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Date Ref. Title Section Type Download Info Summary Related Documents Translated versions
05/03/2013 2013/SMSG/03 SMSG Advice on Benchmarks/Indices , Letter PDF
253.23 KB
23/02/2015 2015/168 Letter to EU Institutions re ESMA’s 2015 Work Programme , , Letter PDF
37.31 KB
Dear Mr Gualtieri, Ms Ribkina and Commissioner Hill, On 30 September 2014 we sent you ESMA’s Work Programme for 2015, which was based on the budget request that had been approved by ESMA’s Board of Supervisors: a budget of €38,639,000 and 147 Establishment Plan posts. The EU budget had not been voted at the time. Following the adoption of the EU budget, ESMA’s 2015 expenditure budget is €33,601,402 (plus an additional €3,100,000 from assigned revenues for tasks delegated from National Competent Authorities) with an Establishment Plan of 137 posts. ESMA’s Board of Supervisors has approved a revised work programme to account for the difference of €5m and 10 Establishment Plan posts; representing a 15% reduction compared to the planned ESMA budget and 7% of its Establishment Plan. ESMA will therefore lack sufficient resources to execute all the tasks that were initially planned for 2015. The Work Programme explains the areas where reprioritisation had to take place, including the risk that ESMA will not fully meet its legal obligations, for instance due to the delay of delivery compared to legally set timetables. A summary of the deprioritised tasks is annexed to the Work Programme and reproduced in the table below. 2014/1200rev ESMA Work Programme
06/03/2015 2015/422 ESMA's response to the consultation on IOSCO Letter PDF
27.24 KB
13/05/2015 2015/841 Letter to the European Commission- Early legal review Letter PDF
241.49 KB
13/05/2015 22392237 Letter from the European Commission- Early legal review Letter PDF
61.81 KB
21/05/2015 2015/855 ESMA letter to the Commissioner Hill- ESMA Response to EC Green Paper on CMU Letter PDF
52.37 KB
21/05/2015 2015/856 ESMA response to the Commission Green Paper on Building a Capital Markets Union Letter PDF
348.14 KB
21/05/2015 2015/858 ESMA response to the European Commission consultation on “An EU framework for simple, transparent and standardised securitisation” Letter PDF
245.42 KB
05/01/2016 2015/1791 Peer Review Report Compliance with SSR as regards Market Making activities Report PDF
615.09 KB
09/02/2016 2016/235 Comment letter on Taxonomy due process , , Letter PDF
84.24 KB
16/02/2016 2016/297 Follow-up MMF , Report PDF
882.13 KB
29/03/2016 2016/410 ESMA Report on Enforcement and Regulatory Activities of Accounting Enforcers in 2015 , , Report PDF
692.52 KB

Executive Summary

This report provides an overview of the activities of the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) and the accounting enforcers in the European Economic Area (EEA), thereafter, ‘European enforcers’, when examining compliance of financial information provided by issuers listed on regulated markets with the applicable financial reporting framework in 2015. It also provides an overview of the main activities performed at European level, quantitative information on enforcement activities in Europe as well as ESMA’s contribution to the development of the single rule book in the area of financial reporting. In addition, it also outlines ESMA’s activities for 2016 in the area of corporate reporting following its Supervisory Convergence Work Programme.

Supervisory Convergence

Following the implementation of the ESMA Guidelines on enforcement of financial information (hereafter the Guidelines on enforcement), ESMA and European enforcers have further strengthened supervisory convergence in the area of enforcement of financial information. The Guidelines on enforcement significantly contributed to the alignment of supervisory approaches/procedures through the use of harmonised key concepts for examinations, of a common set of enforcement priorities, of common rules for enforcement actions and of a single set of criteria for identifying accounting matters for which coordination at European level within ESMA is needed. In the last area, the number of accounting issues discussed by the enforcers before taking enforcement decisions increased significantly (65 emerging issues in 2015 vs 47 in 2014) and contributed to enhancing supervisory convergence as enforcers should take into account the outcome of these discussions when taking decisions .

In 2015 ESMA and European enforcers evaluated the level of compliance with IFRS in the areas identified as common enforcement priorities for the 2014 annual financial statements on a sample of 189 issuers. This assessment resulted in 40 enforcement actions being taken on shortcomings in the disclosures of assumptions and judgements supporting the recognition of deferred tax assets arising from tax losses, when assessing control or classifying joint arrangements.

As in previous years, ESMA together with European enforcers identified and included in their supervisory practices a set of common enforcement priorities significant for European issuers when preparing their 2015 IFRS financial statements. These priorities include the impact of the financial markets’ conditions in IFRS financial statements, presentation of the statement of cash flows and related disclosures as well as the fair value measurement of non-financial assets and related disclosures. Specific references to some of the 2014 common priorities and to the new IFRS requirements, notably on IFRS 9 Financial Instruments and IFRS 15 Revenue from Contracts with Customers are also part of these priorities.

As a response to increased concerns in the markets, ESMA issued Guidelines on Alternative Performance Measures (hereafter the Guidelines on APMs) which are aimed at contributing to the publication of transparent, unbiased and comparable information by European issuers on their financial performance. The Guidelines on APMs will apply to APMs disclosed by issuers when publishing regulated information or persons responsible for the prospectus. European enforcers had to adapt their supervisory procedures and declare their compliance to these guidelines.

Also as part of the supervisory convergence activities, ESMA issued an Opinion on the application of the IFRS requirements on the cash contributions to Deposit Guarantee Schemes (DGS) in order to address the divergence in the application and enforcement in the accounting treatment applicable to these contributions and to prevent it from becoming widespread.

ESMA published a Statement referring to principles relevant for improving the quality of disclosures as a response to concerns expressed by users on the overload, lack of completeness or relevance of the information provided in the financial statements.

Finally, European enforcers examined the interim or annual financial statements of approximately 1,200 issuers representing an average examination rate of 20% of all IFRS issuers with securities listed on regulated markets, out of which 14% related to unlimited scope examinations and 6% to focused examinations. As a result of these activities, European enforcers took actions addressing material departures against 273 issuers, representing around 25% of the selected sample. The main deficiencies were identified in the areas of financial statements presentation, impairment of non-financial assets and accounting for financial instruments.

Single Rule Book

ESMA actively participated to the accounting standard setting process by providing European enforcers’ positions on all major new standards issued by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) and by contributing to the discussions in the EFRAG Board and the Technical Expert Group (EFRAG TEG) meetings. Notably, ESMA provided specific input to the due process and endorsement advices on IFRS 9, in aspects related to investor protection and financial stability as well as on its interaction with IFRS 4 Insurance Contracts. In addition, ESMA also contributed to the consistent application of IFRS by engaging with the IASB and the IFRS Interpretations Committee (IFRS IC) when relevant issues were identified by enforcers and where a lack of clarity in IFRS could contribute to their divergent application.

In accordance with its mandate under the Transparency Directive, ESMA has submitted to the European Commission for endorsement the draft Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS) on the European Electronic Access Point (EEAP) and published the consultation paper on the draft RTS on European Single Electronic Format (ESEF).

Next Steps

ESMA published its Supervisory Convergence Work Programme which covers, among other topics, the activities of accounting enforcers. In addition to the regular activities, ESMA envisages to start carrying out peer reviews on some of the ESMA Guidelines on enforcement, to publish statements on the implementation of new major IFRS and to develop supervisory briefings to align procedures of European enforcers when monitoring and enforcing the Guidelines on APMs and disclosures in the financial statements.

13/07/2016 2016/1130 Final Report on the Market Abuse Regulation Guidelines , Report PDF
852.59 KB
26/07/2016 2016/1164 Letter to the Commissioner Dombrovskis on MAR ITS , Letter PDF
205.33 KB
21/12/2016 2016/1668 2016-1668 ESMA feedback statement on ESEF , , Report PDF
6.98 MB
05/01/2017 2016/1621 2016-1621 ESMA letter to EC on postponement of ESEF RTS , , Letter PDF
87.44 KB
11/01/2017 ESMA42-1643088512-2962 ESMA42-1643088512-2962 Follow-up Report to the Peer Review on Best Execution , , Report PDF
774.17 KB
29/03/2017 ESMA70-145-48 Draft technical standards under the Benchmarks Regulation Report PDF
1.75 MB
18/05/2017 ESMA42-113-627 Follow-up Report to the Peer Review on MiFID Conduct of Business rules relating to fair, clear and not misleading information Report PDF
960.69 KB
02/06/2017 ESMA70-143-5 Methodological framework for mandatory benchmarks contributions Report PDF
282.75 KB