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Date Ref. Title Section Type Download Info Summary Related Documents Translated versions
23/03/2015 2015/609 Guidelines on periodic information to be submitted to ESMA by Credit Rating Agencies Final Report PDF
166.64 KB
16/12/2014 2014/1524 ESMA’s investigation into structured finance ratings Final Report PDF
436.29 KB
The European Securities and Markets Authorities (ESMA) has published this report to inform of the outcome and findings of its general investigation in the way credit rating agencies (CRAs) conduct surveillance of structured finance credit ratings, as indicated in ESMA’s Credit Rating Agencies Annual Report 2013. The investigation took place between October 2013 and September 2014 and involved the four largest CRAs providing credit ratings on structured finance instruments in the EU, namely DBRS Ratings (DBRS), Fitch Ratings (Fitch), Moody’s Investors Service (MIS) and Standard & Poor’s (S&P). 
22/09/2014 JC/2014/063 Joint Committee Report on Risks and Vulnerabilities in the EU Financial System , Final Report PDF
507.84 KB
The Joint Committee of the European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs) published today its bi-annual report on risks and vulnerabilities in the European Union's (EU) financial system. The report identifies a number of risks to financial stability in the EU, including prolonged weak economic growth in an environment characterised by high indebtedness, intensified search for yield in a protracted low interest rate environment, and uncertainties in global emerging market economies. The report also highlights risks related to conduct of business and Information Technologies (IT).
05/08/2014 2014/939 Report to the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on ESMA’s staffing and resource for CRA supervision Final Report PDF
322.49 KB
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) is required by Article 39a of Regulation (EU) No 462/2013 of the European Parliament and the Council of 21 May 2013, amending Regulation (EC) No 1060/2009 on credit rating agencies (CRA Regulation), to assess the staffing and resources needs arising from the assumption of its powers and duties under the CRA Regulation and submit a report to the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission of these needs. The Report describes the tasks that ESMA carries out in view of its responsibilities under the CRA Regulation. For each task the report analyses the implications in terms of processes and activities to be carried out. The report also provides the implications in terms of resources and budget. While ESMA experienced a steep increase of resources in the initial years following the entry into force of the CRA Regulation, incremental growth in staff numbers in 2015 and 2016 can be envisaged to adequately cope with additional tasks following from the CRA3 Regulation.
31/07/2014 JC/2014/062 Placement of financial instruments with depositors, retail investors and policy holders ('Self placement') Final Report PDF
383.93 KB
Reminder to credit institutions and insurance undertakings about applicable regulatory requirements Executive summary As part of their respective mandates to protect investors, depositors and policy holders, the three European Supervisory Authorities, the EBA, ESMA and EIOPA are concerned about the practices used by some financial institutions to comply with enhanced prudential requirements under the CRD/R IV, the pending BRRD, and Solvency 2, as well as the ongoing EBA stress test and the ECB’s comprehensive assessment. These practices include financial institutions selling to their own client base financial instruments that they themselves have issued and that are eligible to comply with the above requirements. This practice may breach a number of rules governing the conduct of these institutions. However, the ‘loss bearing’ features of many of these products mean that consumers are exposed to significant risks that do not exist for other financial instruments. For example, investors are more likely to be subject to bail-in; and the absence of harmonised structures, trigger points and loss absorption makes it difficult for investors to understand and compare the products. Each product needs to be assessed as a unique offering, which may be particularly challenging for retail investors. The three authorities, within their remits, are reminding financial institutions that capitalisation pressures should not affect their ability to comply with existing and future requirements applicable in the European Union for the provision of services to consumers, including investors, depositors and policy holders. It is expected that due to regulatory and market developments, the risks of consumer detriment described here will further increase; this reminder is aimed at preventing this.
02/04/2014 JC/2014/18 Report on risks and vulnerabilities in the EU financial system March 2014 Final Report PDF
1.28 MB
21/02/2014 2014/151 Credit Rating Agencies Annual Report 2013 Final Report PDF
507.61 KB
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published its Annual Report 2013 (Report) on credit rating agencies (CRAs) in the European Union (EU). The Report also outlines ESMA’s supervisory work plan for this year. ESMA has found that CRAs continue to progress in how they comply with the CRA Regulation, including improved internal transparency and disclosure to the market on credit rating activities as well as empowerment of the compliance function. However, ESMA considers that improvements are still necessary, notably in the following areas: • validation of rating methodologies, to ensure that a credit rating assessment is a comprehensive risk assessment leading to high quality ratings; • internal governance, ensuring the full independence of the internal review function and thereby reducing the risk of potential conflict of interest; and • robust IT systems to support the rating process, including information security controls and protection of confidential rating information. These issues form the basis for much of ESMA’s supervision activities as outlined in its 2014 work plan. This includes the completion of the two on-going supervisory reviews into CRAs’ monitoring of structured finance ratings and into small and medium-sized CRAs. A new thematic investigation on how CRAs review and validate their rating methodologies will also be launched, as well as dedicated work on CRAs’ IT systems and controls. Following the entry into force of the amended CRA Regulation in June 2013, ESMA will also complete a specific assessment on CRAs’ compliance with the new regulatory requirements.
06/02/2014 JC 2014/004 Mechanistic references to credit ratings in the ESAs’ guidelines and recommendations Final Report PDF
519.98 KB
The Joint Committee of the three European Supervisory Authorities (EBA, ESMA and EIOPA - ESAs) published today its final Report on mechanistic references to credit ratings in the ESAs’ guidelines and recommendations and on the definition of “sole and mechanistic reliance” on such ratings. In accordance with the Credit Rating Agencies Regulation (CRA 3), the EBA, ESMA and EIOPA have reviewed all their existing guidelines and recommendations in order to identify, and where appropriate remove, references to external credit ratings that could trigger sole or mechanistic reliance on such ratings. This final report includes the amendments to ESMA’s Guidelines on Money Market Funds (MMF) according to the definition of ‘sole and mechanistic reliance’ contained therein. This common definition aims at harmonising the different interpretations of ‘sole and mechanistic reliance’ in the ESAs regulations and guidelines. This definition, to which the ESAs intend to refer to in all their future guidelines, recommendations and draft technical standards, was developed taking into account all the comments received during the public consultation that ended on 5 December 2013. Legal background Regulation (EU) No 462/2013 of 21 may 2013 (CRA 3) mandates the EBA, EIOPA and ESMA to review and, where appropriate, remove all references to credit ratings in existing guidelines and recommendations that have the potential to trigger sole or mechanistic reliance. This article puts forward the first of the Principles for reducing reliance on CRA Ratings issued by the Financial Stability Board on 27 October 2010.
02/12/2013 2013/1775 Sovereign ratings investigation- ESMA’s assessment of governance, conflicts of interest, resourcing adequacy and confidentiality controls Final Report PDF
302.99 KB
This report summarises the findings of the European Securities and Markets Authority’s (ESMA) general investigation into sovereign credit ratings issued by Fitch Ratings, Moody’s Investors Service and Standard & Poor’s which took place between February and October 2013, as indicated in its Credit Rating Agencies (CRAs) 2013 Supervision and Policy Work Plan. In this report ESMA describes the observed deficiencies and main concerns while also identifying a number of good practices in the following areas: • the role of senior management and other non-rating functions in the rating process and the actual or potential conflicts of interest which could arise; • the actual or potential conflicts of interests generated by the involvement of sovereign analysts in research and publication activities; • confidentiality of sovereign rating information and controls in place prior to publication of ratings (including IT and access controls to confidential information); • timing of publication of sovereign ratings, including timely disclosure of rating changes; • monitoring of the adequacy and expertise of resources dedicated to sovereign ratings; • preparation of rating committees; and • definitions of roles and responsibilities among different analytical functions. ESMA’s investigation revealed shortcomings in the sovereign ratings process which could pose risks to the quality, independence and integrity of the ratings and of the rating process. As of the date of this document, ESMA has not determined whether any of the observations made in this report constitute serious indications of the possible existence of facts liable to constitute one or more infringements of the CRA Regulation.
28/11/2013 JC 2013/77 Joint Position of the European Supervisory Authorities on Manufacturers’ Product Oversight & Governance Processes Final Report PDF
210.59 KB
The Joint Committee of the three European Supervisory Authorities published today eight principles applicable to the oversight and governance processes of financial products. These principles cover in particular the responsibilities of manufacturers and producers in setting up processes, functions and strategies for designing and marketing financial products, as well as at reviewing the products’ life cycle. The Joint Position of the European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs) highlights in particular that the design of financial products and services poses risks to consumers when the target market is not correctly identified. These risks can also arise when the objectives and characteristics of the target market are not duly taken into account in the marketing of products to consumers. These issues have previously arisen at EU level across the three sectors of banking, insurance and securities.The eight high level principles developed by the three ESAs in their Joint Position stress the importance of the controls that manufacturers should put in place before launching their products, thus discouraging products and services that may cause consumer detriment from entering the market and thus ultimately enhancing consumers’ confidence in financial markets.The Joint Position is not directly addressed to market participants and competent authorities but it will provide a high-level, consistent basis for the development of more detailed principles addressed to manufactures by each ESA in the respective sectors. The Joint position is therefore without prejudice to any work that is being developed by each ESA, including in the context of the review of sectoral Directives.
08/11/2013 JC-2013-72 Preliminary report on anti-money laundering and counter financing of terrorism Risk Based Supervision Final Report PDF
636.21 KB
08/10/2013 JC 2013/056 Explanation of Changes in Compilation of Data Final Report PDF
93.28 KB
The Joint Committee publishes the 2013 List of Identified Financial Conglomerates. The latest version of the list shows 75 financial conglomerates with the head of group in an EU/EEA country, one with the head of group in Australia, two with the head of the group in Switzerland, and two with the head of group in the United States.
08/10/2013 JC 2013/055 Identification of Financial Conglomerates Final Report PDF
268.59 KB
The Joint Committee publishes the 2013 List of Identified Financial Conglomerates. The latest version of the list shows 75 financial conglomerates with the head of group in an EU/EEA country, one with the head of group in Australia, two with the head of the group in Switzerland, and two with the head of group in the United States.
05/09/2013 JC 2013/050 Joint Committee report on risks and vulnerabilities in the EU financial system, August 2013 Final Report PDF
793.91 KB
12/04/2013 JC 2013-010 Joint Committee report on risks and vulnerabilities in the EU financial system, March 2013 Final Report PDF
694.8 KB
The Joint Committee of the European Supervisory Authorities (Joint Committee) has published today its first Report on Risks and Vulnerabilities in the European Union’s (EU) Financial System. The European financial system faces a range of risks and challenges: 1. Risks from the weak macroeconomic outlook for the financial health of real-economy and sovereign borrowers, and consequently for financial institutions’ asset quality and profitability; 2. Risks of a prolonged period of low interest rates impacting insurers and pension funds, increasing search for yield behaviour and facilitating widespread forbearance by banks; 3. Risks of further fragmentation of the single market in financial services due to evidences of national retrenchment, home bias, reduced cross-border activity and clustering of markets; 4. Risks from increased reliance on collateral in financial transactions; 5. Risks to confidence in financial institutions balance sheet valuations and risk disclosures; and 6. Risks of loss of confidence in financial market benchmarks. These risks, although presented individually in this report, are highly interlinked and require a concerted response by policy makers both at the political level and from the European System of Financial Supervision including the European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs). Suggested policy actions to restore the confidence in the financial system are presented at the end of some described risks. The challenge facing policy makers is nothing less than to restore the confidence and trust in the financial system that has been eroded during recent years’ financial crises.
18/03/2013 2013/308 Annual report on the application of the Regulation on credit rating agencies- 2012 Final Report PDF
601.08 KB
This is the second annual report on the application of the Credit Rating Agencies Regulation. 
07/12/2012 JC/2012/86 ESA report on the application of AML/CTF obligations to, and the AML/CTF supervision of e-money issuers, agents and distributors in Europe. Final Report PDF
476.42 KB
11/04/2012 JC/2011/97 EBA, ESMA and EIOPA’s Report on the legal and regulatory provisions and supervisory expectations across EU Member States of Simplified Due Diligence requirements where the customers are credit and financial institutions under the Third Money Laundering Di Final Report PDF
476.47 KB
11/04/2012 JC/2011/96 EBA, ESMA and EIOPA’s Report on the legal, regulatory and supervisory implementation across EU Member States in relation to the Beneficial Owners Customer Due Diligence requirements under the Third Money Laundering Directive [2005/60/EC] Final Report PDF
552.11 KB
22/03/2012 2012/207 ESMA’s Report on the Supervision of Credit Rating Agencies Final Report PDF
323.81 KB
This report provides an overview of ESMA’s supervisory activity on Credit Rating Agencies (CRAs) registered in the European Union and summarises the results of ESMA’s first examination of the three groups of registered CRAs (Fitch Ratings, Moody's Investors Services, and Standard & Poor's Rating Services). The examination referred to in this document is the first step in an ongoing supervisory process conducted by ESMA and therefore does not represent a full scope investigation. The observations set forth in this Report refer to common issues affecting CRAs activities. As of the date of this document, ESMA has not determined whether any observation highlighted below constitutes a breach of the provisions of the Regulation. ESMA is still progressing in its assessment of the areas discussed in this Report. This Report is not based on a decision by ESMA’s Board of Supervisors; therefore it is published without prejudice to the possibility of further investigations which could lead to enforcement or supervisory actions.