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01/07/2013 2013/852 ESMA review finds good compliance with EU market abuse rules , , Press Release PDF
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The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published a peer review of the supervisory practices EEA national competent authorities (NCAs) apply in enforcing the requirements of the Market Abuse Directive (MAD).  The Directive deals with the prevention of the dissemination of misleading information, the breach of reporting obligations and market abuse.  
18/07/2013 2013/998 Guidelines on the model MoU concerning consultation, cooperation and the exchange of information related to the supervision of AIFMD entities , Guidelines & Recommendations PDF
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ESMA finalises supervisory co-operation agreements for alternative investment funds The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has approved seven co-operation arrangements between EU securities regulators and their global counterparts with responsibility for the supervision of alternative investment funds, including hedge funds, private equity and real estate funds. ESMA’s Board of Supervisors, at its July meeting, approved Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) with authorities from the Bahamas, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico and the United States, including the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). ESMA has now negotiated 38 agreements on behalf of the 31 EU/EEA national competent authorities for securities markets supervision. The co-operation agreements allow for the exchange of information, cross-border on-site visits and mutual assistance in the enforcement of respective supervisory laws. ESMA had approved 31 MoUs with other non-EU regulators in May. The agreements cover third-country alternative investment fund managers (AIFMs) that market alternative investment funds (AIFs) in the EU and EU AIFMs that manage or market AIFs outside the EU. The agreements also cover co-operation in the cross-border supervision of depositaries and AIFMs’ delegates. National securities regulators in the EU, as the supervisors of AIFMs, are in the process of signing MoUs with those jurisdictions relevant to their market. The existence of co-operation arrangements between the EU and non-EU authorities is a precondition of the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) for allowing managers from third countries access to EU markets or to perform fund management by delegation from EU managers by 22 July 2013. The co-operation arrangements are applicable from 22 July, and will enable cross-border marketing of AIFs to professional investors between jurisdictions. This is subject to the non-EU jurisdiction not being listed as a non-cooperative jurisdiction by the Financial Action Task Force and, as from the entry into force of the passport for non-EU managers, having co-operation agreements in place with EU Member States regarding the exchange of information on tax matters. The content of the ESMA MoUs follow the IOSCO Principles on Cross-Border Supervisory Co-operation of 2010, and complements the terms and conditions of the IOSCO Multilateral MoU Concerning Consultation and Co-operation and the Exchange of Information of 2002 (MMoU). ESMA had originally contacted all the authorities that have signed the IOSCO MMoU of 2002. ESMA has now approved MoUs with those 42 authorities that responded to ESMA’s call. ESMA continues to negotiate the MoU with the Chinese authority.   Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) MoU with AFSA (Albania) MoU with ASIC (Australia) MoU with BMA (Bermuda) MoU with Canadian authorities  Accompanying letter MoU with CDVM (Morocco) MoU with CFTC (US) Accompanying letter MoU with CIMA (Cayman Islands) MoU with CMA (Kenya) MoU with CMSA (Tanzania) MoU with CNBV (Mexico) MoU with CVM (Brazil) MoU with DFSA (Dubai) MoU with FCSM (Mauritius) MoU with FINMA (Switzerland) MoU with FSA (Labuan) MoU with FSC (BVI) MoU with FSC (Guernsey) MoU with FSC (Isle of Man) MoU with FSC (Jersey) MoU with HKMA (Hong Kong) MoU with ISA (Israel) MoU with JFSA (Japan) MoU with MAFF (Japan) MoU with MAS (Singapore) MoU with METI (Japan) MoU with OCC and FED (US) MoU with OSFI (Canada) MoU with SC (Malaysia) MoU with SC (Republic of Srpska) MoU with SC (The Bahamas) MoU with SCA (UAE) MoU with SEBI (India) MoU with SEC (Montenegro) MoU with SEC (Pakistan) MoU with SEC (Thailand) MoU with SEC Macedonia (FYROM) MoU with SFC (Hong Kong) MoU with US SEC Accompanying letter   MoU with EFSA (Egypt)   MoU with FMA (New Zealand)   MoU with FSB (South Africa)   MoU with SSC (Vietnam)   MoU with FSC and FSS (South Korea)

18/07/2013 2013/992 ESMA finalises supervisory co-operation agreements for alternative investment , , Press Release PDF
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25/11/2013 2013/1709 Review Panel Methodology Reference PDF
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05/06/2014 2014/608 MMoU on Cooperation Arrangements and Exchange of Information , Reference PDF
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The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published the text of a new multilateral memorandum of understanding (MMoU) between EEA national competent authorities, and between national competent authorities and ESMA which entered into force on 29 May 2014. It has been signed by 33 authorities in the securities and markets area. The new MMoU was agreed in view of the increasing internationalisation, harmonisation and interdependence of financial services and markets in the European Union. It is designed to facilitate cooperation arrangements and the exchange of information between national competent authorities, and between national competent authorities and ESMA, in the application of their responsibilities under Union law relating to the securities and markets area. It also updates and replaces a previous agreement on the Exchange of Information and Surveillance of Securities Activities agreed by the members of the Committee of European Securities Regulators (formerly the Forum of European Securities Commissions) entered into by those members on 26 January 1999. List of Signatories to MMoU on Cooperation Arrangements and Exchange of Information

04/12/2014 ESMA/ASIC1 ESMA-ASIC MOU on access to trade repositry data Reference PDF
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11/12/2014 2014/1485 MiFID – Conduct of Business, fair, clear and not misleading information Final Report PDF
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The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has conducted a peer review of how national regulators (national competent authorities or NCAs) supervise MiFID conduct of business rules on providing fair, clear and not misleading information to clients. The peer review focused on NCAs’ organisation, supervisory approaches, monitoring and complaints handling in relation to information and marketing communications under MiFID. The Report found that there was overall a high degree of compliance amongst NCAs with the good practices identified in these key areas. However, a variety of approaches were observed, leading to different intensity of supervision. A number of areas for improvement were identified. They include: • enhanced use of on-site inspections and thematic reviews; • a specific focus on conduct of business issues in firms’ risk assessments; and • greater efforts to detect failings by firms in a timely manner. The review was conducted on the basis of information provided by NCAs in a self-assessment questionnaire and complemented by on-site visits to the NCAs of Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Portugal, and the United Kingdom.
11/12/2014 2014/1478 ESMA reviews supervisory practices on MiFID investor information , Press Release PDF
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The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has conducted a peer review of how national regulators (national competent authorities or NCAs) supervise MiFID conduct of business rules on providing fair, clear and not misleading information to clients. The peer review focused on NCAs’ organisation, supervisory approaches, monitoring and complaints handling in relation to information and marketing communications under MiFID. The Report found that there was overall a high degree of compliance amongst NCAs with the good practices identified in these key areas. However, a variety of approaches were observed, leading to different intensity of supervision. A number of areas for improvement were identified. They include: enhanced use of on-site inspections and thematic reviews; a specific focus on conduct of business issues in firms’ risk assessments; and greater efforts to detect failings by firms in a timely manner. The review was conducted on the basis of information provided by NCAs in a self-assessment questionnaire and complemented by on-site visits to the NCAs of Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Portugal, and the United Kingdom. Steven Maijoor, ESMA Chair, said: “Providing fair, clear and not misleading information to clients is essential for investor protection and should be applied consistently throughout the EU. This review is a major step forward in ensuring that progress is being made towards convergence in this area by national regulators. “The report provides a thorough insight and analysis of national supervisory practices, facilitated by ESMA’s first on-site visits, and includes a number of recommendations which I urge national regulators to consider when reviewing their practices in this area”. Key Findings The review’s key findings covered the following areas: Ex-ante and ex-post supervision – supervisory systems are divided between ex-ante and ex-post reviews of marketing material. Within the ex-post approach there is also divergence in terms of the timeliness with which NCAs review the material following its dissemination and consider complaints made by clients of firms; Direct and indirect supervision – while some NCAs directly supervise firms’ compliance with their obligations relating to the provision of information and marketing material to clients, others rely on annual checks performed by external auditors. The latter approach may make it difficult to detect failings by firms in a timely manner due to the successive sampling process employed by auditors and then the NCA?s concerned; Complaints and Sanctions – a low level of complaints and equally low level of sanctions are reported by NCAs in the area of information and marketing to clients; and Definition of information and marketing communication - There is no precise definition of the term marketing communication in EU law: this would need to be further defined in order to build effective convergence of supervisory practices. Recommendations for future work The Report identifies a number of areas for future work by NCAs and ESMA which could promote a more coherent cross-EU application of the requirements. These include: establishing more robust structures and efficient coordination and cooperation arrangements between different supervisory units within NCAs; defining a clear set of information and marketing material to be supervised; assessing the frequency of NCAs’ monitoring of investor information and marketing; assessing the adequacy of monitoring the distribution channels used by firms including in the cross border provision of services; requiring investment firms to submit to their NCAs details of all information and marketing material to be provided including material used for cross-border business; considering the use of integrated databases to assist in supervision of information and marketing to clients; assessing the frequency and consistency of the use of sanctions by NCAs; and assessing the implementation and effectiveness of the guidelines for complaints-handling for the securities (ESMA) and banking (EBA) sectors. In addition, ESMA should continue its efforts, including the use of Opinions, in promoting the development of a level-playing field regarding the provision of information in an understandable format to clients and the quality of service to clients.
16/01/2015 2015 ESMA SFC MoU MoU between ESMA and SFC regarding CCPs Reference PDF
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25/02/2015 2015/494 Best Execution under MiFID , Final Report PDF
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The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has conducted a peer review on how national regulators (national competent authorities or NCAs) supervise and enforce the MiFID provisions relating to investment firms’ obligation to provide best execution, or obtain the best possible result, for their clients when executing their orders. ESMA found that the level of implementation of best execution provisions, as well as the level of convergence of supervisory practices by NCAs, is relatively low. In order to address this situation a number of improvements were identified, including: • prioritisation of best execution as a key conduct of business supervisory issue; • the allocation of sufficient resources to best execution supervision; and • a more proactive supervisory approach to monitoring compliance with best execution requirements, both desk-based and onsite inspections. The review was conducted on the basis of information provided by 29 NCAs and complemented by on-site visits to the NCAs of France, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland and Spain.
25/02/2015 2015/495 ESMA publishes review on best execution supervisory practices under MiFID , , Press Release PDF
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The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has conducted a peer review on how national regulators (national competent authorities or NCAs) supervise and enforce the MiFID provisions relating to investment firms’ obligation to provide best execution, or obtain the best possible result, for their clients when executing their orders. ESMA found that the level of implementation of best execution provisions, as well as the level of convergence of supervisory practices by NCAs, is relatively low. In order to address this situation a number of improvements were identified, including: . prioritisation of best execution as a key conduct of business supervisory issue; . the allocation of sufficient resources to best execution supervision; and . a more proactive supervisory approach to monitoring compliance with best execution requirements, both desk-based and onsite inspections. The review was conducted on the basis of information provided by 29 NCAs and complemented by on-site visits to the NCAs of France, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland and Spain.
05/03/2015 MOU ESMA RBA MoU between ESMA and RBA regarding trade repositories Reference PDF
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The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) and the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) have concluded a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will allow RBA to have access to data held in European Trade repositories according to its mandate. The MoU is effective as of 18 February 2015.The ESMA-RBA MoU is the second cooperation arrangement established under Article 76 of the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR). This provision aims at ensuring that third-country authorities that do not have any trade repository in their jurisdiction may access the information on derivatives contracts held in European trade repositories which is relevant for their mandates. The MoU ensures that guarantees of professional secrecy exist. The first MoU of this kind was concluded in November 2014 between ESMA and the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC).
09/03/2015 ESMA MAS MoU ESMA and MAS MoU on CCPs Reference PDF
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18/03/2015 2015/592 Automated Trading Guidelines- ESMA peer review among National Competent Authorities Final Report PDF
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22/12/2015 2015/1905 MAD Supervisory Practices peer review follow-up , Final Report PDF
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05/01/2016 2015/1791 Peer Review Report Compliance with SSR as regards Market Making activities Report PDF
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11/02/2016 2016/203 2016 Supervisory Convergence Work Programme , Reference PDF
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The European Securities and Markets Authority’s (ESMA) Supervisory Convergence Work Programme for 2016 (2016 SCWP) supplements ESMA’s Annual Work Programme for 2016 (ESMA/2015/1475) by further elaborating the nature and focus of the work ESMA will carry out in order to promote supervisory convergence and how that will contribute to implementing ESMA’s Strategic Orientation for 2016-2020 (ESMA/2015/935).

The 2016 SCWP provides an overview and explanation of the steps ESMA will take in 2016 to promote sound, efficient and consistent supervision in the EU.  It sets out priority areas and how they have been identified and sets them in the context of the wider work programme and environment.

Implementation of the 2016 SCWP will be monitored in the course of 2016 and depending on developments during the year, priorities might be re-adjusted. It will also be used to inform ESMA’s Annual Report and its supervisory convergence work programme for future years which will be risk-based.

11/02/2016 2016/284 ESMA publishes first supervisory convergence work programme , , Press Release PDF
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The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published its first Supervisory Convergence Work Programme 2016 (SCWP), which details the activities and tasks it will carry out to promote sound, efficient and consistent supervision across the European Union.

The publication of the SCWP expands on the high-level objective outlined in the Annual Work Programme 2016 and fulfils a key commitment in ESMA’s Strategic Orientation 2016-2020 to outline how it would refocus its resources from single rulebook to supervisory convergence work.

16/02/2016 2016/297 Follow-up MMF , Report PDF
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29/03/2016 2016/410 ESMA Report on Enforcement and Regulatory Activities of Accounting Enforcers in 2015 , , Report PDF
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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.