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01/07/2013 2013/853 ESMA approves Spread Research as a credit rating agency Press Release PDF
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The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has formally approved the registration of Spread Research SAS, based in France, as a credit rating agency (CRA) under Article 16 of the CRA Regulation. The registration takes effect from 1 July 2013.
10/07/2013 2013/924 ESMA launches consultation on implementation of new CRA Regulation , Press Release PDF
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The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published a Discussion Paper dealing with the implementation of the CRA3 Regulation, which entered into force on 20 June 2013.The Regulation, which complements the existing regulatory framework for credit rating agencies (CRAs), requires ESMA to draft Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS) on:•    disclosure requirements on structured finance instruments (SFIs);•    the European Rating Platform (ERP); and•    the periodic reporting on fees charged by CRAs.ESMA is seeking views from all interested parties in order to assist in its preparation of the draft RTS to be published for consultation in early 2014.  ESMA must submit the draft RTS to the European Commission by 21 June 2014.
19/07/2013 MOU ACER ESMA MoU between ESMA and ACER concerning the consultation and cooperation regarding their regulatory responsibilities in relation to EU wholesale energy market Reference PDF
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03/10/2013 2013/1355 ESMA 2014 Work Programme Reference PDF
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The European Securities and Markets Authority's (ESMA) 2014 Work Programme sets out ESMA’s planned activities and related budget for 2014.
16/10/2013 2013/LCC/039 ESMA Specific Privacy Notice – Public procurement , Reference PDF
119.46 KB
16/10/2013 2013/LCC/Recruitment ESMA Specific Privacy Notice – Selections and Recruitments , Reference PDF
70.67 KB
21/11/2013 2013/1703 Technical Advice on the feasibility of a network of small and medium-sized CRAs Technical Advice PDF
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The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has finalised its Technical Advice to the European Commission on the feasibility of a network of small and medium sized credit rating agencies in order to increase competition in the market. The technical advice provides quantitative and qualitative information on small and medium-sized CRAs in the EU, based on the analysis of the periodic reporting obligations of CRAs to ESMA via the central repository CEREP. It also covers some information regarding possible barriers to entry for companies that wish to conduct rating activity in the EU. Contents The main findings of the advice are: • The 22 registered CRAs are established in 11 EU Member States; • None of the small and medium-sized CRAs cover the whole range of the five rating classes considered (corporates (non-financial), financials, insurance, sovereign and public finance, and structured finance). Whilst DBRS and BCRA cover four and three classes respectively, all the remaining small and medium-sized CRAs cover one or two rating classes only. This contrasts with Fitch, Moody’s and S&P that issue ratings for all five possible rating classes; • Small and medium-sized CRAs are mainly active in issuing corporate ratings. Within this rating type, four small and medium-sized CRAs issue a relatively high number of corporate ratings (CERVED and ICAP) or financial and insurance ratings (GBB and AM Best); • Only 6 of the small and medium-sized CRAs provide sovereign ratings (BCRA, Capital Intelligence, DBRS, European Rating, Feri Euro Rating (Feri) and Japan Credit Rating Agency (JCR)), whilst only one (DBRS) issues structured finance ratings; • As of end 2012 the majority of small and medium-sized CRAs issued solicited ratings only, whilst eight issued unsolicited ratings only. Three small and medium-sized CRAs (DBRS, JCR, and Scope) issued both solicited and unsolicited ratings, as was the case also for Fitch, Moody’s and S&P; • As regards geographical coverage of the small and medium-sized CRAs 6 out of 19 (AM Best, Capital Intelligence, Creditreform, DBRS, JCR and Scope) have a coverage that goes beyond one Member State when referring to corporate ratings. As regards the sovereign ratings type, three of the small and medium-sized CRAs cover more than one Member State (Capital Intelligence, Feri and JCR). In both of these ratings types, Fitch, Moody’s and S&P’s rating activities cover all Member States of the EU; • In 2013, 96% of the supervisory fees were paid by S&P, Moody’s, and Fitch, while their turnover from rating and ancillary services was equal to 88% of the total turnover of the 20 registered and certified CRAs in 2012: and • As of July 2013, 14 out of 19 small and medium-sized CRAs have been granted at least one of the regulatory exemptions provided for in the CRA Regulation. Finally, and with reference to the current situation in the segment of small and medium-sized CRAs, ESMA is not aware of any private networks of small and medium-sized CRAs currently in place.
02/12/2013 2013/1790 ESMA identifies deficiencies in CRAs sovereign ratings processes Press Release PDF
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ESMA identifies deficiencies in CRAs sovereign ratings processes The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published a Report identifying a number of deficiencies in the processes for producing and issuing sovereign ratings at the three largest credit rating agencies (CRAs), Fitch Ratings, Moody’s Investors Service and Standard & Poor’s. The Report follows an investigation carried out by ESMA into the sovereign rating processes at the three CRAs, between February and October 2013. The investigation was prompted by concerns about potential conflicts of interests, the impact of sovereign ratings on other types of ratings, CRAs’ capacity to cope with the number of rating actions during a period of high volatility, the use of bulk rating actions, and issues around the confidentiality and timing of rating actions. The investigation focused on the governance and organisation of sovereign rating activities, the adequacy and expertise of allocated human resources, the disclosure of rating information to the public, and ensuring its confidentiality before disclosure. ESMA identified deficiencies and issues for improvement in the following areas: • Independence and avoidance of conflicts of interests; • Confidentiality of sovereign rating information; • Timing of publication of rating actions; and • Resources allocated to sovereign ratings. ESMA has not determined whether any of the Report’s findings constitute a breach of the CRA Regulation, and may take action as appropriate in due course. Steven Maijoor, ESMA Chair, said: “ESMA’s investigation revealed shortcomings in the sovereign ratings process which could pose risks to the quality, independence and integrity of the ratings and of the rating process. “The focus on the sovereign rating process in this investigation stems from their increased volatility over the past few years, the importance of sovereign ratings from a credit market and financial stability perspective, and their impact on other rated entities and products. “The impact which changes in these ratings can have on financial markets, and sovereign states, can be significant. Therefore, it is imperative that users can have confidence that the CRAs have adequate systems and controls in place to ensure that ratings are rigorous, free from conflicts of interest and timely. “The CRAs who were subject to this investigation still need to make improvements in their working practices to ensure their full compliance with the CRA Regulation and to eradicate inadequate practices from the past.” Investigation Findings The key areas where ESMA identified deficiencies requiring remedial actions by the CRAs included the following areas and related issues: 1. Independence and avoidance of conflicts of interests: ESMA has concerns that in a number of areas associated with conflicts of interest and independence, the actual failings or potential risks identified might compromise the independence of the ratings process and the quality of the credit ratings. These include: • the type of involvement of senior management in sovereign rating activities; • the independent review function’s participation in the sovereign rating process; • the research publication activities carried out by CRAs; • the involvement by certain non-rating functions (e.g. communication) in the rating process; and • the implementation of the appeal procedure. 2. Confidentiality of sovereign rating information The investigation identified deficiencies in the way confidential rating information is managed, in particular how access to information on upcoming rating actions on sovereigns is controlled. These include: • the disclosure of upcoming rating actions to an unauthorised third party; • inadequate controls in place for the circulation of rating information within the CRA(s); • the controls around the use of external communication consultants; and • inappropriate permissions and controls to secure access to rating information. 3. Timing of publication of rating actions: The investigation found that there had been instances of significant and frequent delays in the publication of sovereign ratings. ESMA also observed deficiencies in the advance notification to rated entities about upcoming rating actions. 4. Resources allocated to sovereign ratings: ESMA has concerns on the resources dedicated to sovereign ratings, in particular: • the lack of an adequate mechanism to assess the adequacy of resources; • assigning lead analyst responsibilities to junior or newly hired staff; • reliance on junior support staff; and • unclear definitions of functions and responsibilities. A number of good practices were also identified amongst the surveyed firms including analytical training programmes, practices designed to improve challenge in rating committees, and to ensure continuity in the allocation of analysts to sovereign portfolios. ESMA has required the CRAs to put in place remedial action plans to address the issues identified, and will monitor their progress against these plans as part of its on-going supervision.
02/12/2013 2013/1792 Call for expressions of interest regarding the establishment of the Consultative Working Group of the ESMA Market Data Reporting Working Group Reference PDF
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Deadline for applications is 3 January 2014.
13/12/2013 2013/1928 Final annual accounts of ESMA for 2012 Reference PDF
2.65 MB
16/12/2013 2013/1933 CRAs’ Market share calculation according to Article 8d of the CRA Regulation Reference PDF
181.17 KB
19/12/2013 2013/1953 Technical Advice to the European Commission on the equivalence between the Argentinean regulatory and supervisory framework and the EU regulatory regime for CRAs Technical Advice PDF
143.15 KB
31/12/2013 2013/1986 2013 Calendar of the Chair and Executive Director of ESMA Reference PDF
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In order to ensure transparency in their dealings with external stakeholders the Chair and Executive Director made an undertaking to the European Parliament to publish details of these meetings. This calendar is updated on a regular basis.
04/02/2014 2014/140 ESMA budget for 2014 Reference PDF
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07/02/2014 2014/152 ESMA tells firms to improve their selling practices for complex financial products , Press Release PDF
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The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published an Opinion on practices to be observed by investment firms when selling complex financial products to investors. ESMA is issuing this opinion to remind national supervisors and investment firms about the importance of requirements governing selling practices under MiFID (Markets in Financial Instruments Directive).ESMA is issuing this Opinion as it is concerned that firms’ compliance with the MiFID selling practices when selling complex products may have fallen short of expected standards. The concerns relate mainly to the suitability and appropriateness of complex products that are increasingly within the grasp of retail investors. The Opinion sets out ESMA’s minimum expectations with respect to the conduct of firms when selling complex products to retail investors.Steven Maijoor, ESMA Chair, said: “Investment firms increasingly sell complex financial products such as warrants, different types of structured bonds, derivatives and asset-backed securities, which were previously accessible mainly to professional investors, to retail investors.“ESMA is concerned that this trend greatly increases the risk that customers do not understand the risks, costs and expected returns of the products they are buying. Therefore, we believe that it is crucial that investment firms act responsibly and in the best interest of their clients.“The level of concern regarding the risk posed by these products to investor protection when MiFID rules are not fully respected is such that we have also issued an EU-wide warning to investors in order to raise awareness about the risks arising from investing in these types of complex products.” The marketing and sale of complex financial products, in particular to retail investors, is an important investor protection area where ESMA wants to ensure a consistent approach to the application of the MiFID conduct business rules - thereby improving supervisory convergence.The areas covered by the Opinion relate to: firms’ organisation and internal controls; the assessment of the suitability or appropriateness of certain products; disclosures and communications in relation to products; and compliance monitoring of the sales functions.
11/02/2014 2014/165 ESMA consults on new CRA transparency requirements Press Release PDF
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12/02/2014 2014/172 rev 1 2014 Regulatory Work Programme Reference PDF
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21/02/2014 2014/212 Press release- ESMA sets out CRA supervision focus for 2014 Press Release PDF
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ESMA sets out CRA supervision focus for 2014 The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published its Annual Report 2013 (Report) on credit rating agencies (CRAs) in the European Union (EU). The Report also outlines ESMA’s supervisory work plan for this year. ESMA has found that CRAs continue to progress in how they comply with the CRA Regulation, including improved internal transparency and disclosure to the market on credit rating activities as well as empowerment of the compliance function. However, ESMA considers that improvements are still necessary, notably in the following areas: validation of rating methodologies, to ensure that a credit rating assessment is a comprehensive risk assessment leading to high quality ratings; internal governance, ensuring the full independence of the internal review function and thereby reducing the risk of potential conflict of interest; and robust IT systems to support the rating process, including information security controls and protection of confidential rating information. These issues form the basis for much of ESMA’s supervision activities as outlined in its 2014 work plan. This includes the completion of the two on-going supervisory reviews into CRAs’ monitoring of structured finance ratings and into small and medium-sized CRAs. A new thematic investigation on how CRAs review and validate their rating methodologies will also be launched, as well as dedicated work on CRAs’ IT systems and controls. Following the entry into force of the amended CRA Regulation in June 2013, ESMA will also complete a specific assessment on CRAs’ compliance with the new regulatory requirements. Steven Maijoor, ESMA Chair, said: “ESMA is in its third year as the EU’s CRA regulator and today’s report provides us with an assessment of the progress made to date. However, as shown by our recent work on sovereign ratings there are still issues around governance as well as independence,objectivity and quality of the rating process that need to be remedied in order to restore market confidence in CRAs and their ratings. “We will continue to proactively and intrusively supervise CRAs and work with them to address their shortcomings. This will contribute to building confidence in the transparency and smooth functioning of EU financial markets while ensuring a high level of financial consumer protection.” The 2013 Report summarises how ESMA fulfilled its role as the supervisor of CRAs in the EU. It covers ESMA’s supervisory activities, progress in dealing with registrations, and its policy work in relation to existing and new legislative requirements. In particular, the Report focuses on the results of ESMA’s supervisory work through on-going supervision as well as thematic reviews, such as that into the sovereign ratings process of a number of CRAs, the inspections of small and medium-sized CRAs and a further inspection of the ratings publication controls in a single CRA.
06/03/2014 2013/611 HR Key concepts of the AIFMD Reference PDF
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SmjerniceSmjernice o glavnim pojmovima AIFMD-a (Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive/Direktive o upraviteljima alternativnim investicijskim fondovima)
25/03/2014 2014 Calendar 2014 Calendar of the Chair and Executive Director of ESMA Reference PDF
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In order to ensure transparency in their dealings with external stakeholders the Chair and Executive Director made an undertaking to the European Parliament to publish details of these meetings. This calendar is updated on a regular basis.