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Date Ref. Title Section Type Download Info Summary Related Documents Translated versions
08/03/2011 2011/62 10th Extract from EECS's Database of Enforcement Decisions Final Report PDF
361.42 KB
21/10/2011 2011/355 Report- Activity Report on IFRS Enforcement in 2010 Final Report PDF
128.34 KB
21/10/2011 2011/354 Press release- European enforcers see good level of IFRS application in 2010 , Press Release PDF
31.97 KB
10/11/2011 2011/372 Final report- Review of European enforcers on the implementation of IFRS 8 Final Report PDF
584.18 KB
02/12/2011 2011/414 Press release- ESMA gathers worldwide supervisors to discuss enforcement of IFRS , Press Release PDF
28.53 KB
28/06/2012 2012/412 Activity Report on IFRS Enforcement in the European Economic Area in 2011 Final Report PDF
345.02 KB

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published its Activity Report on IFRS Enforcement in the European Economic Area in 2011. The report provides an overview of the monitoring of compliance of financial information with the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and enforcement action taken in the European Economic Area (EEA) in 2011. The report is based on the activities of the European Enforcers Coordination Sessions (EECS) and of the accounting enforcers in the EEA (European enforcers).  This operates under ESMA's oversight and its main objective is to coordinate the enforcement activities of Member States in order to increase convergence amongst European enforcer's activities which should contribute to fostering investor confidence. Its main functions include coordination of enforcement activities through the exchange of views on particular accounting matters, providing feedback to the International Accounting Standards Board on issues related to the application of the IFRS and work on dedicated projects identified as key priorities. This report: provides an overview of enforcement activities in the EEA and the coordination of enforcement through EECS; presents the outcome and some tentative conclusions relating to the enforcement of IFRS; and provides a summary of EECS engagement with third country accounting enforcers. The report is based on the activities of EECS and the European enforcers during 2011 relating to: Activities undertaken or coordinated at European level; Issues brought to the attention of the standard setter; Ex-ante activities incurred as part of the preparation of the annual review process; Findings in respect of reviews conducted in 2011; Actions taken to improve the quality of future financial reporting; and Decisions and emerging issues discussed during EECS meetings in the year.

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
12/11/2012 2012/730 ESMA announces enforcement priorities for 2012 financial statements , Press Release PDF
164.68 KB
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.

21/01/2013 2013/2 European enforcers review of impairment of goodwill and other intangible assets in the IFRS financial statements Final Report PDF
500.65 KB
14/02/2013 2013/218 Considerations of materiality in financial reporting , Final Report PDF
446.95 KB
19/07/2013 2013/1014 ESMA consults on accounting enforcement guidelines , Press Release PDF
540.55 KB

ESMA consults on accounting enforcement guidelines The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has launched a consultation on Guidelines on the enforcement of financial information published by listed entities in the European Union (EU). The Guidelines aim to strengthen and promote greater supervisory convergence in existing enforcement practices amongst EU national authorities, thereby ensuring the proper and rigorous enforcement of financial information disclosure practices in the EU. The Guidelines establish the principles to be followed in the enforcement process, by clearly defining: • enforcement and its scope; • expected characteristics of the enforcer; • acceptable selection techniques and other aspects of enforcement methodology; • the types of enforcement actions that may be available to enforcers; and • how enforcement activities are coordinated within ESMA. The Guidelines also propose that the coordination of European enforcers by ESMA should involve the development of coordinated views on accounting matters prior to national enforcement actions, the identification of common enforcement priorities and common responses to the accounting standard setter to ensure consistent application of the financial reporting framework. The proposed Guidelines apply to all competent authorities and any other bodies from the EU undertaking enforcement responsibilities under the Transparency Directive, and IFRS Regulation. Steven Maijoor, ESMA Chair, said: “ESMA believes that in order to achieve a proper and rigorous enforcement there is a need for a common EU approach to the enforcement of financial information disclosures. These proposed Guidelines, if applied consistently across the EU, will promote uniform application of the financial reporting standards, help avoid regulatory arbitrage by issuers and promote investor confidence in financial markets.” The closing date for responses to this consultation is 15 October 2013 and ESMA expects to publish the final guidelines in 2014.

22/07/2013 2013/1022 IFRS Enforcement in Europe in 2012 Final Report PDF
195.1 KB
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.

18/11/2013 2013/1665 ESMA- Financial institutions must improve financial statement disclosures , , Press Release PDF
98.66 KB

ESMA - Financial institutions must improve financial statement disclosures The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published a Review of the comparability and quality of disclosures in 2012 IFRS financial statements of listed financial institutions. The Review makes recommendations aimed at enhancing the transparency of financial statements through the improvement of disclosures in certain key areas including: credit risk and impact of forbearance practices; liquidity and funding risk; asset encumbrance and fair value measurement of financial instruments. ESMA, while finding that the required disclosures under IFRS were generally observed, also identified broad variations in the quality of the information provided, and found some cases where that was insufficient or insufficiently structured to allow comparability among financial institutions. Steven Maijoor, ESMA Chair, said: “ESMA has identified a number of areas where financial institutions can improve the information that they provide in their financial statements, particularly on issues such as credit risk and forbearance. “We expect that financial institutions and their auditors will take into account our recommendations when preparing and auditing the IFRS financial statements for 2013. “ESMA believes that accurate and comparable financial statements play a key role in maintaining both investor and market confidence, which in turn contributes to financial stability and promotes sound economic growth.” The Review ESMA decided to undertake a review of some of the key areas of the financial statements prepared by listed financial institutions across the EU in order to assess their comparability and the quality of disclosures. The review was based on a sample of 39 large European financial institutions from 16 jurisdictions, mostly consisting of banks that were included in the latest EBA stress-test exercise, most of which will move under the ECB supervision in 2014. The review focused on the following areas: • Structure and content of the income statement; • Liquidity and funding risk including the effects of asset encumbrance; • Hedging and the use of derivatives; • Credit risk with a focus on credit risk management, forbearance practices, non-performing loans and country concentration risk; and • Criteria used to assess impairment of equity securities classified as available-for-sale. Conclusions and Recommendations 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. In particular, ESMA found: • it difficult to compare the income statements of the financial institutions, due to differences in their structure, the line items content and lack of comprehensive accounting policy disclosures; • that in many cases financial statements did not include sufficient information on the use of derivatives. The link between the business purpose and the classification in the financial statements was often unclear; and • significant divergence in the application of the significant or prolonged criteria when assessing impairment of the equity securities classified as available-for-sale. As a result of the conclusions and recommendations included in this review, ESMA expects enhanced disclosures to be provided in 2013 on exposures to credit risk, its mitigation e.g. by collateral, guarantees or credit default swaps, analysis of specific concentrations of credit risk and disclosure of impairment policies in order to enable investors to assess the overall credit risk. While progress was seen in the disclosures relating to forbearance practices following ESMA’s Public Statement in 2012, with more financial institutions providing information on forborne financial assets, ESMA expects financial institutions to provide more granular quantitative information on the effects of forbearance. This would enable investors to assess the level of credit risk related to forborne assets and their impact on the financial position and performance. Furthermore, ESMA believes that improving the level of transparency in the area of liquidity and funding risk, asset encumbrance and fair value measurement of financial instruments is needed as indicated in the ESMA Public Statement on the 2013 European Common Enforcement Priorities. Next Steps ESMA expects that national competent authorities will take appropriate enforcement actions where material breaches of the IFRS requirements have been identified as part of the review and will monitor their progress. As announced in the ESMA Public Statement on the 2013 European Common Enforcement Priorities, ESMA and national competent authorities will focus in the review of 2013 financial statements on a number of areas that are particularly relevant for financial institutions. ESMA will also provide suggestions to the IASB on those areas where it believes additional IFRS guidance can improve the quality and transparency of financial statements. Notes for editors 1. 2013/1664 Review of Accounting Practices - Comparability of IFRS Financial Statements of Financial Institutions in Europe. 2. 2013-1634 Public Statement - European common enforcement priorities for 2013 financial statements. 3. ESMA is an independent EU Authority that was established on 1 January 2011 and works closely with the other European Supervisory Authorities responsible for banking (EBA), and insurance and occupational pensions (EIOPA), and the European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB). 4. ESMA’s mission is to enhance the protection of investors and promote stable and well-functioning financial markets in the European Union (EU). As an independent institution, ESMA achieves this aim by building a single rule book for EU financial markets and ensuring its consistent application across the EU. ESMA contributes to the regulation of financial services firms with a pan-European reach, either through direct supervision or through the active co-ordination of national supervisory activity. Press Release 2013/1665 Final Report 2013/1664

23/05/2014 2014/551 IFRS Enforcement in Europe in 2013 , Final Report PDF
694.9 KB
16/06/2014 2014/643 Review on the application of accounting requirements for business combinations in IFRS financial statements , Final Report PDF
751.04 KB

This report evaluates the consistency of application of key requirements of IFRS 3 - Business Combinations and how compliant and entity-specific IFRS 3 disclosures are in the 2012 annual IFRS financial statements of a sample of 56 issuers in the European Union (EU). It also includes other IFRS 3 issues identified as part of the enforcement experience of European national enforcers (European Enforcers) that participate in the European Enforcers Coordination Sessions (EECS).

10/07/2014 2014/807 Final Report on ESMA Guidelines on enforcement of financial information , Final Report PDF
617.22 KB

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published its final Guidelines on the enforcement of financial information published by listed entities in the European Union (EU). The aim of the guidelines is to strengthen and promote greater supervisory convergence in existing enforcement practices amongst EU accounting enforcers. The Guidelines set out the principles to be followed by accounting enforcers throughout the enforcement process by defining the objectives, the characteristics of the enforcers, and some common elements in the enforcement process.