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|04/04/2016||2016/566||ESMA not to exempt ETD under MiFID II||Press Releases, MiFID - Secondary Markets||Press Release||PDF
|31/03/2016||2016/472||ESMA publishes UCITS remuneration guidelines||Fund Management, Press Releases||Press Release||PDF
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.
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:
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:
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.
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.
|02/02/2016||2016/138||ESMA updates on supervisory work on closet index tracking||Fund Management, Press Releases||Press Release||PDF
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.
|22/12/2015||2015/1872||Press Release Cross Selling Guidelines||MiFID - Investor Protection||Press Release||PDF
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:
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.
|04/12/2015||JC/2015/087||ESAs issue discussion paper on automation in financial advice||Joint Committee, Press Releases||Press Release||PDF
|11/11/2015||JC/2015/078||ESAs consult on PRIIPs key information for retail investors||Fund Management, Joint Committee, Press Releases||Press Release||PDF
|21/10/2015||JC/2015/071||Press release- JC AML CP Final||Joint Committee, Press Releases||Press Release||PDF
|09/09/2015||JC/2015/2||Press release- ESAs see continued risks in EU financial markets and call for rigorous action on assets and liabilities||Joint Committee, Press Releases||Press Release||PDF
|30/07/2015||2015/1238||ESMA advises on extension of AIFMD passport to non-EU jurisdictions||Fund Management, Press Releases||Press Release||PDF
|The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published its Advice in relation to the application of the AIFMD (Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive) passport to non-EU Alternative Investment Fund Managers (AIFMs) and Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs) and its Opinion on the functioning of the passport for EU AIFMs and the national private placement regimes (NPPRs). The Advice and Opinion, required under AIFMD, will now be considered by the European Commission, Parliament and Council. ESMA Advice – Extension of AIFMD Passport to non-EU AIFMs and AIFs The Advice relates to the possible extension of the passport, currently only available to EU entities, to non-EU AIFMs and AIFs which are currently subject to EU NPPRs. ESMA conducted a country-by-country assessment, as this allowed it flexibility to take into account the different circumstances of each non-EU jurisdiction regarding the regulatory issues to be considered i.e. investor protection, competition, potential market disruption and the monitoring of systemic risk. ESMA assessed six jurisdictions – Guernsey, Hong Kong, Jersey, Singapore, Switzerland and the United States of America (USA) – who were selected based on a number of factors including the amount of activity already being carried out by entities from these countries under the NPPRs, EU national authorities’ knowledge and experience of dealing with their counterparts and the efforts by stakeholders from these countries to engage with ESMA’s process. The Advice concludes that no obstacles exist to the extension of the passport to Guernsey and Jersey, while Switzerland will remove any remaining obstacles with the enactment of pending legislation. No definitive view has been reached on the other three jurisdictions due to concerns related to competition, regulatory issues and a lack of sufficient evidence to properly assess the relevant criteria. Next Steps The Advice and Opinion have been sent to the Commission, Parliament and Council for their consideration on whether to activate the relevant provision in the AIFMD extending the passport through a Delegated Act. However, the institutions may wish to consider waiting until ESMA has delivered positive advice on a sufficient number of non-EU countries, before introducing the passport in order to avoid any adverse market impact that a decision to extend the passport to only a few non-EU countries might have. ESMA aims to finalise the assessments of Hong Kong, Singapore and the USA as soon as practicable and to assess further groups of non-EU countries until it has provided advice on all the non-EU countries that it considers should be included in the extension of the passport. ESMA Opinion – Functioning of the EU AIFMD passport and NPPRs The opinion on the functioning of the EU passport and the NPPRs contains ESMA’s preliminary assessment of the operation of these two mechanisms. Its preliminary view is that, given the short time period that has elapsed since the implementation of the AIFMD in Member States, a definitive assessment of their functioning is difficult and would recommend preparing a further opinion after a longer period.|
|23/07/2015||2015/1193||ESMA consults on UCITS remuneration guidelines||Fund Management, Press Releases||Press Release||PDF
|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.|
|22/05/2015||2015/884||Press Release- ESMA calls for modification of UCITS Directive||Fund Management, Press Releases||Press Release||PDF
|12/05/2015||JC/2015/03||Press Release- Joint Committee of ESAs publishes its recommendations on securitisation||Joint Committee, Press Releases||Press Release||PDF
|The Joint Committee of the three European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs) has published a report detailing its findings and recommendations regarding the disclosure requirements and obligations relating to due diligence, supervisory reporting and retention rules in existing EU law on Structured Finance Instruments (SFIs). In this Report, the Joint Committee is making a series of recommendations which should be considered in light of further work on the transparency requirements of SFIs, and the European Commission public consultation on securitisation. The Report states that these recommendations should not be introduced in isolation and should take into account the already existing requirements for disclosure, due diligence and reporting for comparable instruments.The main recommendations of the report are: - due diligence requirements should be harmonised within the EU;- standardised investor reports should reflect the dynamics of SFIs and be stored in a centralised public space;- all type of investors should be empowered to effectively conduct their own stress tests; and- a harmonised due diligence and disclosure framework should be complemented with a comprehensive regime for supervision and enforcement. Steven Maijoor, Chair of the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) and current Chairman of the Joint Committee, said: “The proper functioning of the market for securitisations would benefit from the proposed measures aimed at ensuring consistency regarding disclosure and due diligence requirements across existing EU legislation on Structured Finance Instruments. Implementation of these measures, supported by an appropriate supervision and enforcement framework, will contribute to restoring investor confidence in this sector while increasing its efficiency”. Main RecommendationsFollowing a thorough analysis, the Joint Committee is of the opinion that the due diligence requirements should be harmonised across EU sectorial legislation with the common view that, irrespective of the type of investors, due diligence should be seen as a dynamic process which starts with the investment decision and ends when the SFI matures or is divested. In particular, the Joint Committee recommends that investors’ due diligence requirements are reflected in the SFI disclosure requirements. In addition, the report recommends that investor reports should be standardised and stored in a centralised public space. Measures should be implemented to help investors in conducting effective stress tests on all types of SFIs. An adequate level of transparency should be ensured irrespective of the place where the issuer, originator and sponsor are established and the nature of the SFIs. In order to avoid discrepancies, the Joint Committee also advises to review the use of different definitions and key terms across the relevant sectorial legislation. Finally, the report highlights the necessity of complementing a harmonised due diligence and disclosure framework with a comprehensive framework for supervision and enforcement regarding SFIs.|
|05/05/2015||JC/2015/02||ESAs- main risks to EU financial market stability have intensified||Risk Analysis & Economics - Markets Infrastructure Investors, Press Releases, Joint Committee||Press Release||PDF
|The Joint Committee of the European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs) published its fifth Report on Risks and Vulnerabilities in the EU Financial System. Overall, the report found that in the past six months, risks affecting the EU financial system have not changed in substance, but have further intensified. The EU’s economic performance improved slightly in early 2015, however the financial sector in general continues to be affected by a combination of factors such as low investment demand, economic uncertainty in the Eurozone and its neighbouring countries, a global economic slow-down and a low-interest rate environment. The main risks affecting the financial system remain broadly unchanged from those identified in the report’s previous edition, but have become more entrenched. The major risks include: • Low growth, low inflation, volatile asset prices and their consequences for financial entities; • Search for yield behaviour exacerbated by potential rebounds; • Deterioration in the conduct of business; and • Increased concern about IT risks and cyber-attacks. Despite these risks, a number of ongoing policy and regulatory initiatives are contributing to improving the stability and confidence in the financial system as well as facilitating additional funding channels to the real economy. These include ongoing regulatory reforms in the securities, banking and insurance sectors such as the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II) and Regulation (MiFIR), the work on the implementation of the Capital Requirements Directive and Regulation (CRDIV/CRR), the work on the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive (BRRD), the Deposit-Guarantee Schemes Directive (DGS) and the Solvency II Directive, as well as the European Commission’s plan for a Capital Markets Union (CMU). Steven Maijoor, Chair of the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) and the current Chairman of the Joint Committee, said: “The Joint Committee has noted some improvement in overall market conditions; however, the recovery is not yet sustained and is exposed to risks related to broad macroeconomic conditions, in particular the low interest environment and resulting search-for-yield behaviour. Additionally regulators continue to have concerns about the operational risks generated by some financial institutions’ inappropriate business conduct, as well as those risks posed by inadequate management of IT risks. “However, recent regulatory initiatives across the banking, insurance and securities sectors, such as the Comprehensive Assessment, the insurance sector stress test and Solvency II along with, the ongoing MiFID, EMIR and PRIPS reforms are contributing to improving the stability and confidence in the EU financial system." Key Risks Identified The identified risks in the Report can be divided into macro risks to the EU financial system and economy and operational risks. Macro Risks The key macro risks identified relate to: 1. Risks from weak economic growth and low inflation environment, which include: • Adverse effect that low interest rates and uncertainties about the economic recovery have had on the outlook for the financial industry; • Higher valuation and market liquidity risk has raised concerns about the outlook for financial entities’ stability in the event of reversals in interest rates and asset prices; 2. Low profitability is motivating financial institutions and other investors to search for yield, which requires increased supervisory attention to the viability of business models, related restructuring activity and adequate management of risks. However, the promotion of sound and innovative business models for market-based funding structures could help to deliver additional stimulus; and 3. Some continued doubts on the comparability and consistency of banks’ calculations of risk weighted assets. Operational Risks The key operational risks relate to: 4. Business conduct risk remains a key concern with the Report recommending that supervisors should include misconduct costs in future stress tests where appropriate, while financial institutions should strengthening product oversight and governance frameworks. Further improvements in the regulatory framework and supervisory practices to address conduct risks are also warranted. In addition, further progress needs to be made on benchmark reforms where continuity and integrity remain a source of concern even if key panels remained stable; and 5. IT operational risk and cyber risk remain of great concern and pose challenges to the the safety and integrity of financial institutions. IT risk increased due to costs pressures, outsourcing, the need for additional capacities and a mounting number of cyber-attacks. The adequate integration of IT risk into overall risk management is a key policy for mitigation.|
|01/04/2015||2015/674||Press release- ESMA launches centralised data projects for MiFIR and EMIR||MiFID - Secondary Markets, Press Releases||Press Release||PDF
|25/02/2015||2015/495||ESMA publishes review on best execution supervisory practices under MiFID||MiFID - Investor Protection, Press Releases, Supervisory convergence||Press Release||PDF
|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.|
|22/12/2014||JC/2014/63||European Supervisory Authorities publish final Guidelines on consistency of supervisory practices for financial conglomerates||Press Releases, Joint Committee||Press Release||PDF
|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.|
|19/12/2014||2014/1574||ESMA provides implementing rules for MiFID II||MiFID - Investor Protection, Press Releases, MiFID - Secondary Markets||Press Release||PDF
|The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published today its final technical advice (TA) and launches a consultation on its draft regulatory technical and implementing standards (RTS/ ITS) regarding the implementation of the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II) and Regulation (MiFIR). Both ESMA’s TA and draft RTS translate the MiFID II/MiFIR requirements into practically applicable rules for market participants and national supervisors. The new regulatory framework aims at ensuring that secondary markets are fair, transparent and safe and that investors’ interests are safeguarded when being sold investment products. Steven Maijoor, ESMA Chair, said:“Today’s implementing rules on both secondary markets and investor protection issues reflect ESMA’s desire to achieve the best outcome for market users and investors, taking into account the extensive submissions received from our stakeholders. The advice now goes to the European Commission to use in preparation of its delegated legislation, while our technical standards are open for a second round of consultation. “Once fully implemented, MiFID II will have a significant impact on the EU’s securities markets, its users and infrastructure providers. It will bring greater transparency and improve the overall functioning of markets thus strengthening investors’ trust in the financial sector.”MiFID II to include most financial instruments, trading venues and techniquesMiFID II/MiFIR introduces changes to the functioning of secondary markets, including transparency requirements for a broad range of asset classes; the obligation to trade derivatives on trading venues; requirements for algorithmic and high-frequency-trading and new supervisory tools for commodity derivatives. The key proposals stemming from ESMA’s TA/draft RTS cover the following issues: • increased trade transparency, for non-equity instruments, in particular bonds, derivatives, structured finance products and emission allowances;• a trading obligation for shares and a double volume cap mechanism for shares and equity-like instruments, introducing a major change to the framework for trading these instruments in the Union;• an obligation to trade derivatives on MiFID venues (regulated markets, multilateral (MTFs) or organised trading facilities (OTFs)) only, in line with G20 requirements;• newly introduced position limits and reporting requirements for commodity derivatives;• rules governing high frequency trading, imposing a strict set of organisational requirements on investment firms and trading venues;• provisions regulating access to central counterparties (CCPs), trading venues and benchmarks, designed to increase competition in the Union; and• requirements for a consolidated tape of trading data, including rules for tape providers, reporting, publication and sales of data.MiFID II to improve investor protection ESMA’s TA proposes that the Commission adopts a number of measures that will further the protection of investors across the EU. The main proposals relating to the improved protection of investors, especially retail, include:• clarifications about the circumstances in which portfolio managers can receive research from third parties;• clarifications under which circumstances inducements meet the quality enhancement requirement for the provision of advice;• requirements for investment firms manufacturing and/or distributing financial instruments and structured deposits to have product governance arrangements in place in order to assess the robustness of their manufacture and/or distribution;• requirements for firms to provide clients with details of all costs and charges related to their investment, including cost aggregations, the timing of disclosure (ex-ante and ex-post); information to non-retail clients; the scope of firms subject to this obligation; information on the cumulative effect of costs on the return; • organisational requirements for firms providing investments advice on an independent basis; and• specification of powers for ESMA and national regulators with regards to prohibiting or restricting the marketing and distribution of financial instruments. Next stepsThe TA has been finalised following extensive consultations with stakeholders and will now be sent to the European Commission. ESMA’s draft RTS/ITS, already previously consulted upon, are open for public comment until 2 March 2015. In addition, an open hearing will be held in Paris on 19 February 2015. ESMA will use the input received from the consultations to finalise its draft RTS which will be sent for endorsement to the European Commission by mid-2015, its ITS by January 2016. MiFID II/ MiFIR and its implementing measures will be applicable from 3 January 2017.|
|22/09/2014||2014-063 (Annex)||EU Supervisory Authorities update on risks in EU financial system||Press Releases, Joint Committee||Press Release||PDF
|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 email@example.com|
|31/07/2014||JC/2014/062 Annex (Press Release)||The Joint Committee of the ESAs remind financial institutions of their responsibilities when placing their own financial products with consumers||Press Releases, Joint Committee||Press Release||PDF
|The Joint Committee of the ESAs reminds financial institutions of their responsibilities when placing their own financial products with consumers. ESMA underlines risks from investing in contingent convertible instruments (CoCos). The Joint Committee of the European Supervisory Authorities (EBA, EIOPA and ESMA) published a reminder to banks and insurance companies across the EU on the consumer protection requirements that apply to certain financial instruments they issue. In addition, ESMA highlighted specific risks posed to investors by contingent convertible instruments (CoCos).|
|24/07/2014||2014/61||EBA, ESMA and EIOPA consult on technical standards for financial conglomerates risk concentration and intra-group transactions||Joint Committee, Press Releases||Press Release||PDF
|The Joint Committee of the three European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs - EBA, ESMA and EIOPA) launched today a consultation on draft Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS) on risk concentration and intra-group transactions within financial conglomerates. The technical standards aim at enhancing supervisory consistency in the application of the Financial Conglomerates Directive (FICOD). The consultation runs until 24 October 2014. The objective of the draft RTS is to clarify which risk concentrations and intra-group transactions within a financial conglomerate should be considered as significant. In addition, the RTS provide some supervisory measures for coordinators and other relevant competent authorities when identifying types of significant risk concentration and intra-group transactions, their associated thresholds and reports, where appropriate. The consultation paper is available on the websites of the three ESAs: EBA, ESMA and EIOPA. Comments to this consultation paper can be sent to the Joint Committee. Legal background The three ESAs have developed these RTS in accordance with Article 21a (1a) of Directive 2002/87/EC (FICOD), which mandates the three ESAs, through the Joint Committee, to develop RTS to clarify the definitions on risk concentration and intra-group transactions provided in Article 2 of the FICOD and to coordinate the provisions laid down in Articles 7 and 8 and Annex II.|