014 not to initiate an investigation under Article 17 of the ESMA Regulation regarding an alleged breach of Union law by the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier of Luxembourg.  The Board of Appeal unanimously decided that the appeal was inadmissible, and in the light of that decision, did not consider the substance of IPE’s complaint.
19/12/2014 2014/1574 ESMA provides implementing rules for MiFID II , , Press Release PDF
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The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published today its final technical advice (TA) and launches a consultation on its draft regulatory technical and implementing standards (RTS/ ITS) regarding the implementation of the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II) and Regulation (MiFIR). Both ESMA’s TA and draft RTS translate the MiFID II/MiFIR requirements into practically applicable rules for market participants and national supervisors. The new regulatory framework aims at ensuring that secondary markets are fair, transparent and safe and that investors’ interests are safeguarded when being sold investment products. Steven Maijoor, ESMA Chair, said:“Today’s implementing rules on both secondary markets and investor protection issues reflect ESMA’s desire to achieve the best outcome for market users and investors, taking into account the extensive submissions received from our stakeholders. The advice now goes to the European Commission to use in preparation of its delegated legislation, while our technical standards are open for a second round of consultation. “Once fully implemented, MiFID II will have a significant impact on the EU’s securities markets, its users and infrastructure providers. It will bring greater transparency and improve the overall functioning of markets thus strengthening investors’ trust in the financial sector.”MiFID II to include most financial instruments, trading venues and techniquesMiFID II/MiFIR introduces changes to the functioning of secondary markets, including transparency requirements for a broad range of asset classes; the obligation to trade derivatives on trading venues; requirements for algorithmic and high-frequency-trading and new supervisory tools for commodity derivatives. The key proposals stemming from ESMA’s TA/draft RTS cover the following issues: •    increased trade transparency, for non-equity instruments, in particular bonds, derivatives, structured finance products and emission allowances;•    a trading obligation for shares and a double volume cap mechanism for shares and equity-like instruments, introducing a major change to the framework for trading these instruments in the Union;•    an obligation to trade derivatives on MiFID venues (regulated markets, multilateral (MTFs) or organised trading facilities (OTFs)) only, in line with G20 requirements;•    newly introduced position limits and reporting requirements for commodity derivatives;•    rules governing high frequency trading, imposing a strict set of organisational requirements on investment firms and trading venues;•    provisions regulating access to central counterparties (CCPs), trading venues and benchmarks, designed to increase competition in the Union; and•    requirements for a consolidated tape of trading data, including rules for tape providers, reporting,  publication and sales of data.MiFID II to improve investor protection ESMA’s TA proposes that the Commission adopts a number of measures that will further the protection of investors across the EU. The main proposals relating to the improved protection of investors, especially retail, include:•    clarifications about the circumstances in which portfolio managers can receive research from third parties;•    clarifications under which circumstances inducements meet the quality enhancement requirement for the provision of advice;•    requirements for investment firms manufacturing and/or distributing financial instruments and structured deposits to have product governance arrangements in place in order to assess the robustness of their manufacture and/or distribution;•    requirements for firms to provide clients with details of all costs and charges related to their investment, including cost aggregations, the timing of disclosure (ex-ante and ex-post); information to non-retail clients; the scope of firms subject to this obligation; information on the cumulative effect of costs on the return; •    organisational requirements for firms providing investments advice on an independent basis; and•    specification of powers for ESMA and national regulators with regards to prohibiting or restricting the marketing and distribution of financial instruments. Next stepsThe TA has been finalised following extensive consultations with stakeholders and will now be sent to the European Commission. ESMA’s draft RTS/ITS, already previously consulted upon, are open for public comment until 2 March 2015. In addition, an open hearing will be held in Paris on 19 February 2015. ESMA will use the input received from the consultations to finalise its draft RTS which will be sent for endorsement to the European Commission by mid-2015, its ITS by January 2016. MiFID II/ MiFIR and its implementing measures will be applicable from 3 January 2017.
01/04/2015 2015/674 Press release- ESMA launches centralised data projects for MiFIR and EMIR , Press Release PDF
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06/05/2015 2015/675 Guidelines on the application of the definitions in Sections C6 and C7 of Annex I of Directive 2004/39/EC (MiFID) , Guidelines & Recommendations PDF
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14/08/2015 BOA/2015/001 Decision of the Board of Appeal of the European Supervisory Authorities given under Article 60 of Regulation (EU) No 1094/2010 and the Board of Appeal’s Rules of Procedure (BOA 2012 002) , Decision PDF
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26/01/2016 BOA 2016 001 BoA 2016- 001 (Decision Kluge v EBA) Decision PDF
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05/02/2016 2016/247 ESMA to focus on governance, strategy, data and fees in 2016 supervision , , Press Release PDF
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The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has today published its 2016 supervisory priorities for credit rating agencies (CRAs) and trade repositories (TRs), as well as its annual report summarising the key supervisory work and actions undertaken during 2015.

2016 Supervisory Priorities

ESMA has seen a number of changes in the CRA and TR industries during 2015, with new applicants for registration in both sectors, and current authorised entities seeking to develop their businesses. This has included CRAs providing credit ratings on new asset classes or in new geographic areas, and TRs offering trade reporting services for other instrument types.

ESMA identifies its supervisory priorities on the basis of risk assessment exercises conducted throughout the year. In 2015 these identified high levels of governance and strategy risk, and operational risk in the CRA industry and high levels of risk associated with TRs’ data and systems. Therefore, in 2016 ESMA will focus its supervisory activities on:

  • CRA governance and strategy and the quality of credit ratings;
  • TR data quality and data access;
  • Fees charged and information security for all supervised entities.

Steven Maijoor, ESMA Chair, said:

“The credit rating and trade repository industries continue to evolve and develop. We are receiving new applications for registration and existing entities are seeking to develop their businesses by expanding into new areas. ESMA supports these developments where they contribute to the maintenance of stable and orderly financial markets.

“For this reason, in 2016 ESMA will focus its work on the quality of the services being provided by supervised entities. This means we will concentrate on issues surrounding CRA governance, strategy and ratings quality, along with data quality and access to TRs’ data with a broad focus on the fee structures and information security in both industries.”

2015 Annual Supervisory Review – CRAs and TRs

In 2015, following its risk-based approach, ESMA focused its supervisory efforts on CRAs’ governance, risk management and internal decision making and on CRAs’ business development processes. Some notable achievements were:

  • investigating the techniques being applied to validate credit rating methodologies by some CRAs and using the differences identified to encourage industry-wide debate about appropriate validation standards;
  • conducting an IT risk assessment which identified that CRAs are facing serious risks in several areas including IT operations and information security;
  • investigating the process of issuing credit ratings followed by one CRA and raising concerns about the preparation of issue ratings, the workloads of credit rating analysts and their involvement in the provision of ancillary services; and
  • concluding an enforcement case against DBRS Ratings Ltd for internal control failings and imposing a €30,000 fine for past record-keeping breaches. The case highlighted the need for CRAs to establish clear decision-making procedures, organisational structures and effective compliance functions.

The key risks TR supervision focused on in 2015 related to the quality of TRs’ data, access to data held by TRs and the operation and performance of TRs’ systems. In 2015, ESMA continued working with TRs to implement the data quality action plan established in September 2014 including:

  • harmonising TRs’ data validation;
  • monitoring the inter-TR reconciliation process; and
  • ensuring the harmonisation of the aggregate data made available on TRs’ websites.

ESMA has also been monitoring National Competent Authorities’ (NCAs) access to TR data. It has entered into a number of Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) to help third country regulatory authorities access TR data and is developing an IT system to allow NCAs to submit data queries through a centralised web portal.

31/03/2016 2016/408 Decision to adopt a supervisory measure taking the form of a public notice and to impose a fine in accordance with Statement of Findings in accordance with Articles 64(5), 65, 67 and 73 of Regulation (EC) No 648/2012 EMIR Decision PDF
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Decision to adopt a supervisory measure taking the form of a public notice and to impose a fine in accordance with Statement of Findings in accordance with Articles 64(5), 65, 67 and 73 of Regulation (EC) No 648/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 July 2012 on OTC derivatives, central counterparties and trade repositories

Public notice regarding negligent breach by DTCC Derivatives Repository Ltd of its legal obligation to ensure immediate access for regulators to data reported under EMIR

DTCC Derivatives Repository Ltd (‘DDRL’) is a trade repository registered in the European Union and is part of the DTCC group which includes a number of companies providing post-trading services to the global financial services industry. DDRL was registered by ESMA as a trade repository under Regulation (EU) No 648/2012 on OTC derivatives, central counterparties and trade repositories (‘EMIR’) on 7 November 2013. ESMA has responsibilities for the supervision and enforcement of provisions under EMIR concerning DDRL and other trade repositories registered in the EU.

In May 2014, ESMA’s supervisory team became aware of delays in providing regulators with access to data reported to DDRL under EMIR. Following further examination, the supervisory team formed the view that there were serious indications of the possible existence of facts liable to constitute one or more of the infringements listed in EMIR. The matter was accordingly referred to an independent investigation officer (the ‘IIO’). The IIO considered the evidence referred to him and conducted further investigations, before submitting his findings to ESMA’s Board of Supervisors (the ‘ESMA Board’).

Based on the findings of the IIO and the evidence put before it, the ESMA Board found on 23 March 2016 that an examination of the facts showed that DDRL had committed the following infringement under EMIR and had done so negligently. DDRL committed an  infringement of EMIR by not allowing regulators and supervisors direct and immediate access to the details of derivatives contracts they need to fulfil their responsibilities and mandates.

31/03/2016 2016/468 ESMA fines DTCC Derivatives Repository Limited €64,000 for data access failures , Press Release PDF
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ESMA fines DTCC Derivatives Repository Limited €64,000 for data access failures

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has fined the trade repository DTCC Derivatives Repository Limited (DDRL) €64,000, and issued a public notice, for negligently failing to put in place systems capable of providing regulators with direct and immediate access to derivatives trading data. This is a key requirement under the European Markets and Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR) in order to improve transparency and facilitate the monitoring of systemic risks in derivatives markets.

This is the first time ESMA has taken enforcement action against a trade repository registered in the European Union (EU). DDRL is the largest EU registered trade repository.

ESMA found that DDRL failed to provide direct and immediate access to derivatives data from 21 March 2014 to 15 December 2014, a period of about nine months in which access delays increased from two days to 62 days after reporting and affected 2.6 billion reports. This was due to its negligence in:

  • failing to put in place data processing systems that were capable of providing regulators with direct and immediate access to reported data;
  • failing, once they became aware, to inform ESMA in a timely manner of the delays that were occurring; and
  • taking three months to establish an effective remedial action plan even while delays were worsening.

DDRL’s failures caused delays to regulators accessing data, revealed systemic weaknesses in its organisation particularly its procedures, management systems or internal controls and negatively impacted the quality of the data it maintained.

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