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27/03/2014 2014/332 Structured Retail Products- Good practices for product governance arrangements , Opinion PDF
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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.
22/07/2014 2014/876 Discussion paper- Calculation of counterparty risk by UCITS for OTC financial derivative transactions subject to clearing obligations Consultation Paper PDF
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26/09/2014 2014/1182 Consultation paper on the implementing measures of the Regulations on EuSEF and EuVECA Consultation Paper PDF
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Who should read this paper This consultation paper is addressed to social entrepreneurs, impact investors, EuSEF and EuVECA managers, impact fund managers, business angels, venture capitalists and other relevant stakeholders and their associations in the area of social entrepreneurship and venture capital in the EU. Responding to this paper ESMA invites comments on all matters 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. ESMA will consider all comments received by 10 December 2014. 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 publically 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’.
26/09/2014 2014/1183 Consultation paper on ESMA's technical advice to the European Commission on delegated acts required by the UCITS V Directive Consultation Paper PDF
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Who should read this paper This document will be of interest to depositaries (including their delegates) of UCITS funds and their trade associations, asset management companies managing UCITS funds and their trade associations, as well as  institutional and retail investors investing into such funds and their associations. Responding to this paper ESMA invites comments on all matters 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. ESMA will consider all comments received by 24 October 2014. 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 publically 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’.
07/11/2014 2014/1340 Call for evidence on AIFMD passport and third country AIFMs Consultation Paper PDF
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17/11/2014 JC/DP/2014/02 Discussion Paper- Key Information Documents for Packaged Retail and Insurance-based Investment Products (PRIIPs) , Consultation Paper PDF
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EBA, EIOPA, and ESMA (the ESAs) welcome comments on this Discussion Paper on Key Information Documents for Packaged Retail and Insurance-based Investment Products (PRIIPs).Comments can be sent by clicking on the ‘input’ button on the consultation page of one of the ESA’s websites. Please note that the deadline for the submission of comments is 17 February 2015. Comments submitted after this deadline, or submitted via other means may not be processed. It is important to note that although you may not be able to respond to each and every question, the ESAs would encourage partial responses from stakeholders on those questions that they believe are most relevant to them.Publication of responsesAll contributions received will be published following the close of the consultation, unless you request otherwise in the consultation form. A confidential response may be requested from us in accordance with the ESA’s rules on public access to documents.1 We may consult you if we receive such a request. Any decision we make not to disclose the response is reviewable by the Board of Appeal of the ESA’s and the European Ombudsman.Data protectionInformation on data protection can be found at the different ESA’s websites under the heading ‘Legal notice'
01/12/2014 2014/1326 Guidelines on asset segregation under the AIFMD Consultation Paper PDF
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Who should read this paper This document will be of interest to (i) depositaries of alternative investment funds and their delegates (including prime brokers and collateral managers) and their trade associations, (ii) alternative investment funds managers and their trade associations, as well as (iii) institutional and retail investors investing into such funds and their associations. Responding to this paper ESMA invites comments on all matters in this paper and in particular on the specific questions summarised in Annex 1. Comments are most helpful if they:1.    respond to the question stated;2.    indicate the specific question to which the comment relates;3.    contain a clear rationale; and4.    describe any alternatives ESMA should consider. ESMA will consider all comments received by 30 January 2015. All contributions should be submitted using the reply form, and uploaded on 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 publically 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.
18/12/2014 2014/1378 Opinion- Investment-based crowdfunding Opinion PDF
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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.
23/12/2014 2014/1577 Discussion Paper- Share classes of UCITS Consultation Paper PDF
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Reasons for publication The UCITS Directive recognises the possibility for UCITS to offer different share classes to investors but it does not prescribe whether, and to what extent, share classes of a given UCITS can differ from each other. ESMA has identified diverging national practices as to the types of share class that are permitted, ranging from very simple share classes (e.g. with different levels of fees) to much more sophisticated share classes (e.g. with potentially different investment strategies). Therefore, ESMA sees merit in developing a common understanding of what constitutes a share class of UCITS and of the ways in which share classes may differ from each other. Contents In this discussion paper, ESMA sets out its views on what constitutes a share class, including how to distinguish share classes from compartments of UCITS. The paper goes on to provide possible approaches to the extent of differentiation between share classes that should be permitted. Next Steps ESMA will take into account the feedback from stakeholders with a view to establishing a common position on the use of share classes by UCITS. ESMA appreciates that national practices on the use of share classes vary significantly. Therefore, ESMA will take into account the possible impact on current market practices when developing its final position on this topic.
22/04/2015 2015/532 Investment using virtual currency or distributed ledger technology Consultation Paper PDF
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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.
22/05/2015 2015/880 ESMA Opinion to the EU institutions on the impact of EMIR on UCITS Opinion PDF
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23/06/2015 JC/DC/2015/01 Technical Discussion Paper (DP) on the PRIIPs Key Information Document (KID) , Consultation Paper PDF
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EBA, EIOPA, and ESMA (the ESAs) welcome comments on this Technical Discussion Paper on Risk, Performance Scenarios and Cost Disclosures in Key Information Documents for Packaged Retail and Insurance-based Investment Products (PRIIPs). The discussion paper is available on the websites of the three ESAs. Comments on this discussion paper can be sent using the response form, via the ESMA website under the heading ‘Your input/Consultations’ by 17 August 2015. Contributions not received in Word, or sent to an email address, or after the deadline, will not be processed. It is important to note that although you may not be able to respond to each and every question, the ESAs would encourage partial responses from stakeholders on those questions that they believe are most relevant to them. Publication of responses All contributions received will be published following the close of the consultation, unless you request otherwise. 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 the ESAs’ rules on public 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 the Board of Appeal of the ESAs and the European Ombudsman. Data protection Information on data protection can be found on the different ESAs’ websites under the heading ‘Legal notice’.
23/06/2015 JC/DP/2015/01 reply form Response form to joint Discussion Paper on PRIIPS , Consultation Paper DOCX
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23/07/2015 2015/1172 Guidelines on sound remuneration policies under the UCITS Directive and AIFMD Consultation Paper PDF
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Reasons for publication Article 14a(4) of Directive 2009/65/EC (“UCITS Directive”), as amended by Directive 2014/91/EU (“UCITS V Directive”) provides that ESMA shall issue guidelines addressed to competent authorities or financial market participants concerning the application of the remuneration principles set out under Article 14b of the UCITS Directive (“UCITS Remuneration Guidelines”). This consultation paper represents the first step in the development of the guidelines on remuneration policies required by the UCITS V Directive and sets out ESMA’s formal proposals for these guidelines. This consultation paper also proposes a targeted revision of the Guidelines on sound remuneration policies under the AIFMD (ESMA/2013/232) (“AIFMD Remuneration Guidelines”), which were published on 3 July 2013. Contents Section 2 explains the background to this document, while Section 3 explains the working method followed by ESMA while developing the draft guidelines. Sections 4 to 7 provide an overview of the content of the draft guidelines focusing on the main areas of difference between the requirements on remuneration under Directive 2011/61/EU (“AIFMD”) and UCITS V Directive. Annex I provides for a comparison table where the relevant UCITS V provisions on remuneration are marked up against the AIFMD provisions. Annex II sets out the list of questions contained in this paper. Annex III includes the draft cost-benefit analysis for the guidelines, while Annex IV sets out the text of the draft UCITS Remuneration guidelines and Annex V sets out the proposed amendment to the AIFMD Remuneration Guidelines. Next Steps ESMA will consider the feedback it receives to this consultation with a view to finalising the UCITS Remuneration Guidelines and publishing a final report by early Q1 2016, ahead of the transposition deadline for the UCITS V Directive (i.e. 18 March 2016). The final report is expected to also include the revision of the AIFMD Remuneration Guidelines which is proposed in the present paper. The consultation period will run until 23 October 2015.
30/07/2015 2015/1235 ESMA's opinion to the European Parliament, Council and Commission and responses to the call for evidence on the functioning of the AIFMD EU passport and of the National Private Placement Regimes Opinion PDF
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AIFMD and the request to ESMA for an Opinion In accordance with Articles 36 and 42 of the AIFMD, non-EU AIFMs and non-EU AIFs managed by EU AIFMs are subject to the NPPR of each of the Member States where the AIFs are marketed or managed. However, the AIFMD makes provision for the passport, which is currently reserved to EU AIFMs and AIFs, to be potentially extended in future. Article 67(1) of the AIFMD establishes that, by 22 July 2015, ESMA shall issue to the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission the following: An opinion on the functioning of the passport for EU AIFMs pursuant to Articles 32 and 33 of the AIFMD and on the functioning of the national private placement regimes set out in Articles 36 and 42 of the AIFMD. Advice on the application of the passport to non-EU AIFMs and AIFs in accordance with the rules set out in Article 35 and Articles 37 to 41 of the AIFMD. Within three months of receipt of positive advice and an opinion from ESMA, and taking into account the criteria of Article 67(2) and the objectives of the AIFMD, the Commission should adopt a delegated act specifying the date when the rules set out in Article 35 and 37 to 41 of the AIFMD become applicable in all Member States. As a consequence, the EU passport would be extended to non-EU AIFs and non-EU AIFMs. In order to produce this opinion and advice, ESMA must look into the elements listed in Article 67(2) and (4) of the AIFMD , notably on the basis of the information provided by the national competent authorities (NCAs) about the EU and non-EU AIFMs under their supervision. Indeed, Article 67(3) of the AIFMD requires NCAs to provide information to ESMA quarterly as from 22 July 2013. ESMA has received input from NCAs for the periods covering 22 July 2013 to 31 March 2014, 1 April to 30 June 2014, 1 July to 30 September 2014, 1 October to 31 December 2014, and 1 January to 31 March 2015. In order to supplement the input provided by NCAs via the quarterly surveys, ESMA launched a call for evidence in November 2014 aimed at gathering information from EU and non-EU stakeholders on the functioning of the EU passport, the NPPRs and the potential extension of the AIFMD passport to non-EU countries. ESMA received 67 responses (including 15 confidential responses), from 13 non-EU Authorities, 21 EU and non-EU trade associations of asset managers, 17 EU and non-EU asset managers, and 16 other trade associations and private firms (e.g. providers of services for funds, law firms etc). Summary of the opinion In relation to the timing of the assessment of the functioning of the EU passport, ESMA considers that the delay in the implementation of the AIFMD together with the delay in the transposition in some Member States make a definitive assessment difficult. ESMA would see merit in the preparation of another opinion on the functioning of the passport after a longer period of implementation in all Member States. However, even at this early stage, ESMA has identified several issues in relation to the use of the EU passport. These issues include: i) divergent approaches with respect to marketing rules, including heterogeneity of fees charged by the NCAs where the AIFs are marketed and the definition of what constitutes a “professional investor”; ii) varying interpretations of what activities constitute “marketing” and “material changes” under the AIFMD passport in the different Member States. With that in mind, ESMA sees merit in greater convergence in the definition of these terms. Nevertheless, ESMA is of the view that there is insufficient evidence to indicate that the AIFMD EU passport has raised major issues in terms of the functioning and implementation of the AIFMD framework. In relation to the timing of the assessment of the functioning of the NPPRs, ESMA considers that the delay in the implementation of the AIFMD together with the delay in transposition in some Member states make a definitive assessment difficult. ESMA would see merit in the preparation of another opinion on the functioning of the NPPR Regime after a longer period of implementation has passed in all Member States (although this is linked to the decision to be taken by the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on whether to extend the passport to one or more non-EU countries in the meantime). ESMA is of the view that there is insufficient evidence to indicate that the NPPRs have raised major issues in terms of the functioning and implementation of the AIFMD framework.
31/07/2015 2015/1239 Consultation Paper on draft regulatory technical standards under the ELTIF Regulation Consultation Paper PDF
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Responding to this paper ESMA invites comments on all matters in this paper and in particular on the specific questions summarised in Annex I. Comments are most helpful if they: 1.    respond to the question stated;2.    indicate the specific question to which the comment relates;3.    contain a clear rationale; and4.    describe any alternatives ESMA should consider. ESMA will consider all comments received by 14 October 2015. Responses to this consultation paper can be sent using the response form, via the ESMA website, 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 publically 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 This document will be of interest to (i) ELTIF managers and their trade associations, (ii) alternative investment funds managers and their trade associations, as well as (iii) institutional and retail investors investing into ELTIFs and their associations.  
11/11/2015 JC/2015/073 Consultation Paper PRIIPs Key Information Documents , Consultation Paper PDF
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31/03/2016 2016/408 Decision to adopt a supervisory measure taking the form of a public notice and to impose a fine in accordance with Statement of Findings in accordance with Articles 64(5), 65, 67 and 73 of Regulation (EC) No 648/2012 EMIR Decision PDF
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Decision to adopt a supervisory measure taking the form of a public notice and to impose a fine in accordance with Statement of Findings in accordance with Articles 64(5), 65, 67 and 73 of Regulation (EC) No 648/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 July 2012 on OTC derivatives, central counterparties and trade repositories

Public notice regarding negligent breach by DTCC Derivatives Repository Ltd of its legal obligation to ensure immediate access for regulators to data reported under EMIR

DTCC Derivatives Repository Ltd (‘DDRL’) is a trade repository registered in the European Union and is part of the DTCC group which includes a number of companies providing post-trading services to the global financial services industry. DDRL was registered by ESMA as a trade repository under Regulation (EU) No 648/2012 on OTC derivatives, central counterparties and trade repositories (‘EMIR’) on 7 November 2013. ESMA has responsibilities for the supervision and enforcement of provisions under EMIR concerning DDRL and other trade repositories registered in the EU.

In May 2014, ESMA’s supervisory team became aware of delays in providing regulators with access to data reported to DDRL under EMIR. Following further examination, the supervisory team formed the view that there were serious indications of the possible existence of facts liable to constitute one or more of the infringements listed in EMIR. The matter was accordingly referred to an independent investigation officer (the ‘IIO’). The IIO considered the evidence referred to him and conducted further investigations, before submitting his findings to ESMA’s Board of Supervisors (the ‘ESMA Board’).

Based on the findings of the IIO and the evidence put before it, the ESMA Board found on 23 March 2016 that an examination of the facts showed that DDRL had committed the following infringement under EMIR and had done so negligently. DDRL committed an  infringement of EMIR by not allowing regulators and supervisors direct and immediate access to the details of derivatives contracts they need to fulfil their responsibilities and mandates.

06/04/2016 2016/570 Discussion Paper on UCITS share classes Consultation Paper PDF
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12/04/2016 2016/596 Opinion on loan origination Opinion PDF
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