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16/08/2011 2011/265 11th Extract from the EECS's Database of Enforcement Decisions Report PDF
329.49 KB
10/11/2011 2011/373 Consultation paper- Considerations of materiality in financial reporting , Consultation Paper PDF
170.93 KB
10/10/2012 2012/656 12th Extract from the EECS’s Database of Enforcement Report PDF
352.16 KB
04/04/2013 2013/444 13th Extract from the EECS’s Database of Enforcement Report PDF
512.42 KB
19/07/2013 2013/1013 Guidelines on enforcement of financial information , Consultation Paper PDF
540.55 KB

Responding to this paper The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) is seeking comments on all matters covered in this paper and in particular on the specific questions summarised in Annex 1. Comments are most helpful if they: respond to the question stated; indicate the specific question to which the comment relates; contain a clear rationale; and describe any alternatives ESMA should consider. Deadline ESMA will consider all comments received by 15 October 2013. 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 consultation, unless you request otherwise. Please clearly and prominently indicate in your submission any part you do not wish to be publicly 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 paper All interested parties are invited to respond to this consultation paper. It will primarily be of interest to those charged with the governance of issuers preparing financial information, users of financial information, auditors, and other parties who have a particular interest in financial reporting.

29/10/2013 2013/1545 14th Extract from the EECS' database of enforcement Report PDF
355.57 KB

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) is publishing extracts from its confidential database of enforcement decisions on financial statements, with the aim of providing issuers and users of financial statements with relevant information on the appropriate application of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). European enforcers monitor and review financial statements published by issuers with securities traded on a regulated market who prepare their financial statements in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and consider whether they comply with IFRS and other applicable reporting requirements, including relevant national law. Publication of enforcement decisions will inform market participants about which accounting treatments European national enforcers may consider as complying with IFRS; that is, whether the treatments are considered as being within the accepted range of those permitted by IFRS. Such publication, together with the rationale behind these decisions, will contribute to a consistent application of IFRS in the EEA.

13/02/2014 2014/175 ESMA Guidelines on Alternative Performance Measures , Consultation Paper PDF
319.12 KB

Reasons for publication In October 2005, the Committee of European Securities Regulators (CESR), ESMA’s predecessor body, published a Recommendation on Alternative Performance Measures (“CESR Recommendation” CESR/05-178b). The CESR Recommendation was issued mainly in order to reinforce the objectives of Regulation (EC) No 1606/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 July 2002 on the application of international accounting standards. Given the CESR Recommendation has now been in force for more than 8 years, ESMA has decided to review it with the objective of strengthening the principles contained in it. ESMA now plans to re-issue the principles as ESMA [draft] guidelines thus ensuring that issuers and NCAs will make every effort to com-ply with them. Contents ESMA is issuing this Consultation Paper (CP) to inform market participants about the background to its decision to revise the CESR Recommendation and seek their views on such revision. Section II “Introduction” indicates the reasons for which ESMA believes that these [draft] guidelines on APMs should be issued. Section III “Scope and purpose of the [draft] guidelines” indicates when the [draft] guidelines apply and how these [draft] guidelines interact with financial statements. Section IV “Compliance and reporting obligations” describes how issuers and NCAs should comply with the [draft] guidelines. Section V “[Draft] Guidelines on APMs (Background)” describes the rationale followed in preparing the [draft] guidelines and explanations on the principles provided, which are included in full in Annex III. ESMA would appreciate any comments and answers from stakeholders on the questions contained in the consultation paper. For your convenience, the questions are summarised in annex II. Next steps ESMA will consider the feedback it receives to this consultation in 2014 and expects to publish final guide-lines in the fourth quarter of 2014.

27/03/2014 2014/332 Structured Retail Products- Good practices for product governance arrangements , Opinion PDF
203.1 KB
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.
09/04/2014 2014/377 15th Extract from the EECS’s Database of Enforcement Report PDF
501 KB

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) is publishing extracts from its confidential database of enforcement decisions on financial statements, with the aim of providing issuers and users of financial statements with relevant information on the appropriate application of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).European enforcers monitor and review IFRS financial statements and consider whether they comply with IFRS and other applicable reporting requirements, including relevant national law. Publication of enforcement decisions will inform market participants about which accounting treatments European national enforcers may consider as complying with IFRS; that is, whether the treatments are considered as being within the accepted range of those permitted by IFRS. Such publication, together with the rationale behind these decisions, will contribute to a consistent application of IFRS in the EEA. Decisions included in this extract were taken by national enforcers in the period from December 2012 to November 2013. ESMA publishes extracts from the database twice a year.

18/11/2014 2014/1373 16th Extract from the EECS's Database of Enforcement Report PDF
315.55 KB

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) is publishing extracts from its confidential database of enforcement decisions on financial statements, with the aim of providing issuers and users of financial statements with relevant information on the appropriate application of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).European enforcers monitor and review IFRS financial statements and consider whether they comply with IFRS and other applicable reporting requirements, including relevant national law.Publication of enforcement decisions will inform market participants about which accounting treatments European national enforcers may consider as complying with IFRS; that is, whether the treatments are considered as being within the accepted range of those permitted by IFRS. Such publication, together with the rationale behind these decisions, will contribute to a consistent application of IFRS in the EEA.Decisions included in this extract were taken by national enforcers in the period from August 2012 to March 2014. ESMA will continue publishing further extracts from the database on a regular basis, with the next extract expected to be published in the first half of 2015.

18/12/2014 2014/1378 Opinion- Investment-based crowdfunding Opinion PDF
460.92 KB
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
526.19 KB
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.
21/07/2015 2015/1135 17th Extract from the EECS’s Database of Enforcement Report PDF
466.55 KB
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) is publishing extracts from its confidential database of enforcement decisions on financial statements, with the aim of providing issuers and users of financial statements with relevant information on the appropriate application of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).European enforcers monitor and review IFRS financial statements and consider whether they comply with IFRS and other applicable reporting requirements, including relevant national law.Publication of enforcement decisions will inform market participants about which accounting treatments European national enforcers may consider as complying with IFRS; that is, whether the treatments are considered as being within the accepted range of those permitted by IFRS. Such publication, together with the rationale behind these decisions, will contribute to a consistent application of IFRS in the EEA.The decisions included in this extract were taken by national enforcers in the period from February 2013 to November 2014. ESMA will continue publishing further extracts from the database on a regular basis, with the next extract expected to be published in the second half of 2015.
25/09/2015 2015/1462 ESMA opinion on accounting for Deposit Guarantee Scheme , Opinion PDF
127.91 KB
25/11/2015 2015/1776 18th Extract from the EECS's Database of Enforcement Report PDF
405.97 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.

02/06/2016 2016/773 Discussion Paper on the Distributed Ledger Technology Applied to Securities Markets , Consultation Paper PDF
573.86 KB
28/07/2016 2016/1208 19th Extract from the EECS’s Database of Enforcement Report PDF
488.18 KB
05/01/2017 ESMA32-63-200 20th Extract from the EECS’s Database of Enforcement Report PDF
498.99 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