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07/04/2016 2016/585 Suitability Peer Review- Annex , Final Report PDF
987.81 KB
07/04/2016 2016/584 Suitability Peer Review- Final Report , Final Report PDF
459.35 KB
04/04/2016 2016/461 Final report on temporary exemption for ETDs under MiFID II Final Report PDF
619.46 KB
29/03/2016 2016/410 ESMA Report on Enforcement and Regulatory Activities of Accounting Enforcers in 2015 , , Report PDF
692.52 KB

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.

16/02/2016 2016/297 Follow-up MMF , Report PDF
882.13 KB
05/01/2016 2015/1791 Peer Review Report Compliance with SSR as regards Market Making activities Report PDF
615.09 KB
22/12/2015 2015/1905 MAD Supervisory Practices peer review follow-up , Final Report PDF
239.64 KB
11/12/2015 2015/1858 Final Report- Draft ITS under MiFID II Final Report PDF
972.8 KB
28/09/2015 2015-ESMA-1464 Annex II Annex II- CBA- draft RTS and ITS on MiFID II and MiFIR Final Report PDF
5.07 MB
21/05/2015 2015/856 Ann1 Investment-based crowdfunding- Insights from regulators in the EU Final Report PDF
319.65 KB
18/03/2015 2015/592 Automated Trading Guidelines- ESMA peer review among National Competent Authorities Final Report PDF
930.33 KB
25/02/2015 2015/494 Best Execution under MiFID , Final Report PDF
761.62 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.
19/12/2014 2014/1569 Technical Advice to the Commission on MiFID II and MiFIR , Technical Advice PDF
2.8 MB
Reasons for publication The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) received a formal request (mandate) from the European Commission (Commission) on 23 April 2014 to provide technical advice to assist the Commission on the possible content of the delegated acts required by several provisions of Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II) and the Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation (MiFIR). The mandate focuses on technical issues which follow from MiFID II and MiFIR and is available on the European Commission website (here). ESMA was required to provide technical advice by no later than six months after the entry into force of MiFID II and MiFIR (2 July 2014). Contents This final report follows the same structure as the Consultation Paper  (CP) published by ESMA on 22 May 2014 which is: (1) Introduction, (2) Investor protection, (3) Transparency, (4) Data publication, (5) Micro-structural issues, (6) Requirements applying on and to trading venues, (7) Commodity derivatives and (8) Portfolio compression. This paper also contains summaries of responses to the CP received by ESMA. The rationale of those items covered already in the CP for which no relevant changes have been introduced, is not developed again in this Final Report. ESMA recommends, therefore, to read this report together with the CP published on 22 May 2014 to have a complete vision of the rationale for ESMA’s technical advice. Next steps Delegated acts should be adopted by the Commission so that they enter into application by 30 months following the entry into force of the Directive and Regulation, taking into account the right of the European Parliament and Council to object to a delegated act within 3 months (which can be extended by a further 3 months).
18/12/2014 2014/1560 Advice- Investment-based crowdfunding Final Report PDF
482.2 KB
Crowdfunding is a means of raising finance for projects from ‘the crowd’ often by means of an internet-based platform through which project owners ‘pitch’ their idea to potential backers, who are typically not professional investors.  It takes many forms, not all of which involve the potential for a financial return.  ESMA’s focus is on crowdfunding which involves investment, as distinct from donation, non-monetary reward or loan agreement.Crowdfunding is relatively young and business models are evolving. EU financial services rules were not designed with the industry in mind.  Within investment-based crowdfunding a range of different operational structures are used so it is not straightforward to map crowdfunding platforms’ activities to those regulated under EU legislation. Member States and NCAs have been working out how to treat crowdfunding, with some dealing with issues case-by-case, some seeking to clarify how crowdfunding fits into existing rules and others introducing specific requirements.To assist NCAs and market participants, and to promote regulatory and supervisory convergence, ESMA has assessed typical investment-based crowdfunding business models and how they could evolve, risks typically involved for project owners, investors and the platforms themselves and the likely components of an appropriate regulatory regime. ESMA then prepared a detailed analysis of how the typical business models map across to the existing EU legislation, set out in sections 1 to 6 of this document.
11/12/2014 2014/1485 MiFID – Conduct of Business, fair, clear and not misleading information Final Report PDF
614.16 KB
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.
01/07/2013 2013/806 Supervisory Practices under MAD- Mapping Report , Final Report PDF
315.44 KB
ESMA's Mapping Report on Supervisory Practices under MAD sets out the situation in each Member State as regards their implementation of the various requirements of the Market Abuse Directive.
01/07/2013 2013/805 Supervisory Practices under MAD- Peer review report and Good Practices , Final Report PDF
1.17 MB
ESMA's peer review of the supervisory practices EEA national competent authorities (NCAs) covers how national authorities enforce 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.
15/04/2013 ESMA/2013/476 Peer Review–Money Market Fund Guidelines Final Report PDF
763.46 KB
24/05/2012 2012/300 Prospectus Directive – Good Practices in the approval process Final Report PDF
467.38 KB
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published today “Prospectus Directive – Good Practices in the approval process“,  a peer review report on the application of regulatory good practices by national supervisory authorities - competent authorities (CA)  when approving investment prospectuses.The review was conducted using good practice criteria that ESMA developed on selected areas of the Prospectus Directive dealing with the approval process for investment prospectuses.  The prospectuses provide investors with easy to understand and relevant information on investment products.  Peer review reports on national regulators’ procedures contribute to ESMA’s objective of fostering supervisory convergence and achieving a level playing field between jurisdictions.
26/04/2012 2012/270 Actual use of sanctioning powers under MAD Final Report PDF
1.55 MB
The report provides a comparison of the use of administrative sanctioning powers across 29 EEA Member States for 2008-2010.  The results of the report will provide input to the legislative process on the new market abuse regime.