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Date Ref. Title Section Type Download Info Summary Related Documents Translated versions
23/03/2011 2011/82 Press release- ESMA establishes a framework for third country prospectus and applies this new framework to facilitate Israeli issuers access , , Press Release PDF
189.19 KB
28/03/2011 2011/22 Report- ESMA Data on Prospectuses Approved and Passported- July 2010 to December 2010 , Final Report PDF
134.79 KB
04/10/2011 2011/323 Final report- ESMA's technical advice on possible delegated acts concerning the Prospectus Directive as amended by the Directive 2010/73/EU , Technical Advice PDF
797.56 KB
01/03/2012 2012/137 ESMA’s technical advice on possible delegated acts concerning the Prospectus Directive as amended by the Directive 2010/73/EU , Technical Advice PDF
1.32 MB
ESMA publishes today the second part of its final advice (ESMA/2012/137) on possible delegated acts for the Prospectus Directive (PD).  The advice was submitted to the Commission on 29 February 2012.  In its advice, ESMA proposes how to use a prospectus in a retail cascade and provides input on how to review the provisions of the Prospectus Regulation concerning tax information, indices, auditor’s report on profit forecasts and estimates and audited historical financial information. Today’s advice follows a public consultation started on 13 December 2011. Overall, the technical advice aims to achieve a high level of investor protection and to increase across Europe the legal clarity and efficiency of the prospectus regime. Investment prospectuses as such are aimed to provide investors with easily accessible information on financial products so as to foster in-formed decision-making.
01/03/2012 2012/140 ESMA advises European Commission on Prospectus Directive’s overhaul- Advice covers possible delegated acts , , Press Release PDF
115.14 KB
27/03/2012 2012/224 ESMA seeks views on proxy advisors , , Press Release PDF
170.89 KB
ESMA published last Thursday a discussion paper (ESMA/2012/212) on proxy advisors active in the European Union, seeking views of stakeholders. The paper aims at giving an overview of the state and structure of the market, advisor’s methodologies, and on possible policy options. Generally, proxy advisors assist (institutional) investors and asset managers in their voting policy and strategy.  Currently, there are no rules in place on a pan-European basis regarding proxy advisors. ESMA will use the feedback received on this paper to publish a feedback statement in Q4 of 2012, which will also include ESMA’s view on whether there is a need for policy action in the area.
26/07/2012 2012/482 Review of Greek Government Bonds accounting practices , Final Report PDF
583.61 KB

This report includes a Review of Greek Government Bonds accounting practices in the IFRS Financial Statements for the year ended 31 December 2011.

26/07/2012 2012/483 ESMA publishes review of accounting treatment of Greek sovereign debt , Press Release PDF
122.97 KB

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has today published Review of Greek Government Bonds accounting practices in the IFRS Financial Statements for the year ended 31 December 2011, which sets out the results of the review conducted by ESMA on accounting practices and disclosures regarding exposure to Greek government bonds. The ESMA review considered a sample of 42 European financial institutions, each with significant exposure to Greek government bonds totalling an estimated gross exposure of around €80 billion.

16/08/2012 2012/525 Summary of responses on considerations of materiality in financial reporting , Final Report PDF
383.4 KB
25/09/2012 2012/602 ESMA Data on Prospectuses Approved and Passported- January 2011 to December 2011 , Final Report PDF
573.49 KB
25/09/2012 2012/603 ESMA Data on Prospectuses Approved and Passported- January 2012 to June 2012 , Final Report PDF
431.12 KB
NOTE: This Report is an amended version of the Report published on 25 September 2012. The previously published Report was amended on 15 May 2013 following the discovery of factual errors in the statis-tical information in Section III.2.   Title ESMA Data on Prospectuses Approved and Passported - January 2012 to June 2012
20/12/2012 2012/854 ESMA issues statement on forbearance practices , , Press Release PDF
117.17 KB

ESMA issues statement on forbearance practicesThe European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has issued a Public Statement on the Treatment of Forbearance Practices in IFRS Financial Statements of Financial Institutions.  The statement deals with the definition of forbearance practices, their impact on the impairment of financial assets and the specific disclosures relating to forbearance activities that listed financial institutions should include in their IFRS financial statements for the year ending 31 December 2012.The statement results from ESMA’s concerns that a lack of consistency amongst issuers in this area raises issues over the transparency and accuracy of their financial statements.  ESMA believes that the consistent application of IFRS principles promotes comparability among listed financial institutions’ financial statements.This forms part of broader work on forbearance practices undertaken by regulators, including the European Banking Authority (EBA) and the European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB), who are examining the issue in the context of prudential reporting and macro-economic risks respectively.Steven Maijoor, ESMA Chair said:“ESMA and national authorities have become concerned at the lack of clarity in financial issuers’ financial statements regarding their treatment of forbearance-related practices, and the potential impact this might have on issuer’s financial performance and position, with consequences for investors and markets.“We have seen the impact of an inadequate approach to forbearance and impairment in previous financial crises and our aim is to avoid a similar situation developing here in the EU.  We believe that by promoting an appropriate and consistent approach to the definition of forbearance, measurement of impairment and related disclosures, investors can be confident that issuers’ financial statements accurately reflect credit risk exposures and the credit quality of their financial assets.”“A uniformly consistent approach on this issue in the EU will contribute to the proper functioning of financial markets, the maintenance of financial stability in the European Union and improved investor protection.”Forbearance and objective evidence of impairmentForbearance occurs when the borrower is considered to be unable to meet the terms and conditions of the contract due to financial difficulties and ,based on these difficulties, it decides to modify the terms and conditions of the contract to allow the borrower sufficient ability to service the debt or refinance.  Therefore, forbearance measures constitute objective evidence of impairment under IFRS.Forbearance and asset impairmentAs forbearance measures are extended due to the financial difficulties of the borrower, ESMA expects that issuers would have  when assessing the impairment of those loans:•    identified whether a loss event has had an impact on the estimated future cash flows;•    based impairment calculations on the estimated future cash flows and not the contractual cash flows; and•    applied a heightened level of scepticism when estimating the future cash flows, as well as other parameters used. Required disclosures in the year-end IFRS financial statementsThe disclosures to be provided by financial institutions, regarding their forbearance practices in their annual IFRS financial statements, should include the following qualitative aspects:•    details of the types of forbearance practices undertaken during the reporting period;•    description of the risks related to the forbearance practices undertaken, and how these risks are managed and monitored for internal management purposes;•    accounting policies applied in respect of the forborn assets; and•     description of any changes in these aspects from the prior period.The issuers should also provide quantitative disclosures in order to enable users to evaluate the impact of forbearance measures on the credit risk profile of their loan portfolios and their financial position and performance. ESMA expects such quantitative disclosures to be included in the 2012 financial statements as far as possible, and in any event they should be implemented and reflected in 2013’s annual financial statements.Next StepsESMA, together with EU national competent authorities, will continue to monitor the level of transparency that issuers provide in their financial statements on forbearance related measures and their impact on impairment, and will consider whether further action is required.  The statement complements ESMA’s common enforcement priorities for the 2012 year-end IFRS financial statements which were published in November 2012.

09/01/2013 2012/864 ESMA’s technical advice on possible delegated acts concerning the Prospectus Directive as amended by the Directive 2010/73/EU , Technical Advice PDF
1.23 MB
14/02/2013 2013/218 Considerations of materiality in financial reporting , Final Report PDF
446.95 KB
19/02/2013 2013/240 ESMA recommends EU Code of Conduct for proxy advisor industry , , Press Release PDF
140.27 KB
10/06/2013 2013/619 Comparison of liability regimes in Member States in relation to the Prospectus Directive , Final Report PDF
596.91 KB
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published a report on the Comparison of liability regimes in Member States in relation to the Prospectus Directive.   This is the first report of its kind and provides a comparison of liability regimes covering the EEA – comprising the 27 EU Member States along with Iceland and Norway and is aimed at providing clarity for market participants about the different regimes in place. The report contains an overview of the different arrangements and frameworks in place in  EEA States to address administrative, criminal, civil and governmental liability, and provides clarity to market participants about the different regimes in place. The report was compiled in response to a European Commission request of January 2011 for assistance in identifying and monitoring the different regimes in EEA states.   The report does not cover how the regimes, or sanctions, are applied.    Report Comparison of liability regimes in Member States in relation to the Prospectus Directive Annex II Comparative table of responses from EEA States Annex III Individual responses from EEA States
14/06/2013 2013/741 ESMA Data on Prospectuses Approved and Passported—January 2012 to December 2012 , Final Report PDF
457.11 KB
The report compiles statistical data regarding the number of prospectuses approved and passported by National Competent Authorities in the period from January 2012 to December 2012 (with a quarterly disclosure).
11/11/2013 2013/1635 ESMA announces financial statements’ enforcement priorities for 2013 , , Press Release PDF
94.29 KB

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published its European Common Enforcement Priorities (Priorities) for 2013. These Priorities are to be used by European Economic Area (EEA) national authorities in their assessment of listed companies’ 2013 financial statements. ESMA has defined these Priorities in order to promote the consistent application of IFRS across the EEA. Listed companies and their auditors should take account of the areas set out in the Priorities when preparing and auditing the IFRS financial statements for the year ending 31 December 2013. The Priorities identified refer to the application of IFRS in relation to: • Impairment of non-financial assets; • Measurement and disclosure of post-employment benefit obligations; • Fair value measurement and disclosure; • Disclosures related to significant accounting policies, judgements and estimates; and • Measurement of financial instruments and disclosure of related risks. Steven Maijoor, ESMA Chair, said: “ESMA, in setting out these enforcement priorities for listed companies financial statements, aims to ensure that the IFRS recognition, measurement and disclosure principles are consistently applied across the EEA. “Consistent application of accounting standards is a key factor in ensuring the transparency and accuracy of the financial information which investors rely upon, and ultimately contributes to the proper functioning of Europe’s capital markets. “Finally, considering the focus on asset quality in the financial sector, listed financial institutions and their auditors should pay particular attention to properly measuring financial instruments and the accurate disclosure of related risks.” ESMA and the national competent authorities will monitor the application of the IFRS requirements outlined in the Priorities, with national authorities incorporating them into their reviews and taking corrective actions where appropriate. In addition to these Priorities, national authorities may also focus on other locally relevant areas as part of their review. Therefore, national enforcement processes may not be limited to the specific issues contained in this statement. ESMA will collect data on how European listed entities have applied the Priorities and will publish its findings on these Priorities in early 2015. It expects to publish its findings on the 2012 Priorities in early 2014.

12/11/2013 2013/1645 ESMA clarifies shareholder cooperation in takeover situations , , Press Release PDF
86.55 KB
ESMA clarifies shareholder cooperation in takeover situations 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. Steven Maijoor, ESMA Chair, said: “Today’s statement means that shareholders can now be confident that they can expect authorities to take a consistent approach across the EEA to their cooperative activities. This consistency should in turn provide the reassurance needed by shareholders for the effective, sustainable engagement that is one of the cornerstones of listed companies’ corporate governance model allowing them to hold their boards to account. “ESMA believes that ensuring a consistent and convergent supervisory approach to this issue will be instrumental in affording equality of treatment to shareholders and investors across the EEA.” National competent authorities will have regard to the White List when determining whether shareholders are persons acting in concert under national takeover rules, but will also take into account all other relevant factors in making their decisions. Shareholder cooperation and acting in concert - The White List When shareholders cooperate to engage in any of the activities listed below, that cooperation will not, in and of itself, lead to a conclusion that the shareholders are acting in concert: 1. entering into discussions with each other about possible matters to be raised with the company’s board; 2. making representations to the company’s board about company policies, practices or particular actions that the company might consider taking; 3. other than in relation to the appointment of board members, exercising shareholders’ statutory rights; 4. other than in relation to a resolution for the appointment of board members and insofar as such a resolution is provided for under national company law, agreeing to vote the same way on a particular resolution put to a general meeting. If shareholders cooperate in an activity not included on the White List, this will also not result in an automatic assumption that they are acting in concert. Each case will be determined on its own particular facts. Cooperation in relation to the appointment of members of the board of a company The White List does not include any activity relating to cooperation on board appointments, due to differences in Member State approaches towards determining whether shareholders who cooperate in relation to board appointments are acting in concert. However, shareholders may wish to cooperate in order to secure board members’ appointment in a company in which they have invested. This cooperation might take the form of: 1. entering into an agreement or arrangement (informal or formal) to exercise their votes in the same way in order to support the appointment of one or more board members; 2. tabling a resolution to remove one or more board members and replace them with one or more new board members; or 3. tabling a resolution to appoint one or more additional board members. The statement therefore indicates which factors may be considered when assessing whether such cooperation is indeed an act of acting in concert. ESMA will keep the public statement under review in order to ensure that it continues to reflect accurately the practices and application of the TBD in the Member States. 2013/1642 Public Statement - Information on shareholder cooperation and acting in concert under the Takeover Bids Directive. 2013/1643 Cover Note to the Public Statement
18/11/2013 2013/1664 Review of Accounting Practices- Comparability of IFRS Financial Statements of Financial Institutions in Europe Final Report PDF
1.3 MB
This report provides an overview of accounting practices of financial institutions in Europe in selected areas related to financial instruments. It evaluates the level of comparability and quality of the disclosures in the 2012 IFRS financial statements of a sample of 39 major European financial institutions and includes recommendations to enhance the transparency of financial information through the application of the IFRS provisions. Transparent financial information plays a key role in maintaining market confidence, improving markets’ efficiency by allowing investors to identify risks in a timely manner, contributing to financial stability and is a pre-requisite in creating premises for sound economic growth. As an effect of market turbulences resulting from the financial crisis, transparency and comparability of the financial statements of financial institutions have gained increased importance for market participants. In this context, ESMA has intensified its reviewing activities, with an increased focus on the financial statements of financial institutions and together with EBA and ESRB has undertaken further initiatives to improve the level of confidence in the financial sector by asking financial institutions to provide better disclosure of financial and risk information in financial reporting. Overall ESMA found that disclosures specifically covered by requirements of IFRS 7 – Financial Instru-ments: Disclosures were generally provided and acknowledges the efforts made by financial institutions to improve the quality of their financial statements. Yet, ESMA observed a wide variability in the quality of the information provided and identified some cases where the information provided was not sufficient or not sufficiently structured to allow comparability among financial institutions. Some financial institutions provided disclosures that were not specific enough, lacked links between quantitative and narrative information, or provided disclosures that could not be reconciled to the primary financial statements. ESMA urges issuers to take a step back and consider the overall objectives of IFRS 7 against their specific circumstances when preparing disclosures. When information was provided outside financial statements (e.g. in a risk report or business review), in some cases it was unclear whether it was incorporated by reference. In general, users of financial infor-mation would benefit if information provided in different sections of the financial report were linked to each other and if information provided across these reports was consistent or major differences in bases used to provide this information were explained.

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