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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.

17/07/2018 ESMA32-51-522 ESMA response to the European Commission consultation on the Fitness Check on the EU Framework for public reporting by companies , Report PDF
625.18 KB
03/11/2020 ESMA42-111-5349 Fast Track Peer Review Report- Wirecard , , Report PDF
1.33 MB
26/07/2016 2016/1171 Final Report Draft Implementing Technical Standards on sanctions and measures under MAR , Final Report PDF
929.78 KB
31/05/2021 ESMA32-60-727 Final Report draft RTS amending RTS on ESEF 2021 , Final Report PDF
9.47 MB
23/09/2020 ESMA70-155-10272 Final Report on Cum Ex and other multiple withholding tax reclaim schemes , , Final Report PDF
906.57 KB
06/02/2018 ESMA70-145-398 Final report on draft ITS on forms and procedures for cooperation under Article 24 and 25 MAR Final Report PDF
940.38 KB
17/07/2018 ESMA31-62-1002 Final report on draft regulatory technical standards under the Prospectus Regulation Final Report PDF
1.46 MB
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.

03/05/2019 ESMA35-43-1737 Final report on integrating sustainability risks and factors in the MIFID II , , Final Report PDF
371.73 KB
30/09/2016 2016/1412 Final Report on MAR Guidelines on commodity derivatives , , Final Report PDF
566.52 KB

Article 7(5) of MAR provides that the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) shall issue guidelines to establish a non-exhaustive indicative list of information which is reasonably expected or is required to be disclosed in accordance with legal or regulatory provisions in Union or national law, market rules, contract, practice or custom, on the relevant commodity derivatives markets or spot markets as referred to in Article 7(1)(b) of MAR. This final report follows the Consultation Paper (CP) issued on March 2016.

Contents

Section 2 contains information on the background and mandate, while Section 3 sets out ESMA’s feedback to the CP responses in relation to the scope of the guidelines, the financial instruments and products covered by the examples of information relating directly and indirectly to commodity derivatives and information directly relating to a spot market contract. It also indicates whether and where ESMA has changed the guidelines following the consultation.

Annex I lists questions raised in the CP. Annex 2 provides the legislative mandate on the basis of which ESMA is issuing these guidelines. Annex 3 sets out ESMA’s view on the costs and benefits associated with these guidelines. Annex 4 contains the text of the guidelines.

Next steps

The guidelines in Annex 4 will be translated into the official languages of the European Union and published on the ESMA’s website. Within 2 months of the issuance of the translations, each national competent authority will have to confirm whether it complies or intends to comply with those guidelines. In the event that a national competent authority does not comply or does not intend to comply, it will have to inform ESMA, stating its reasons. ESMA will publish the fact that a national competent authority does not comply or does not intend to comply with those guidelines.

 

 

01/06/2017 ESMA7--145-100 Final report on MAR ITS on cooperation between competent authorities , Final Report PDF
926.19 KB
29/10/2020 ESMA70-156-3581 Final Report on SME GMs RTS-ITS under MAR , Final Report PDF
691.32 KB
13/07/2016 2016/1130 Final Report on the Market Abuse Regulation Guidelines , Report PDF
852.59 KB
24/09/2020 ESMA70-156-2391 Final Report- MAR Review , Final Report PDF
1.94 MB
23/05/2014 2014/551 IFRS Enforcement in Europe in 2013 , Final Report PDF
694.9 KB
01/04/2014 2014/342 Languages accepted for the purpose of the scrutiny of the Prospectus and requirements of translation of the Summary- March 2014 , Final Report PDF
194.98 KB
The document provides an overview of the languages that each national competent authority accepts when acting as home or host competent authority, as the case may be, for the purpose of the scrutiny of the prospectus. In addition the document outlines national requirements in relation to translation of summaries.
15/07/2020 ESMA42-111-4128 PEER REVIEW ON GUIDELINES ON ENFORCEMENT OF FINANCIAL INFORMATION- Country report DE , , Report PDF
285.02 KB
02/07/2019 ESMA70-154-1193 Preliminary findings on multiple withholding tax reclaim schemes Report PDF
611.48 KB
16/01/2019 ESMA70-145-1184 Report Application Accepted Market Practices , Report PDF
1.68 MB