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22/12/2015 2015/1872 Press Release Cross Selling Guidelines Press Release PDF
156.66 KB

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published its Guidelines on Cross-Selling Practices under MiFID II (guidelines) to ensure investors are treated fairly when an investment firm offers two or more financial products or services as part of a package.

The guidelines include principles on:

  • improving disclosures when different products are cross-sold with one another;
  • requiring firms to provide investors with all relevant information in a timely and clear manner;
  • addressing conflicts of interest arising from remuneration models; and
  • improving client understanding on whether purchasing the individual products offered in a package is possible.

The European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs) – EBA, EIOPA and ESMA - initially intended to issue joint guidelines covering all cross-selling practices taking place in the banking, insurance and securities sectors given that cross-selling is often cross-sectoral, and had consulted the stakeholders previously on this basis.

However, in light of legal concerns, the ESAs decided not to issue joint guidelines on cross-selling practices but agreed that ESMA should issue ESMA-only guidelines under MiFID II in order to meet its 3 January 2016 deadline.

While ESMA’s guidelines take into account the results of the ESAs’ joint consultation, the final report focuses on the feedback regarding cross-selling practices under MIFID II. Further, the guidelines are addressed to national regulators supervising the firms which provide MiFID services, when they engage in cross-selling practices.

The ESAs intend to inform the European Commission about the issues encountered and raise the possibility of legislative change to provide a foundation for future joint guidelines.

The guidelines will apply from 3 January 2017.

25/02/2015 2015/495 ESMA publishes review on best execution supervisory practices under MiFID , , Press Release PDF
112.68 KB
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.
22/05/2015 2015/884 Press Release- ESMA calls for modification of UCITS Directive , Press Release PDF
44.13 KB
19/07/2016 2016/1138 ESMA advises on extension of funds passport to 12 non-EU countries Press Release PDF
148.97 KB
25/07/2016 2016/1167 Press release- ESMA issues warning on sale of speculative products to retail investors Press Release PDF
147.01 KB
02/02/2016 2016/138 ESMA updates on supervisory work on closet index tracking , Press Release PDF
120.08 KB

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published a Statement providing details of its work on closet index tracking funds.

Closet indexing, also known as index hugging, refers to the practice of fund managers claiming to manage portfolios actively when in reality the fund stays close to a benchmark. ESMA is concerned the practice may harm investors as they are not receiving the service or risk/return profile they expect based on the fund’s disclosure documents while potentially paying higher fees compared to those typically charged for passive management.

ESMA conducted research on a sample of 2,600 funds for the period 2012-2014 to determine whether it could find any indication of closet indexing at an EU-wide level. Quantitative metrics, such as the percentage of a UCITS’ portfolio that does not coincide with the underlying equity benchmark, indicated between 5 and 15% of UCITS equity funds could potentially be closet indexers. ESMA then reviewed the investor disclosure documents of the funds concerned, to see how they described their management strategy, and found they tended to confirm the quantitative analysis results.

30/09/2016 2016/1411 ESMA consults on future reporting rules for securities financing transactions , , Press Release PDF
148.11 KB

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.

05/10/2016 2016/1438 ESMA consults on product governance guidelines to safeguard investors , Press Release PDF
152.24 KB
21/11/2016 2016/1586 Questions and Answers on UCITS Directive Q&A PDF
454.07 KB
16/12/2016 2016/1669 2016-1669 Q&A on AIFMD Q&A PDF
436.68 KB
21/12/2016 2016/1682 2016-1682 Press Release on Feedback Statement on ESEF , , , Press Release PDF
225.03 KB
31/03/2016 2016/472 ESMA publishes UCITS remuneration guidelines , Press Release PDF
113.03 KB

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published its final Guidelines on sound remuneration policies under the UCITS Directive and AIFMD. ESMA has also written to the European Commission, European Council and European Parliament on the proportionality principle and remuneration rules in the financial sector.

UCITS Remuneration Guidelines

The UCITS Remuneration Guidelines provide clarity on the requirements under the UCITS Directive for management companies when establishing and applying a remuneration policy for key staff. The Guidelines will ensure a convergent application of these provisions and provide guidance on the governance of remuneration, requirements on risk alignment and disclosure. The Guidelines will apply to UCITS management companies and national competent authorities from 1 January 2017.

Proportionality Issue

ESMA, while finalising its UCITS Remuneration Guidelines, had to balance the alignment with the AIFMD Remuneration Guidelines and the obligation to closely cooperate with the European Banking Authority (EBA) in order to ensure consistency with requirements developed for other financial services sectors, in particular credit institutions and investment firms.

The UCITS Directive prescribes that proportionality shall apply to the full set of remuneration principles set out under this Directive. However, the Guidelines do not include guidance on the possibility of dis-applying certain specific requirements on the pay-out process. This follows recent work and legal analysis, including the EBA’s Guidelines under CRD IV, which have called into question the existing understanding that the proportionality provisions as set out under the UCITS Directive and AIFMD may lead to a result:

  1. where – under specific circumstances – the requirements on the pay-out process i.e. the requirements on variable remuneration in instruments, retention, deferral and ex post incorporation of risk for variable remuneration are not applied; or
  2. where it is possible to apply lower thresholds whenever minimum quantitative thresholds are set for the pay-out requirements e.g. the requirement to defer at least 40% of variable remuneration.

ESMA considers that these scenarios should remain possible in certain situations and, in its letter to the European institutions, suggests that further legal clarity on this possibility could be beneficial to all the interested parties. Legislative changes in the relevant asset management legislation could be one way to further clarify the applicable regulatory framework.

ESMA believes that it would be inappropriate for the following fund managers to be subject in all circumstances to the requirements on the pay-out process:

  1. smaller fund managers (in terms of balance sheet or size of assets under management);

 

  1. fund managers with simpler internal organisation or nature of activities; or

 

  1. fund managers whose scope and complexity of activities is more limited.

 

ESMA also considers that it would be disproportionate to apply the requirements to relatively small amounts of variable remuneration and to apply certain requirements to certain staff when this would not result in an effective alignment of interests between the staff and the investors in the funds.

AIFMD Remuneration Guidelines

The amended AIFMD guidelines will come into force on 1 January 2017. The amendment to the AIFMD guidelines relates to the section of these guidelines dealing with the application of the remuneration rules in a group context and is intended to acknowledge the potential outreach of the CRD rules in a banking group.

The current AIFMD Guidelines will not be amended to bring them into line with the UCITS Guidelines pending clarification on the application of the proportionality principle.

Next Steps

The Guidelines in Annexes III and IV will be translated into the official languages of the European Union and the final texts published on the ESMA website. The deadline for compliance notifications will be two months after the publication of the translations.

30/11/2021 2016/572 Compliance table- Guidelines on key concepts of the AIFMD , Compliance table PDF
153.05 KB
07/04/2016 2016/582 ESMA finds room for improvement in national supervision of investment advice to retail clients , , Press Release PDF
107.49 KB
04/11/2022 2016/602 Compliance table- Guidelines on ETFs and other UCITS issues , Compliance table PDF
139.61 KB
04/05/2016 2016/675 Compliance table- Guidelines on sound remuneration policies under the AIFMD (ESMA/2013/232) , Compliance table PDF
143.93 KB
02/06/2016 2016/743 ESMA assesses usefulness of distributed ledger technologies , , Press Release PDF
152.48 KB
31/05/2016 2016/774 Q&A on the Application of the EuSEF and EuVECA Regulations Q&A PDF
212.93 KB
02/06/2016 2016/903 ESMA reminds firms of responsibilities when selling bail-in securities Press Release PDF
145.75 KB
18/12/2017 ESMA 71-99-670 New rules make EU issuers’ annual financial reports machine-readable Press Release PDF
218.36 KB