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Date Ref. Title Section Type Download Info Summary Related Documents Translated versions
27/03/2014 2014/334 ESMA issues good practices for structured retail product governance , Press Release PDF
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The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published an opinion on structured retail products, setting out good practices for firms when manufacturing and distributing these 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.
18/12/2014 2014/1568 Press Release- Investment-based crowdfunding needs EU-wide common approach , Press Release PDF
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The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published an Opinion along with an Advice on Investment-based crowdfunding. The Opinion clarifies the EU rules applicable to crowdfunding, while the Advice highlights issues for consideration by the EU institutions to achieve greater regulatory and supervisory convergence within the EU.The Opinion is addressed to the national competent authorities (NCA) and provides clarity on how crowdfunding business models fit within the existing EU regulatory framework. It outlines how existing EU rules are likely to apply to crowdfunding platforms, depending on the precise business model used. It also provides guidance to NCAs who may be considering how to regulate platforms operating outside the scope of the harmonised EU rules on the key risks inherent to crowdfunding and the key components of a regulatory regime to address them.The Advice, addressed to the EU institutions – Commission, Parliament and Council, highlights the concern that strong incentives currently exist for crowdfunding platforms to structure their business models to fall outside the scope of regulation and asks them to consider policy options to reduce these incentives. Avoiding regulation presents risks to investor protection and makes it harder for platforms to grow their businesses.Steven Maijoor, ESMA Chair, said: “ESMA’s aim is to enable crowdfunding to reach its potential as a source of finance, while ensuring that risks to users of crowdfunding platforms are identified and addressed in a proportionate and convergent way across the EU. “We believe that there are benefits both for investors as well as for platforms by operating inside rather than outside the regulated space. Opinion to National Competent AuthoritiesConsidering the diverse business models used within investment-based crowdfunding and depending on the precise structures used different EU legislation may apply. The Opinion sets out an analysis of how the main business models map across existing EU rules, e.g., the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID), the Prospectus Directive, the Directive for Alternative Investment Fund Managers (AIFMD) and other financial and banking regulations. In addition, the Opinion outlines what ESMA believes should be the key components of an appropriate regulatory regime for investment-based crowdfunding activities. ESMA’s Advice to the EU InstitutionsThe Advice to the EU institutions highlights gaps and issues in the current applicable regime where policymakers could consider taking action to ensure there is a regime protecting investors while also fit for purpose for crowdfunding platforms. These gaps and issues include: the impact of the Prospects Directive thresholds; capital requirements and the use of the MiFID optional exemption; and the potential development of a specific EU crowdfunding regime, in particular for those platforms that currently operate outside of the scope of MiFID The Opinion and Advice have been prepared in collaboration with and input from the European Banking Authority (EBA) on the regulation that falls within its scope of action, i.e. the Payment Services Directive, and constitute the first output of a co-ordinated programme of work with the next expected output being a publication by EBA on lending-based crowdfunding. In line with their respective remits, ESMA has focused on investment-based crowdfunding, while EBA has focused on lending-based crowdfunding.
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 2016/468 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.

02/06/2016 2016/743 ESMA assesses usefulness of distributed ledger technologies , , Press Release PDF
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12/01/2017 ESMA71-844457584-322 ESMA calls for consistent application of MiFIR product intervention powers Press Release PDF
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02/02/2017 ESMA71-844457584-339 Press Release ESMA Supervision 2016 annual report and 2017 work programme , Press Release PDF
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07/03/2017 ESMA50-1623096732-432 Opening remarks Financial Innovation Day Statement PDF
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07/03/2017 ESMA50-1623096732-432x Closing remarks Financial Innovation Day Statement PDF
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31/05/2017 ESMA71-99-470 ESMA registers Bloomberg Trade Repository Limited as a trade repository , Statement PDF
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The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the EU supervisor of trade repositories (TRs), has registered Bloomberg Trade Repository Limited as a TR under the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR), with effect from 7 June 2017. Bloomberg Trade Repository Limited is based in the United Kingdom and covers the following derivative asset classes: commodities, credit, foreign exchange, equities and interest rates.

28/06/2017 ESMA35-36-885 Product Intervention- General Statement , Statement PDF
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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[1] 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[2].

 

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[3].

26/09/2017 ESMA71-99-599 EBA and ESMA provide guidance to assess the suitability of management body members and key function holders , , , Press Release PDF
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The European Banking Authority (EBA) and the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) have published their joint Guidelines to assess the suitability of members of management bodies and key function holders.

29/09/2017 ESMA71-99-602 ESMA appoints new chairs to Standing Committees , , , , , , , Statement PDF
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13/11/2017 ESMA50-157-829 ESMA alerts investors to the high risks of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) , Statement PDF
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13/11/2017 ESMA50-157-828 ESMA alerts firms involved in Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) to the need to meet relevant regulatory requirements , Statement PDF
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13/11/2017 ESMA71-99-649 Press Release ICO Statements , , Press Release PDF
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11/01/2018 ESMA71-99-919 PR on CRA/TR Fees Thematic Report Press Release PDF
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15/03/2018 15-3-18 ESAs weigh benefits and risks of Big Data , Press Release PDF
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23/05/2018 ESMA71-99-979 ESMA appoints new chair to its Committee of Economic and Markets’ Analysis , Statement PDF
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