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29/09/2016 2016/1407 ESMA consults on future rules for financial benchmarks , Press Release PDF
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20/12/2012 2012/847 ESMA consults on guidelines for CCPs’ interoperability arrangements Press Release PDF
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13/02/2014 2014/174 ESMA consults on Guidelines for issuers performance measures , Press Release PDF
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The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has launched a consultation on Guidelines on Alternative Performance Measures (APMs). The aim of the guidelines is to encourage European issuers to publish transparent, unbiased and comparable information on their financial performance in order to provide users with a better understanding of their performance. Some examples of APMs include EBIT (Earnings Before Interest & Tax), EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortisation), free cash flow, underlying profit or net-debt. The Consultation Paper follows on from ESMA’s decision to review and replace the 2005 CESR Recommendation on APMs with Guidelines under Article 16 of the ESMA Regulation to tackle concerns about APMs used by issuers. Those relate mainly to APMs being used in such a manner as to present a confusing or optimistic picture of their performance by removing certain negative aspects, or even where this is not the case, APMs can be misleading if they are inconsistently calculated or presented. The proposed guidelines set out the principles that issuers should follow when presenting APMs, and are based on the requirements applicable to financial statements, as required by the IAS Regulation, mainly referring to their labelling, calculation, presentation and comparability.Steven Maijoor, ESMA Chair, said: “The proposed guidelines aim to improve the transparency and comparability of financial information published by issuers. APMs presented in an appropriate way may reduce information asymmetry among the users of financial statements.“These guidelines will ensure that APMs are used and presented in a coherent fashion across the EU, which will in turn contribute to restoring confidence in the accuracy and usefulness of financial information and improve investor protection.” The proposed guidelines would apply to issuers with securities traded on regulated markets and all competent authorities and other bodies in the EU that undertake enforcement activities under the Transparency Directive. The proposed guidelines are aligned with other regulations and guidance issued by securities regulators in the United States, Australia and Canada on this matter. The closing date for responses to this consultation is 14 May 2014 and ESMA expects to publish the final guidelines in the fourth quarter of 2014.

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.

17/09/2012 2012/582 ESMA consults on market maker and primary dealer exemption for short selling , Press Release PDF
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22/05/2014 2014/557 ESMA consults on MiFID reforms , , Press Release PDF
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The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has launched the consultation process for the implementation of the revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II) and Regulation (MiFIR). This is the first step in the process of translating the MiFID II/MiFIR requirements into practically applicable rules and regulations to address the effects of the financial crisis and to improve financial market transparency and strengthen investor protection.MiFID II/MiFIR introduces changes that will have a large impact on the EU’s financial markets, these include transparency requirements for a broader range of asset classes; the obligation to trade derivatives on-exchange; requirements on algorithmic and high-frequency-trading and new supervisory tools for commodity derivatives. It will also strengthen protection for retail investors through limits on the use of commissions; conditions for the provision of independent investment advice; stricter organisational requirements for product design and distribution; product intervention powers; and the disclosure of costs and charges.MiFID II/MiFIR contains over 100 requirements for ESMA to draft Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS) and Implementing Technical Standards (ITS), and to provide Technical Advice to the European Commission to allow it to adopt delegated acts. In order to ensure that MIFID II achieves its objectives in practice, ESMA is publishing the following documents:1.    Consultation Paper on MiFID/MiFIR Technical Advice – ESMA needs to deliver this advice to the European Commission by December 2014 and is therefore subject to a condensed consultation process for this paper; and2.    Discussion Paper on MiFID/MiFIR draft RTS/ITS – this will provide the basis for a further consultation paper on the draft RTS/ITS which is expected to be issued in late 2014/early 2015. The closing date for responses to both papers is Friday 1 August. Steven Maijoor, ESMA Chair, said:“The launch of today’s MiFID II/MiFIR consultation process is an important step in the biggest overhaul of financial markets regulation in the EU for a decade. The reform of MiFID is an integral part of the EU’s strategy to address the effects of the financial crisis and aims to bring greater transparency to markets and to strengthen investor protection. These changes are key to restoring trust in our financial markets.“We appreciate the magnitude of this exercise for stakeholders. We strongly encourage all those affected by these reforms to provide their views to ensure that we take them into account in our final proposals.”The main issues covered in the Discussion and Consultation Paper are divided into those addressing the structure, transparency and regulation of financial markets, and those aimed at strengthening investor protection.Financial Markets Structure, Transparency and RegulationThe main proposals in this area cover the following issues: enhanced transparency and trading obligations - increasing pre- and post-trade transparency for many categories of instruments, e.g. shares, ETFs, certificates, bonds and derivatives, limitations to trade shares OTC and new obligations to trade derivatives on trading venues; micro-structural issues – refining the definition of high frequency trading and direct electronic access and specifying the requirements for operating in the market using algorithmic techniques; data publication and access – issues related to the development of the consolidated tape including requirements for tape providers, approved publication arrangements and reporting mechanisms, and the definition of a reasonable commercial basis for data sales; and the access to CCPs,  trading venues and benchmarks; other organisational requirements for trading venues; and commodity derivatives – new regulatory tools, including position limits. Investor ProtectionThe main proposals relating to the improved protection of retail investors include technical advice on: inducements – new limitations on the receipt of commissions (inducements); independent advice – clearly distinguishing independent from non-independent advice; product governance – requirements on the manufacture and distribution of financial products including target market and risk identification; product intervention/banning - introducing powers for both ESMA and national regulators to prohibit or restrict the marketing and distribution of certain financial instruments; and improved information on costs and charges – requirements to provide clients with details of all charges related to their investment (relating to both the investment service and the financial instrument provided) so they can understand the overall cost and its effect on their investment’s return. In addition, the draft regulatory technical standards in the investor protection area relate to the authorisation of investment firms, passporting, and certain best execution obligations.Next StepsESMA will hold three public hearings about secondary markets, investor protection and commodity derivatives issues on Monday 7 and Tuesday 8 July. Further details on the hearings will be published on ESMA’s website. 2014/548 2014/549
24/05/2017 ESMA71-99-468 ESMA consults on Money Market Funds rules , Press Release PDF
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The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published a Consultation Paper (CP) on the Money Market Funds Regulation (MMFR). The CP contains proposals on draft technical advice (TA), draft implementing technical standards (ITS), and guidelines under the MMFR. The key proposals relate to asset liquidity and credit quality, the establishment of a reporting template and stress test scenarios.

17/07/2013 2013/996 ESMA consults on non-EU counterparties OTC derivatives Press Release PDF
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05/10/2016 2016/1438 ESMA consults on product governance guidelines to safeguard investors , 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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19/12/2017 ESMA71-99-916 ESMA consults on securitisation requirements , Press Release PDF
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13/07/2018 ESMA71-99-1005 ESMA consults on tick size regime PR , Press Release PDF
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28/05/2019 ESMA71-99-1159 ESMA consults on tiering comparable compliance and fees under EMIR 2.2 , Press Release PDF
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23/07/2015 2015/1193 ESMA consults on UCITS remuneration guidelines , Press Release PDF
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The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has launched a consultation on proposed Guidelines on sound remuneration policies under the UCITS V Directive and AIFMD. The Directive includes rules that UCITS must comply with when establishing and applying a remuneration policy for certain staff categories and the proposed UCITS Remuneration Guidelines further clarify the Directive’s provisions. The proposed Guidelines aim to ensure a convergent application of the remuneration provisions and will provide guidance on issues such as proportionality, governance of remuneration, requirements on risk alignment and disclosure. The final Guidelines will apply to UCITS management companies and national competent authorities.
03/04/2018 ESMA71-99-958 ESMA continues to focus on convergence in enforcement of IFRS across the EU , , Press Release PDF
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20/12/2019 ESMA71-99-1256 ESMA CRAs TRs thematic fees report , , Press Release PDF
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18/10/2018 ESMA71-99-1027 ESMA data analysis values EU derivatives market at €660 trillion with central clearing increasing significantly , Press Release PDF
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11/07/2014 2014/819 ESMA defines central clearing of interest rate and credit default swaps Press Release PDF
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The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has launched a first round of consultations to prepare for central clearing of OTC derivatives within the European Union. The two consultation papers seek stakeholders’ views on draft regulatory technical standards (RTS) for the clearing of Interest Rate Swaps (IRS) and Credit Default Swaps (CDS) that ESMA has to develop under the European Markets Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR). With the overarching objective of reducing systemic risk, EMIR introduces the obligation to clear certain classes of OTC derivatives in central clearing houses (CCPs) that have been authorised (European CCPs) or recognised (third-country CCPs) under its framework. To ensure that the clearing obligation reduces systemic risk, EMIR specifies a process for the identification of the classes of OTC derivatives that should be subject to mandatory clearing. This includes the assessment of specific criteria that the relevant classes of OTC derivatives have to meet. ESMA is required to draft RTS on the clearing obligation within six months of the authorisation or recognition of CCPs. ESMA has analysed the classes from several CCP notifications and has determined that some IRS and CDS classes should be subject to the clearing obligation. Following the difference in timing of the corresponding CCP authorisations, the IRS and CDS classes are covered in two separate papers and consultation periods, with a large overlap between the two to give the opportunity to stakeholders to review them and provide feedback at the same time. These two consultation papers may be followed by one or more on other asset classes.Basis, fixed-to-float, forward rate agreements and overnight index swaps to be centrally cleared Regarding IRS, ESMA’s draft RTS propose the following four classes, on a range of currencies and underlying indices, to be subject to central clearing: •    Basis swaps;•    Fixed-to-float interest rate swaps; •    Forward rate agreements; and•    Overnight index swaps. European untranched index CDS to be centrally cleared Regarding CDS, ESMA’s draft RTS proposes European untranched Index CDS (for two indices) to be subject to central clearing.Draft standards built on swaps already offered for clearing ESMA defined the IRS and CDS classes to be subject to central clearing following an analysis of all IRS and CDS classes which are currently offered for clearing by European CCPs. In addition, for equity and interest rate futures and options which are offered for clearing, ESMA decided that a clearing obligation is not necessary at this stage. Next steps The IRS Consultation Paper is open for feedback until 18 August 2014 and the CDS Consultation Paper until 18 September 2014. ESMA will use the answers received to draft its final RTSs on the clearing obligation for IRS and CDS and send them for endorsement to the European Commission. The clearing obligation will take effect following a phased implementation, with the current proposal ranging from six months to three years after the entry into force of the RTS, depending on the types of counterparties concerned.
27/09/2012 2012/606 ESMA defines standards for derivatives and CCPs Press Release PDF
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09/01/2018 ESMA71-99-925 ESMA Double Volume Cap delay , Press Release PDF
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