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21/09/2017 ESMA71-99-595 New Working Group on a Risk-Free Reference Rate for the Euro Area Press Release PDF
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Today, the Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA), the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the European Central Bank (ECB) and the European Commission announce the launch of a new working group tasked with the identification and adoption of a "risk-free overnight rate" which can serve as a basis for an alternative to current benchmarks used in a variety of financial instruments and contracts in the euro area.

The working group, chaired by a private sector representative and with the Secretariat to be provided by the ECB, will regularly consult market participants and end-users, as well as gather feedback from other public authorities. Its terms of reference will be made public and the group will regularly report on its meetings. This is to ensure transparency on all steps in the identification and adoption of a new risk free rate.

04/05/2017 ESMA71-99-398 Joint Public Statement FSMA-ESMA regarding EURIBOR Press Release PDF
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In September 2016, the FSMA, as the national competent authority for Belgium, established the Euribor college and chaired its inaugural meeting. The college includes ESMA, the national competent authorities of the various banks contributing to the Euribor, as well as the national competent authorities of Member States for which the Euribor presents a systemic character because of its importance for their real economy, for the financing of households and enterprises, or for consumers in general. The Euribor college, chaired by the FSMA, currently consists of 17 national supervisory authorities and ESMA. The ECB has attended its meetings as an invited expert.

In 2015, EMMI developed a methodology that would ground the Euribor entirely on transactions (“Euribor+”) and has subsequently carried out a “pre-live verification” exercise, based on data gathered from 31 banks over a period running from September 2016 to February 2017. On May 4th 2017, after consultation with the FSMA and as a result of its pre-live verification exercise, EMMI published its decision not to pursue a transition to the proposed Euribor+ methodology in the short term.

The college of Euribor takes note of this decision and will continue to engage with EMMI on alternative plans for Euribor reform and transition.

30/03/2017 ESMA71-99-374 ESMA publishes final rules to ensure integrity of EU financial benchmarks , Press Release PDF
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The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published its final report containing the draft regulatory and implementing technical standards (RTS/ITS) under the Benchmarks Regulation (BMR). These contain the detailed rules to implement the new European regulatory framework aimed at ensuring the accuracy and integrity of benchmarks across the European Union.

01/02/2017 ESMA71-844457584-338 Press release- ESMA announces details of 2017 CCP stress test Press Release PDF
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22/12/2016 2016/1685 Press Release- ESMA identifies areas for improvement in EU CCP supervision Press Release PDF
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10/11/2016 2016-1567 ESMA finalises advice on future rules for financial benchmarks Press Release PDF
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13/10/2016 2016 IFRS Press Release ESMA and IFRS® Foundation strengthen cooperation , , Press Release PDF
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04/10/2016 2016/1432 Press release- ESMA reports on shadow banking, leverage and pro-cyclicality , , Press Release 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.

29/09/2016 2016/1407 ESMA consults on future rules for financial benchmarks , Press Release PDF
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13/07/2016 2016/1126 ESMA consults on proposed central clearing delay for small financial counterparties , Press Release PDF
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29/04/2016 2016/644 ESMA publishes results of EU central counterparties stress test , Press Release PDF
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The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published today the results of its first EU-wide stress test exercise regarding Central Counterparties (CCPs). The exercise is aimed at assessing the resilience and safety of the European CCP sector as well as to identify possible vulnerabilities. The results of the test shows that the system of EU CCPs can overall be assessed as resilient to the stress scenarios used to model extreme but plausible market developments.

ESMA has also issued a Q&A document which explains in more detail the overall scope of the stress tests exercise, the different scenarios and methodologies applied.

 

29/04/2016 2016/665 Q&A on ESMA’s EU-wide stress tests for CCPs Q&A PDF
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14/04/2016 2016/625 ESMA announces EU-wide stress tests for CCPs , Press Release PDF
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01/04/2016 2016/419 Q&A Market Abuse Directive Q&A PDF
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15/02/2016 2016/291 ESMA consults on implementation of the Benchmarks Regulation , , Press Release PDF
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The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has today published a Discussion Paper (DP) regarding the technical implementation of the incoming Benchmarks Regulation (BR). ESMA is seeking stakeholder’s input to inform its future proposals on draft Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS) and Technical Advice (TA) to the European Commission.

Benchmarks are used in financial markets as a reference to price financial instruments and to measure performance of investment funds, as well as being an important element of many financial contracts and their integrity is critical to financial markets and to investors in particular. The BR’s objective is to improve the governance and control over the benchmark process, thereby ensuring their reliability and protecting users. The changes aim to:

  • improve the quality of the input data and methodologies used by benchmark administrators;
  • ensure that benchmark contributors provide adequate data and are subject to proper controls; and
  • ensure the supervision and viability of critical benchmarks.

Steven Maijoor, ESMA Chair, said:

“The Benchmark Regulation, once implemented, will ensure the accuracy, robustness and integrity of benchmarks and the benchmark setting process by clarifying the behaviours and standards expected of administrators and contributors. These requirements will ensure that benchmarks are produced in a transparent and reliable manner and so contribute to well-functioning and stable markets, and investor protection.

“ESMA, in preparing for its work on regulatory technical standards and technical advice, is keen to ensure that all affected stakeholders have their views heard on this important topic and we hope that all interested parties will take this opportunity to contribute.”

The DP is seeking stakeholder’s feedback in the following areas:

  • definition of benchmarks;
  • requirements for the benchmark oversight function;
  • requirements for the benchmark input data;
  • governance and control requirements for supervised benchmark contributors;
  • authorisation and registration of an administrator; and
  • transparency requirements regarding the benchmark methodology.

The exact date when the Benchmarks Regulation will enter into force is still unknown as it has not yet been published in the Official Journal of the EU.

Next steps

ESMA will hold an open hearing on the DP on 29 February 2016 in Paris. It will use the responses to its DP to develop detailed implementing measures on which it will publish a follow-up consultation in Q3 2016.

18/12/2015 2015/1871 Proxy advisors take steps towards increased transparency , , Press Release PDF
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13/08/2015 2015/1260 ESMA recommends changes to EMIR framework , Press Release PDF
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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.

16/02/2015 2015/281 Press Release- ESMA publishes annual report and supervisory focus for CRAs and TRs , , , Press Release PDF
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The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published today an annual report (Report) on its direct supervisory activities in 2014 regarding credit rating agencies (CRAs) and trade repositories (TR). The report summarises the key actions taken during 2014 and outlines ESMA’s supervisory work plans for both sectors for 2015.
16/02/2015 2015/280 ESMA supervision of Credit Rating Agencies and Trade Repositories , , Annual Report PDF
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This document reports on the direct supervisory activities carried out by ESMA during 2014 regarding credit rating agencies (CRAs) and trade repositories (TRs) within the European Union (EU). It sets out ESMAs key areas of action during 2014 and outlines ESMA’s main priorities for 2015.