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26/07/2012 2012/483 ESMA publishes review of accounting treatment of Greek sovereign debt , Press Release PDF
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The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has today published Review of Greek Government Bonds accounting practices in the IFRS Financial Statements for the year ended 31 December 2011, which sets out the results of the review conducted by ESMA on accounting practices and disclosures regarding exposure to Greek government bonds. The ESMA review considered a sample of 42 European financial institutions, each with significant exposure to Greek government bonds totalling an estimated gross exposure of around €80 billion.

03/06/2013 2013/649 ESMA publishes review on impact of short selling regulation , Press Release PDF
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The European Securities and Markets Authority has published its Technical Advice 2013/evaluating the impact of the Regulation on short selling and certain aspects of credit default swaps (Regulation) on European financial markets. Press release Final Report 2013/614—ESMA‘s technical advice on the evaluation of the Regulation (EU) 236/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council on short selling and certain aspects of credit default swaps

18/07/2017 ESMA71-99-521 ESMA recommends improvements in financial information enforcement , , Press Release PDF
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16/03/2020 ESMA71-99-1291 ESMA requires net short position holders to report positions of 0.1% and above , , , Press Release PDF
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12/02/2013 2013/214 ESMA seeks feedback for review of the Short Selling Regulation , Press Release PDF
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28/10/2016 ESMA/2016/1527 ESMA sets enforcement priorities for listed companies’ 2016 financial statements , , Press Release PDF
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09/03/2020 ESMA71-99-1287 ESMA Supervision WP 2020 , , , , , Press Release PDF
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05/02/2016 2016/247 ESMA to focus on governance, strategy, data and fees in 2016 supervision , , Press Release PDF
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The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has today published its 2016 supervisory priorities for credit rating agencies (CRAs) and trade repositories (TRs), as well as its annual report summarising the key supervisory work and actions undertaken during 2015.

2016 Supervisory Priorities

ESMA has seen a number of changes in the CRA and TR industries during 2015, with new applicants for registration in both sectors, and current authorised entities seeking to develop their businesses. This has included CRAs providing credit ratings on new asset classes or in new geographic areas, and TRs offering trade reporting services for other instrument types.

ESMA identifies its supervisory priorities on the basis of risk assessment exercises conducted throughout the year. In 2015 these identified high levels of governance and strategy risk, and operational risk in the CRA industry and high levels of risk associated with TRs’ data and systems. Therefore, in 2016 ESMA will focus its supervisory activities on:

  • CRA governance and strategy and the quality of credit ratings;
  • TR data quality and data access;
  • Fees charged and information security for all supervised entities.

Steven Maijoor, ESMA Chair, said:

“The credit rating and trade repository industries continue to evolve and develop. We are receiving new applications for registration and existing entities are seeking to develop their businesses by expanding into new areas. ESMA supports these developments where they contribute to the maintenance of stable and orderly financial markets.

“For this reason, in 2016 ESMA will focus its work on the quality of the services being provided by supervised entities. This means we will concentrate on issues surrounding CRA governance, strategy and ratings quality, along with data quality and access to TRs’ data with a broad focus on the fee structures and information security in both industries.”

2015 Annual Supervisory Review – CRAs and TRs

In 2015, following its risk-based approach, ESMA focused its supervisory efforts on CRAs’ governance, risk management and internal decision making and on CRAs’ business development processes. Some notable achievements were:

  • investigating the techniques being applied to validate credit rating methodologies by some CRAs and using the differences identified to encourage industry-wide debate about appropriate validation standards;
  • conducting an IT risk assessment which identified that CRAs are facing serious risks in several areas including IT operations and information security;
  • investigating the process of issuing credit ratings followed by one CRA and raising concerns about the preparation of issue ratings, the workloads of credit rating analysts and their involvement in the provision of ancillary services; and
  • concluding an enforcement case against DBRS Ratings Ltd for internal control failings and imposing a €30,000 fine for past record-keeping breaches. The case highlighted the need for CRAs to establish clear decision-making procedures, organisational structures and effective compliance functions.

The key risks TR supervision focused on in 2015 related to the quality of TRs’ data, access to data held by TRs and the operation and performance of TRs’ systems. In 2015, ESMA continued working with TRs to implement the data quality action plan established in September 2014 including:

  • harmonising TRs’ data validation;
  • monitoring the inter-TR reconciliation process; and
  • ensuring the harmonisation of the aggregate data made available on TRs’ websites.

ESMA has also been monitoring National Competent Authorities’ (NCAs) access to TR data. It has entered into a number of Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) to help third country regulatory authorities access TR data and is developing an IT system to allow NCAs to submit data queries through a centralised web portal.

18/11/2013 2013/1665 ESMA- Financial institutions must improve financial statement disclosures , , Press Release PDF
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ESMA - Financial institutions must improve financial statement disclosures The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published a Review of the comparability and quality of disclosures in 2012 IFRS financial statements of listed financial institutions. The Review makes recommendations aimed at enhancing the transparency of financial statements through the improvement of disclosures in certain key areas including: credit risk and impact of forbearance practices; liquidity and funding risk; asset encumbrance and fair value measurement of financial instruments. ESMA, while finding that the required disclosures under IFRS were generally observed, also identified broad variations in the quality of the information provided, and found some cases where that was insufficient or insufficiently structured to allow comparability among financial institutions. Steven Maijoor, ESMA Chair, said: “ESMA has identified a number of areas where financial institutions can improve the information that they provide in their financial statements, particularly on issues such as credit risk and forbearance. “We expect that financial institutions and their auditors will take into account our recommendations when preparing and auditing the IFRS financial statements for 2013. “ESMA believes that accurate and comparable financial statements play a key role in maintaining both investor and market confidence, which in turn contributes to financial stability and promotes sound economic growth.” The Review ESMA decided to undertake a review of some of the key areas of the financial statements prepared by listed financial institutions across the EU in order to assess their comparability and the quality of disclosures. The review was based on a sample of 39 large European financial institutions from 16 jurisdictions, mostly consisting of banks that were included in the latest EBA stress-test exercise, most of which will move under the ECB supervision in 2014. The review focused on the following areas: • Structure and content of the income statement; • Liquidity and funding risk including the effects of asset encumbrance; • Hedging and the use of derivatives; • Credit risk with a focus on credit risk management, forbearance practices, non-performing loans and country concentration risk; and • Criteria used to assess impairment of equity securities classified as available-for-sale. Conclusions and Recommendations Some financial institutions provided disclosures that were not specific enough, lacked links between quantitative and narrative information, or provided disclosures that could not be reconciled to the primary financial statements. In particular, ESMA found: • it difficult to compare the income statements of the financial institutions, due to differences in their structure, the line items content and lack of comprehensive accounting policy disclosures; • that in many cases financial statements did not include sufficient information on the use of derivatives. The link between the business purpose and the classification in the financial statements was often unclear; and • significant divergence in the application of the significant or prolonged criteria when assessing impairment of the equity securities classified as available-for-sale. As a result of the conclusions and recommendations included in this review, ESMA expects enhanced disclosures to be provided in 2013 on exposures to credit risk, its mitigation e.g. by collateral, guarantees or credit default swaps, analysis of specific concentrations of credit risk and disclosure of impairment policies in order to enable investors to assess the overall credit risk. While progress was seen in the disclosures relating to forbearance practices following ESMA’s Public Statement in 2012, with more financial institutions providing information on forborne financial assets, ESMA expects financial institutions to provide more granular quantitative information on the effects of forbearance. This would enable investors to assess the level of credit risk related to forborne assets and their impact on the financial position and performance. Furthermore, ESMA believes that improving the level of transparency in the area of liquidity and funding risk, asset encumbrance and fair value measurement of financial instruments is needed as indicated in the ESMA Public Statement on the 2013 European Common Enforcement Priorities. Next Steps ESMA expects that national competent authorities will take appropriate enforcement actions where material breaches of the IFRS requirements have been identified as part of the review and will monitor their progress. As announced in the ESMA Public Statement on the 2013 European Common Enforcement Priorities, ESMA and national competent authorities will focus in the review of 2013 financial statements on a number of areas that are particularly relevant for financial institutions. ESMA will also provide suggestions to the IASB on those areas where it believes additional IFRS guidance can improve the quality and transparency of financial statements. Notes for editors 1. 2013/1664 Review of Accounting Practices - Comparability of IFRS Financial Statements of Financial Institutions in Europe. 2. 2013-1634 Public Statement - European common enforcement priorities for 2013 financial statements. 3. ESMA is an independent EU Authority that was established on 1 January 2011 and works closely with the other European Supervisory Authorities responsible for banking (EBA), and insurance and occupational pensions (EIOPA), and the European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB). 4. ESMA’s mission is to enhance the protection of investors and promote stable and well-functioning financial markets in the European Union (EU). As an independent institution, ESMA achieves this aim by building a single rule book for EU financial markets and ensuring its consistent application across the EU. ESMA contributes to the regulation of financial services firms with a pan-European reach, either through direct supervision or through the active co-ordination of national supervisory activity. Press Release 2013/1665 Final Report 2013/1664

27/03/2019 ESMA71-99-1128 EU enforcers focus on new IFRS standards and non-financial information , , Press Release PDF
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22/09/2014 2014-063 (Annex) EU Supervisory Authorities update on risks in EU financial system , Press Release PDF
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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). Press Queries - European Banking Authority Press Office +44 (0) 207 382 1772 or press@eba.europa.eu
26/10/2018 ESMA71-99-1052 European enforcers to focus on new IFRSs and non-financial information in issuers’ 2018 annual reports , , Press Release PDF
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22/06/2018 ESMA71-99-998 European Supervisory Authorities hold its 2018 Consumer Protection Day , Press Release PDF
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22/12/2014 JC/2014/63 European Supervisory Authorities publish final Guidelines on consistency of supervisory practices for financial conglomerates , Press Release PDF
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The Joint Committee of the three European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs - EBA, ESMA and EIOPA) published today the Joint Guidelines on the convergence of practices aimed at ensuring consistency of supervisory coordination arrangements for financial conglomerates. The first Guidelines developed jointly by the three ESAs in relation to the FICOD (Financial Conglomerates Directive) aim to clarify and enhance cooperation between national competent authorities on cross-border groups that have been identified as financial conglomerates. The Joint Guidelines focus on how authorities should cooperate in order to achieve a supplementary level of supervision of financial conglomerates. This will serve the purpose of addressing loopholes in present legislation, as prescribed by the FICOD. The Joint Guidelines should also enhance the level playing field in the financial market and reduce administrative burdens for firms and supervisory authorities. The areas covered by the Joint Guidelines include in particular the mapping of the financial conglomerate structure and written agreements; the coordination of information exchange, supervisory planning and coordination of supervisory activities in going concern and emergency situations; the supervisory assessment of financial conglomerates; and other decision-making processes among the competent authorities. The Joint Guidelines apply from 23 February 2015. Legal background The Joint Guidelines have been developed in accordance with Article 11 (1) paragraph 3 of Directive 2002/87/EC (Financial Conglomerates Directive), which mandates the ESAs, to develop, through the Joint Committee, guidelines to achieve convergence of supervisory practices relating to the consistency of supervisory coordination arrangements in accordance with Article 116 of Directive 2013/36/EU and Article 248(4) of Directive 2009/138/EC. Joint Committee The Joint Committee is a forum for cooperation that was established on 1st January 2011, with the goal of strengthening cooperation between the three ESAs. Through the Joint Committee, the three ESAs cooperate regularly and closely and ensure consistency in their practices. In particular, the Joint Committee works in the areas of supervision of financial conglomerates, accounting and auditing, micro-prudential analyses of cross-sectoral developments, risks and vulnerabilities for financial stability, retail investment products and measures combating money laundering.
27/10/2015 2015/1607 Improve quality of disclosures in financial statements , Press Release PDF
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25/08/2021 Joint Committee JC 2016 ESAs publish the revised Joint Guidelines on the Prudential Assessment of Acquisitions and Increases of Qualifying Holdings in the Financial Sector Press Release PDF
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29/07/2013 JC 2013/02 Joint Committee Draft Regulatory Technical Standards Press Release PDF
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EBA, EIOPA and ESMA publish RTS on the consistent application of calculation methods under the Financial Conglomerates Directive The Joint Committee of the three European Supervisory Authorities (EBA, EIOPA and ESMA) has published its draft Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS) on the consistent application of the calculation methods described in the Financial Conglomerates Directive (FICOD) covering the assessment of the financial situation of credit institutions, insurance undertakings and investment firms which are part of a financial conglomerate. These RTS define the appropriate application of calculation methods for the determination of required capital at the financial conglomerate level. Their underlying principles are to eliminate multiple gearing and intra-group creation of own funds, transferability and availability of own funds and to cover deficit at financial conglomerate level having regard to definition of cross-sector capital. Based on the technical calculation methods provided in the FICOD, the RTS aim at harmonising the use of the calculation methods, by applying these principles and specifying which sectoral rules comprise sectoral own funds and solvency requirements in order to ensure a consistent approach in the calculations is applied across different financial conglomerates.   Legal basis These draft regulatory technical standards (RTS) have been developed in accordance with the mandate contained in Article 49(6) of the Regulation (EU) No 575/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 June 2013 (Capital Requirements Regulation or CRR) and Article 150 of Directive 2013/36/EU (Capital Requirements Directive or CRD IV) of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 June 2013 (amending Article 21a of the Directive 2002/87/EC). These Articles provide that the ESAs, through the Joint Committee, shall develop draft Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS) with regard to the conditions of the application of Article 6(2) of Directive 2002/87/EC.   The Joint Committee The Joint Committee is a forum for cooperation that was established on 1st January 2011, with the goal of strengthening cooperation between the European Banking Authority (EBA), European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) and European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA), collectively known as the three European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs). Through the Joint Committee, the three ESAs cooperate regularly and closely and ensure consistency in their practices. In particular, the Joint Committee works in the areas of supervision of financial conglomerates, accounting and auditing, micro-prudential analyses of cross-sectoral developments, risks and vulnerabilities for financial stability, retail investment products and measures combating money laundering.   Documents Press Release JC 2013/02 Draft Regulatory Technical Standards JC 2013/01
05/09/2013 2013-09-03 Joint Committee Report on Risks and Vulnerabilities Press Release PDF
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07/04/2016 JC/2016/21 PR Joint Press Release draft RTS on PRIIPs , , Press Release PDF
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02/07/2019 ESMA71-99-1158 MWT Reclaim Schemes Release , Press Release PDF
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