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27/03/2014 2014/332 Structured Retail Products- Good practices for product governance arrangements , Opinion PDF
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Legal basis 1.    Regulation (EU) No 1095/2010 (ESMA Regulation)  sets out the European Securities and Markets Authority’s (ESMA) scope of action, tasks and powers which include “enhancing customer protection”, and “foster[ing] investor protection”.  2.    In order to continue delivering on this investor protection statutory objective, ESMA is issuing this opinion on certain aspects linked to the manufacturing and distribution of structured retail products (SRP). This opinion takes into account relevant work done in this field both at European and interna-tional level.  3.    This opinion is without prejudice to the requirements for the provision of investment services and activities established in the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID)  and its implementing measures (notably, Directive 2006/73/EC), the regulatory developments arising from the MiFID review or existing product rules that may apply to SRPs.  4.    ESMA’s competence to deliver an opinion is based on Article 29(1) (a) of the ESMA Regulation. In accordance with Article 44(1) of the ESMA Regulation, the Board of Supervisors has adopted this opinion. Background 5.    In its July 2013 report on ‘Retailisation in the EU’ , ESMA highlighted that, from a consumer protec-tion perspective, retail investors may face difficulties in understanding the drivers of risks and returns of structured products. If retail investors do not properly understand the risk and reward profile of structured products, and if the products are not properly assessed against the risk appetite of retail investors, retail investors might be exposed to unexpected losses and this might lead to complaints, reputational risks for manufacturers and distributors, and a loss of confidence in the regulatory framework and, more broadly, in financial markets. 6.    In 2013, ESMA mapped the measures adopted in the EU Member States in relation to complex products in order to identify issues and to better understand the rationale behind national initiatives (by looking at similarities and differences in the various approaches, and reviewing how complexity has been treated in the different EU Members States). 7.    As a result, ESMA has developed a broad set of non-exhaustive examples of good practices, attached as Annex 1 hereto, illustrating arrangements that firms - taking into account the nature, scale and complexity of their business - could put in place to improve their ability to deliver on investor protection regarding, in particular, (i) the complexity of the SRPs they manufacture or distribute, (ii) the nature and range of the investment services and activities undertaken in the course of that business, and (iii) the type of investors they target. These good practices should also be a helpful tool for competent authorities in carrying out their supervisory action. Opinion 8.    ESMA considers that sound product governance arrangements are fundamental for investor protec-tion purposes, and can reduce the need for product intervention actions by competent authorities. 9.    ESMA considers that, when supervising firms manufacturing or distributing an SRP, competent authorities should promote, in their supervisory approaches, the examples of good practices for firms set out in Annex 1 hereto. 10.    Although the good practices set out in Annex 1 hereto focus on structured products sold to retail investors, ESMA considers that they may also be a relevant reference for other types of financial in-struments (such as asset-backed securities, or contingent convertible bonds), as well as when financial instruments are being sold to professional clients. 11.    The exposure to risk is an intrinsic feature of investment products. The good practices set out in Annex 1 refer to product governance arrangements and do not (and cannot) aim at removing investment risk from products.
27/03/2014 2014/334 ESMA issues good practices for structured retail product governance , Press Release PDF
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The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published an opinion on structured retail products, setting out good practices for firms when manufacturing and distributing these products.
28/03/2014 2014/337 Keynote speech at EuroFinUse Conference on the Better Finance Manifesto, Steven Maijoor ESMA Chair Speech PDF
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How to restore European household’s confidence in long term savings and investments Steven Maijoor, Chair of ESMA EuroFinUse Conference on The Better Finance Manifesto, Brussels Excerpt “Allow me to begin my thoughts by summarising the current situation of the European financial sector: The effects of the financial crisis and the subsequent EU sovereign debt problems still linger on. There are: expectations for further bank deleveraging, a reluctance in the private sector towards raising capital on equity and debt markets, and only slowly receding doubts among investors about the stability of financial markets. But the situation is improving: The progress on implementing the post-crisis regulatory reform agenda as well as addressing the sovereign-bank nexus are vital building blocks for fostering confidence in the markets. In addition, the recent economic stabilization – reflected by an expected growth rate of 1.5% for 2014 in the EU – is already starting to lift the spirits of entrepreneurs and their appetite to engage in additional investment. This newly revived appetite requires new funding, either intermediated by banks or from securities markets. As our banking systems are going through an important phase of transformation, markets and policy makers increasingly look to securities markets for fresh impulses. And I very much concur that we need to explore what funding opportunities we can develop through capital market financing.”
05/06/2014 2014/607 Keynote Speech- Steven Maijoor, ESMA Chair at ICMA Annual Conference, Berlin Speech PDF
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Steven Maijoor, ESMA Chair, today delivered the keynote address at the International Capital Markets Association Annual General Meeting and Conference in Berlin. In the course of his speech he outlined the key elements needed to ensure the success of the EU's regulatory reform agenda: (excerpt) "1.    The EU single rule book for financial markets needs to be implemented and supervised. Implementing measures like technical standards are needed to ensure that the legislation works in practice and the rules need to be subject to credible supervision; and 2.    Supervisory convergence between the 28 EU member states is needed to ensure that the single rule book also results in a truly single EU financial market. Differences in supervision, and regulatory competition, will undermine the achievement of the objectives of stability and investor protection." While he specifically focused on the issues of financial inducements under MiFID II and collateral liquidity.
10/06/2014 2014/619 Keynote Speech- Steven Maijoor, ESMA Chair, at IBA Conference on the Globalisation of Investment Funds, Paris Speech PDF
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Steven Maijoor, ESMA Chair, delivered a keynote address to the International Bar Association's 25th Annual Conference on the Globalisation ofInvestment Funds in Paris. His speech focused on concentrated on potential financial stability risks linked to the phenomenon of "too big to fail" and the fund management industry and also on policy developments affecting the fund management industry. Excerpt "Addressing potential systemic risks in asset management will be an important part of our work going forward. As we develop our insights into the risks in the industry, it is clear that asset management has a specific profile that sets it apart from banking and other financial activities. This implies that the lens through which we see stability risks in banking and insurance, might not be the right one for asset management. Our proposal in this debate, therefore, is that in addition to looking at individual institutions, we must include in our analysis the very different types of activities of the asset management sector and their interdependence with systemic risks in the wider financial market."
13/06/2014 ESMA 2013 ESMA Annual Report for 2013 Annual Report PDF
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31/07/2014 2014/944 Potential Risks Associated with Investing in Contingent Convertible Instruments , Statement PDF
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The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) is issuing this statement to clarify to institutional investors risks from a newly emerging asset class referred to by most market participants as contingent convertibles instruments (CoCos). If they work as intended in a crisis CoCos will play an important role to inhibit risk transfer from debt holders to taxpayers. They along with standards to improve the quality and quantity of bank capital reflect a considerate response to the former regulatory capital framework. However, it is unclear as to whether investors fully consider the risks of CoCos and correctly factor those risks into their valuation. ESMA believes there are specific risks to CoCos and that investors should take those risks into consideration prior to investing in these instruments.
20/08/2014 2014/1089 Final annual accounts of ESMA for 2013 Reference PDF
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20/08/2014 2014/1090 Report on Budgetary and Financial Management for 2013 Reference PDF
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15/10/2014 2014/1265 Keynote Speech- Steven Maijoor, ESMA Chair, at La Nueva Financiera Regulacion, Madrid Speech PDF
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Steven Maijoor, ESMA Chair, delivered a keynote speech at CNMV Conference La Nueva Financiera Regulacion in Madrid. His speech focused on the ESAs role in financial consumer protection:Exerpt "The three European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs) – the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the European Banking Authority (EBA) and the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) – work on improving consumer protection by contributing to a higher degree of regulatory and supervisory convergence across EU financial markets and securing cross-border coordination. We do this primarily by enhancing investor protection when creating the single rulebook for EU financial markets, but also by more direct measures such as issuing EU-wide investor warnings.Indeed, ESMA plays a key role in the completion of EU financial markets legislation developed by the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union. Two legislative acts are currently high on our agenda in this respect – and I guess also high on the agenda of many people in the audience here today – that I must speak about them: PRIIPs and the MiFID review."
05/11/2014 2014/1333 Asset management – The regulatory challenges ahead- Steven Maijoor at EFAMA Investment Management Forum Speech PDF
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Steven Maijoor, ESMA Chair, delivered the keynote speech at EFAMA's Investment Management Forum in Brussels. His speech focused on the regulatory challenges ahead for the asset management sector. "It is very good to be back again at this important event. Before coming here today I had the chance to surf the EFAMA website and it struck me that your website is as overrun as ESMA’s website is with the many well-known European acronyms that have become part of our standard vocabulary in financial markets. This observation also made it clear to me that the topics that keep both our organisations busy are very similar. Given the current activities of ESMA, you probably expect me to structure my contribution according to these acronyms and inform you on all of our current regulatory work that is relevant for the asset management sector. However, I would like to start first with an economic perspective on asset management, but let me assure you that later in my contribution I will not disappoint you and will refer to AIFMD, MIFID, UCITS and PRIIPs."
06/11/2014 2014/1339 Capital Markets Union: building competitive, efficient capital markets trusted by investors , Speech PDF
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Steven Maijoor, ESMA Chair, spoke at the joint EU Commission/Italian Presidency Growth for Finance Conference in Brussels - " Excerpts "Following its launch by President Juncker in July 2014, the Capital Markets Union (CMU) is now a concept under construction and I am very happy to have been invited to contribute today to its development. When doing so, we should remember the clear objective from President Juncker who stated that the CMU should maximise the benefits of capital markets and non-bank financial institutions for the real economy. "Despite the many efforts of the past four decades, and the good results achieved, the EU capital market is still fragmented which limits its potential. For example, an institutional investor wanting to invest in a mid-sized company will still have a strong bias towards companies in its own Member-State. There are transactions not happening that otherwise would be beneficial both for the investor and the company because of this home bias. The reason for this stems from a complex set of barriers relating to such issues as transparency of Small and Medium-sized Entities (SMEs), differences in their governance and cross-border differences in the ownership of shares. In sum, we are only halfway there. While the EU capital market has integrated steadily in the past four decades it is not yet comparable with, for example, the US capital market. With a five year time-horizon in mind, what is needed to achieve a strong and integrated capital market to increase capital availability and to support economic growth in all 28 Member States? In my view, there are four main building blocks: (1) greater diversity in funding; (2) increasing the efficiency of capital markets; (3) strengthening and harmonisation of supervision; and (4) increasing the attractiveness of capital markets both for EU investors and for investors from outside the Union. "The CMU should be based on an accelerated integration of the capital markets of the 28 Member States. The end goal should be a CMU that is competitive, efficient and that provides a wide range of funding channels. Above all, it should be trusted by investors."
18/11/2014 2014/1371 Call for expressions of interest: Consultative Working Group for ESMA’s Financial Innovation Standing Committee Reference PDF
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ESMA today launches a process to renew the composition of the Consultative Working Group (‘CWG’) for the Financial Innovation Standing Committee (’FISC’). ESMA is therefore calling for expressions of interest from stakeholders. Application procedure, closing date Relevant stakeholders meeting the required selection criteria and wishing to apply for a position on the CWG are invited to submit, in English: a completed application form (see separate document), and a detailed curriculum vitae (CV), preferably in the EU CV format - the link to the template for this is: http://europass.cedefop.europa.eu/europass/home/hornav/Downloads/Europas... It is optional for applicants to attach a motivation letter (2 pages maximum). Unclear or incomplete applications will not be considered. Applications must be submitted by email using the application form by no later than 31 December 2014 to the following email addresses: patrick.armstrong@esma.europa.eu and anne.chone@esma.europa.eu.
19/11/2014 2014/1382 Regulatory measures to prevent another crisis- speech by Steven Maijoor , Speech PDF
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Steven Maijoor, Chair of ESMA, gave the keynote speech at the "Regulatory measures to prevent another crisis?" event organised by the CFA Institute in Brussels, Belgium.
27/11/2014 2014/1434 Henri Sijthoff Prijs 2014- keynote speech by Steven Maijoor Speech PDF
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Steven Maijoor delivered the key note speech of the 2014 Henri Sijthoff award in Amsterdam. In his speech Mr Maijoor focuses on how the adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) for the consolidated financial statements of companies listed on EU regulated markets since 2005 has contributed to the quality of financial reporting and to the development of the EU Single Market. Looking ahead, Mr Maijoor focuses on three challenges the need for companies to provide investors with clear and consistent information and to continue the efforts towards global adoption whilst regretting that there is limited prospect for broad adoption by the United States of America (USA) and Japan, two countries playing an important role in regulating international financial markets. Thirdly, Mr Maijoor emphasises that the consistent application of IFRS is essential within a Single Market; this can be achieved through equipping national supervisory authorities with sufficient and similar tools to detect and remedy non-compliance with IFRS principles but also the need for a new instrument that would allow to intervene when a national authority would diverge from the views of its EU peers.  
09/12/2014 2014/1474 Investor Protection and an integrated EU Capital Market- Steven Maijoor address to DSW/Better Finance for All Conference Speech PDF
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Steven Maijoor spoke at the DSW/Better Finance for All International Investors Conference in Wiesbaden on 9 December. His speech focused on two closely interlinked topics, namely the enhancement of the level of protection offered to investors and the accelerated harmonisation and integration of EU capital markets.
12/12/2014 2014/1434 EN Henri Sijthoff Prijs 2014- keynote speech by Steven Maijoor Speech PDF
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Steven Maijoor delivered the key note speech of the 2014 Henri Sijthoff award in Amsterdam. This is the translation of the speech. In his speech Mr Maijoor focuses on how the adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) for the consolidated financial statements of companies listed on EU regulated markets since 2005 has contributed to the quality of financial reporting and to the development of the EU Single Market. Looking ahead, Mr Maijoor focuses on three challenges the need for companies to provide investors with clear and consistent information and to continue the efforts towards global adoption whilst regretting that there is limited prospect for broad adoption by the United States of America (USA) and Japan, two countries playing an important role in regulating international financial markets. Thirdly, Mr Maijoor emphasises that the consistent application of IFRS is essential within a Single Market; this can be achieved through equipping national supervisory authorities with sufficient and similar tools to detect and remedy non-compliance with IFRS principles but also the need for a new instrument that would allow to intervene when a national authority would diverge from the views of its EU peers.
18/12/2014 2014/1378 Opinion- Investment-based crowdfunding Opinion PDF
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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 this document.
18/12/2014 2014/1560 Advice- Investment-based crowdfunding Final Report PDF
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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.
18/12/2014 2014/1568 Press Release- Investment-based crowdfunding needs EU-wide common approach , Press Release PDF
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The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published an Opinion along with an Advice on Investment-based crowdfunding. The Opinion clarifies the EU rules applicable to crowdfunding, while the Advice highlights issues for consideration by the EU institutions to achieve greater regulatory and supervisory convergence within the EU.The Opinion is addressed to the national competent authorities (NCA) and provides clarity on how crowdfunding business models fit within the existing EU regulatory framework. It outlines how existing EU rules are likely to apply to crowdfunding platforms, depending on the precise business model used. It also provides guidance to NCAs who may be considering how to regulate platforms operating outside the scope of the harmonised EU rules on the key risks inherent to crowdfunding and the key components of a regulatory regime to address them.The Advice, addressed to the EU institutions – Commission, Parliament and Council, highlights the concern that strong incentives currently exist for crowdfunding platforms to structure their business models to fall outside the scope of regulation and asks them to consider policy options to reduce these incentives. Avoiding regulation presents risks to investor protection and makes it harder for platforms to grow their businesses.Steven Maijoor, ESMA Chair, said: “ESMA’s aim is to enable crowdfunding to reach its potential as a source of finance, while ensuring that risks to users of crowdfunding platforms are identified and addressed in a proportionate and convergent way across the EU. “We believe that there are benefits both for investors as well as for platforms by operating inside rather than outside the regulated space. Opinion to National Competent AuthoritiesConsidering the diverse business models used within investment-based crowdfunding and depending on the precise structures used different EU legislation may apply. The Opinion sets out an analysis of how the main business models map across existing EU rules, e.g., the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID), the Prospectus Directive, the Directive for Alternative Investment Fund Managers (AIFMD) and other financial and banking regulations. In addition, the Opinion outlines what ESMA believes should be the key components of an appropriate regulatory regime for investment-based crowdfunding activities. ESMA’s Advice to the EU InstitutionsThe Advice to the EU institutions highlights gaps and issues in the current applicable regime where policymakers could consider taking action to ensure there is a regime protecting investors while also fit for purpose for crowdfunding platforms. These gaps and issues include: the impact of the Prospects Directive thresholds; capital requirements and the use of the MiFID optional exemption; and the potential development of a specific EU crowdfunding regime, in particular for those platforms that currently operate outside of the scope of MiFID The Opinion and Advice have been prepared in collaboration with and input from the European Banking Authority (EBA) on the regulation that falls within its scope of action, i.e. the Payment Services Directive, and constitute the first output of a co-ordinated programme of work with the next expected output being a publication by EBA on lending-based crowdfunding. In line with their respective remits, ESMA has focused on investment-based crowdfunding, while EBA has focused on lending-based crowdfunding.