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14/06/2019 ESMA70-151-2392 Letter to EC- EMIR Refit- hedging exemption in the calculation of the clearing thresholds Letter PDF
117.26 KB
28/05/2019 ESMA71-99-1159 ESMA consults on tiering comparable compliance and fees under EMIR 2.2 , Press Release PDF
89.98 KB
27/04/2018 ESMA70-151-1336 Letter to Commission regarding exemption from financial obligations under Articles 41 and 42 of EMIR Letter PDF
130.66 KB
09/10/2017 ESMA71-99-613 ESMA highlights importance of LEI for MiFIDII/MiFIR compliance , Press Release PDF
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The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published a Briefing on the Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) as part of its efforts to raise industry awareness and facilitate compliance with the LEI requirements under MiFID II ahead of its 3 January 2018 launch.

ESMA expects market participants to take all necessary steps to ensure full compliance with the LEI requirements under MiFID II. Based on its previous experience with EMIR reporting, ESMA urges reporting entities not to delay in addressing this important matter, as advance preparation will help in avoiding backlogs and ensuring that all market participants are ready for the new regime.

30/01/2017 ESMA70-708036281-19 Letter to European Commission- EMIR Review and Sanctioning Powers , Letter PDF
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30/09/2016 2016/1411 ESMA consults on future reporting rules for securities financing transactions , , Press Release PDF
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The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has issued today a consultation paper on draft technical standards implementing the Securities Financing Transaction Regulation (SFTR), which aims to increase the transparency of shadow banking activities. Securities financing transactions (SFTs) are transactions where securities are used to borrow cash (or other higher investment-grade securities), or vice versa – this includes repurchase transactions, securities lending and sell/buy-back transactions.

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.

13/11/2015 2015/1674 Cover letter to COM- EMIR Technical Standards Letter PDF
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05/10/2015 2015/1498 Letter to European Commission re RTS on indirect clearing under EMIR and under MiFIR Letter PDF
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05/10/2015 2015/1498 Letter to European Commission re RTS on indirect clearing under EMIR and under MiFIR , Letter PDF
92.96 KB
13/08/2015 2015/1260 ESMA recommends changes to EMIR framework , Press Release PDF
236.41 KB

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published four reports focused on how the European Markets Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR) framework has been functioning and providing input and recommendations to the European Commission’s (EC) EMIR Review. Three of the reports are required under Article 85 of EMIR, and cover non-financial counterparties (NFCs), pro-cyclicality and the segregation and portability for CCPs. The fourth report responds to the EC’s Review including recommendations on amending EMIR in relation to the clearing obligation, the recognition of third country CCPs and the supervision and enforcement procedures for trade repositories. Steven Maijoor, ESMA Chair, said: “EMIR is a key component of the EU’s regulatory reform package in response to the financial crisis affecting many elements of OTC derivatives markets. While its implementation is still underway we recommend a number of changes, based on our experiences, to improve and streamline the regulatory and supervisory framework and to ensure that the objectives of stability and investor protection are met.” ESMA’s Response to European Commission EMIR Review This report provides input to the EC’s consultation on the EMIR review with recommendations to amend the EMIR framework in a number of areas including: • Clearing obligation - in order to strengthen the EMIR framework and to better respond to changing market conditions, ESMA proposes amending EMIR in order to streamline the process for determining clearing obligations and to introduce tools allowing the suspension of the clearing obligation when certain market conditions arise. It also proposes removing the frontloading requirement; • Recognition of third country CCPs - regarding the recognition of third-country CCPs, ESMA is proposing to rethink the entire equivalence and recognition process to increase its efficiency and effectiveness and to better respond to regulatory differences between third countries. ESMA proposes that the jurisdiction decision be governed by Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS) and that any recognition process should also include additional risk-based considerations allowing it to deny or suspend the recognition of a third country CCP; and • Trade Repositories (TRs) – in order to improve the supervision of TRs, the report makes proposals for changes to ESMA’s supervisory and enforcement powers and procedures including increases in fine levels, broadening the enforcement decisions available to ESMA, appropriate timeframes to consider applications in the registration process and clarifying TRs’ obligations in relation to data quality and reconciliation and supervisory reporting. ESMA’s Reports under Article 85 of EMIR • Non-Financial counterparties (Report No.1) ESMA recommends removing the hedging criteria from EMIR and to use other measures to determine the systemic relevance of NFCs, as this would allow regulators to identify the few NFCs with the highest systemic importance while greatly simplifying the process and reduce the compliance costs for the majority of small and medium NFCs, which pose limited risks to the system overall. • Limiting Pro-cyclicality (Report No.2) ESMA recommends further specifying the rules for implementing the counter-cyclical tools adopted by CCPs for margins and collateral, including regular testing and transparency on the results to further improve their effectiveness. • Segregation and Portability (Report No.3) ESMA has identified some differences in CCP practices in the implementation of the relevant provisions. In order to promote convergent practices and achieve a level playing field, it recommends introducing clarifications and more detailed requirements by RTS along with incentives related to margin period of risk depending on the safety of the chosen account structure. ESMA also proposes monitoring the take-up of the different types of account models to confirm adequacy and efficiency.

22/05/2015 2015/884 Press Release- ESMA calls for modification of UCITS Directive , Press Release PDF
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05/05/2015 JC/2015/02 ESAs- main risks to EU financial market stability have intensified , , Press Release PDF
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The Joint Committee of the European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs) published its fifth Report on Risks and Vulnerabilities in the EU Financial System. Overall, the report found that in the past six months, risks affecting the EU financial system have not changed in substance, but have further intensified. The EU’s economic performance improved slightly in early 2015, however the financial sector in general continues to be affected by a combination of factors such as low investment demand, economic uncertainty in the Eurozone and its neighbouring countries, a global economic slow-down and a low-interest rate environment. The main risks affecting the financial system remain broadly unchanged from those identified in the report’s previous edition, but have become more entrenched. The major risks include: • Low growth, low inflation, volatile asset prices and their consequences for financial entities; • Search for yield behaviour exacerbated by potential rebounds; • Deterioration in the conduct of business; and • Increased concern about IT risks and cyber-attacks. Despite these risks, a number of ongoing policy and regulatory initiatives are contributing to improving the stability and confidence in the financial system as well as facilitating additional funding channels to the real economy. These include ongoing regulatory reforms in the securities, banking and insurance sectors such as the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II) and Regulation (MiFIR), the work on the implementation of the Capital Requirements Directive and Regulation (CRDIV/CRR), the work on the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive (BRRD), the Deposit-Guarantee Schemes Directive (DGS) and the Solvency II Directive, as well as the European Commission’s plan for a Capital Markets Union (CMU). Steven Maijoor, Chair of the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) and the current Chairman of the Joint Committee, said: “The Joint Committee has noted some improvement in overall market conditions; however, the recovery is not yet sustained and is exposed to risks related to broad macroeconomic conditions, in particular the low interest environment and resulting search-for-yield behaviour. Additionally regulators continue to have concerns about the operational risks generated by some financial institutions’ inappropriate business conduct, as well as those risks posed by inadequate management of IT risks. “However, recent regulatory initiatives across the banking, insurance and securities sectors, such as the Comprehensive Assessment, the insurance sector stress test and Solvency II along with, the ongoing MiFID, EMIR and PRIPS reforms are contributing to improving the stability and confidence in the EU financial system." Key Risks Identified The identified risks in the Report can be divided into macro risks to the EU financial system and economy and operational risks. Macro Risks The key macro risks identified relate to: 1. Risks from weak economic growth and low inflation environment, which include: • Adverse effect that low interest rates and uncertainties about the economic recovery have had on the outlook for the financial industry; • Higher valuation and market liquidity risk has raised concerns about the outlook for financial entities’ stability in the event of reversals in interest rates and asset prices; 2. Low profitability is motivating financial institutions and other investors to search for yield, which requires increased supervisory attention to the viability of business models, related restructuring activity and adequate management of risks. However, the promotion of sound and innovative business models for market-based funding structures could help to deliver additional stimulus; and 3. Some continued doubts on the comparability and consistency of banks’ calculations of risk weighted assets. Operational Risks The key operational risks relate to: 4. Business conduct risk remains a key concern with the Report recommending that supervisors should include misconduct costs in future stress tests where appropriate, while financial institutions should strengthening product oversight and governance frameworks. Further improvements in the regulatory framework and supervisory practices to address conduct risks are also warranted. In addition, further progress needs to be made on benchmark reforms where continuity and integrity remain a source of concern even if key panels remained stable; and 5. IT operational risk and cyber risk remain of great concern and pose challenges to the the safety and integrity of financial institutions. IT risk increased due to costs pressures, outsourcing, the need for additional capacities and a mounting number of cyber-attacks. The adequate integration of IT risk into overall risk management is a key policy for mitigation.
01/04/2015 2015/674 Press release- ESMA launches centralised data projects for MiFIR and EMIR , Press Release PDF
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13/02/2015 EC-15-639 European Commission letter regarding EMIR clearing obligation on Interest Rate Swaps Letter PDF
183.74 KB
21/11/2014 2014/1385 ESMA letter to European Commission regarding EMIR clearing obligation Letter PDF
34.57 KB
01/10/2014 2014/1209 Press release- ESMA defines products, counterparties and starting dates for the clearing of interest rate swaps , Press Release PDF
94.72 KB

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has today issued final draft regulatory technical standards (RTS) for the central clearing of Interest Rate Swaps (IRS) which it is required to develop under the European Markets Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR). The RTS define those types of IRS contracts which will have to be centrally cleared, the types of counterparties covered by the obligation and the dates by which central clearing of IRS will become mandatory for them.

30/09/2014 2014/1179 Letter to Commission Barnier- Postponement of reports due by ESMA under Article 85.3 of EMIR Letter PDF
30.37 KB
17/07/2014 JC/2b D(2014) 2392454 European Commission response to ESMA letter regarding frontloading requirement under EMIR Letter PDF
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11/07/2014 2014/819 ESMA defines central clearing of interest rate and credit default swaps Press Release PDF
94.55 KB
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has launched a first round of consultations to prepare for central clearing of OTC derivatives within the European Union. The two consultation papers seek stakeholders’ views on draft regulatory technical standards (RTS) for the clearing of Interest Rate Swaps (IRS) and Credit Default Swaps (CDS) that ESMA has to develop under the European Markets Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR). With the overarching objective of reducing systemic risk, EMIR introduces the obligation to clear certain classes of OTC derivatives in central clearing houses (CCPs) that have been authorised (European CCPs) or recognised (third-country CCPs) under its framework. To ensure that the clearing obligation reduces systemic risk, EMIR specifies a process for the identification of the classes of OTC derivatives that should be subject to mandatory clearing. This includes the assessment of specific criteria that the relevant classes of OTC derivatives have to meet. ESMA is required to draft RTS on the clearing obligation within six months of the authorisation or recognition of CCPs. ESMA has analysed the classes from several CCP notifications and has determined that some IRS and CDS classes should be subject to the clearing obligation. Following the difference in timing of the corresponding CCP authorisations, the IRS and CDS classes are covered in two separate papers and consultation periods, with a large overlap between the two to give the opportunity to stakeholders to review them and provide feedback at the same time. These two consultation papers may be followed by one or more on other asset classes.Basis, fixed-to-float, forward rate agreements and overnight index swaps to be centrally cleared Regarding IRS, ESMA’s draft RTS propose the following four classes, on a range of currencies and underlying indices, to be subject to central clearing: •    Basis swaps;•    Fixed-to-float interest rate swaps; •    Forward rate agreements; and•    Overnight index swaps. European untranched index CDS to be centrally cleared Regarding CDS, ESMA’s draft RTS proposes European untranched Index CDS (for two indices) to be subject to central clearing.Draft standards built on swaps already offered for clearing ESMA defined the IRS and CDS classes to be subject to central clearing following an analysis of all IRS and CDS classes which are currently offered for clearing by European CCPs. In addition, for equity and interest rate futures and options which are offered for clearing, ESMA decided that a clearing obligation is not necessary at this stage. Next steps The IRS Consultation Paper is open for feedback until 18 August 2014 and the CDS Consultation Paper until 18 September 2014. ESMA will use the answers received to draft its final RTSs on the clearing obligation for IRS and CDS and send them for endorsement to the European Commission. The clearing obligation will take effect following a phased implementation, with the current proposal ranging from six months to three years after the entry into force of the RTS, depending on the types of counterparties concerned.