The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has carried out a study of the EU market in structured retail products, from an investor protection perspective.

The research breaks down the EU market geographically into national retail markets and found a high degree of heterogeneity in the types of product sold. 

The report identified that although a wide array of different structured products are available to retail investors across the EU, each national market is concentrated around a small number of common types, namely capital protection products, yield enhancement products and participation products.

The analysis was carried out both at an EU-wide level and also specifically in the French, German and Italian retail markets, and suggests that the search for yield has been a common driver of several changes in the distribution of product types.

These products are a significant vehicle for household savings, however they remain complex and the net performance warrants a closer examination.

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has updated today its public register with the latest set of double volume cap (DVC) data under the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II).

Today’s updates include DVC data and calculations for the period of 1 August 2017 to 31 July 2018 as well as updates to already published DVC periods. 

The number of new breaches is 142: 126 equities for the 8% cap, applicable to all trading venues, and 16 equities for the 4% cap, that applies to individual trading venues. Trading under the waivers for all new instruments in breach of the DVC thresholds should be suspended from 12 September 2018 to 11 March 2019. The instruments for which caps already existed from previous periods will continue to be suspended.

In addition, ESMA highlights that some trading venues in the meantime have submitted corrected data that affects past DVC publications. For a total number of 4 instruments, this means that previously identified breaches of the 8% and 4% caps prove to be incorrect. For these instruments, the suspensions of trading under the waivers should be lifted.

As of 7 September, there is a total of 674 instruments suspended.

Please be aware that ESMA does not update DVC files older than 6 months. In other words, suspensions that were expected to be triggered in the past months due to the publication of the DVC results in the files related to the periods 1 January 2017 to 31 December 2017 and 1 February 2017 to 31 January 2018 cannot be lifted anymore.

In addition, the “Expected suspension end date” for suspensions that are active as of 7 September 2018 has been changed whenever the suspension period was equal to 6 months and 1 day. The suspensions are expected to start before 8:00 am CET on the “Suspension start date” and terminate at the close of trading day on the “Suspension end date”.

Last but not least, as communicated on 9 August, the disclaimer of the relevant ISINs were corrected in the DVC Results Files covering the periods 1 January 2017 to 31 December 2017 and 1 February 2017 to 31 January 2018.

Background

MiFID II introduced the DVC to limit the amount of dark trading in equities allowed under the reference price waiver and the negotiated transaction waiver. The DVC is calculated per instrument (ISIN) based on the rolling average of trading in that instrument over the last 12 months.

ESMA has published the responses received to the Consultation Paper no.6 on the Clearing Obligation under EMIR.

To view the responses, please click the link below:

Consultation Paper no.6 on the Clearing Obligation under EMIR​

 

 

Today, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has moved its register for benchmark administrators and third country benchmarks to the ESMA registers database.

Background

In accordance with Article 36 of the Benchmarks Regulation, ESMA started publishing the list of benchmark administrators and third country benchmarks on 3 January 2018 (ESMA’s first working day of 2018). So far, ESMA has published the latest register information on its website daily (ESMA working days) and has made it available for download in csv format.

As of 7 September 2018, the public register interface has become available under https://registers.esma.europa.eu/publication/As for all ESMA registers, the portal offers machine-to-machine services to large scale organisations, including a set of web services for retrieval of data maintained in ESMA Registers repositories. For more information, please refer to https://registers.esma.europa.eu/publication/helpApp

European Union (EU) securities markets, infrastructures and investors face new risks in the form of high volatility, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) said today in its latest Trends, Risks, and Vulnerabilities (TRV) Report (No 2, 2018). ESMA also re-iterated its concerns about cyber risk and Brexit risks for business operations.

The TRV, which covers the first half of 2018, finds that overall risk levels for the EU’s securities markets remained stable but at high levels for most risk categories. Equity and bond volatility spikes in February and May reflected the growing sensitivities. ESMA also sees a deterioration in outstanding corporate debt ratings, and in corporate and sovereign bond liquidity.

The TRV identifies the following key risks in EU securities markets:

—     Market risk remains at a very high level accompanied by very high risk in securities markets and elevated risk for investors, infrastructures and services. The outcome of the Brexit negotiations remains at this stage the most important political risk for the EU;

—     Credit risk and liquidity risk remains high with a deterioration in outstanding corporate debt ratings, and deteriorating measures of corporate and sovereign bond liquidity; and

—     Operational risk continues to be elevated with negative outlook, as cyber threats and Brexit-related risks to business operations remain major concerns.  

—     Outlook: Going forward, EU financial markets can be expected to become increasingly sensitive to mounting economic and political uncertainty from diverse sources, such as weakening economic fundamentals, transatlantic trade relations, emerging market capital flows, Brexit negotiations, and others. Assessing business exposures and ensuring adequate hedging against these risks will be a key concern for market participants in the coming months.

Finally, investor risks persist across a range of products. Under the MiFIR product intervention powers, ESMA restricted the provision of contracts for differences (CFDs) and prohibited the provision of binary options to retail investors. The new measures started to apply from 1 August 2018 and 2 July 2018, respectively.

Next steps

The TRV is published biannually, and examines the performance of securities markets, assessing both trends and risks in order to develop a comprehensive picture of systemic and macro-prudential risks in the EU, to assist both national and EU bodies in their risk assessments.  ESMA also updates its Risk Dashboard every quarter.

ESMA’s TRV contributes to promoting financial stability and enhancing consumer protection by regularly looking into cross-border and cross-sector trends, risks and vulnerabilities, both at the wholesale and retail level.

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published an Opinion in response to the European Commission’s (EC) proposed amendments of the technical standards on reporting under the Securities Financing Transactions Regulation (SFTR), which were notified to ESMA on 24 July 2018. 

ESMA has declined to amend the draft technical standards as proposed by the EC, which relate to provisions on the use of legal entity identifiers (LEI) for branches and unique transaction identifiers (UTI) for reporting to trade repositories, being of the view that the proposed amendments:

a)    will hinder the possibility to take into account international developments and reporting standards agreed at global level and risk timely alignment with international reporting standards;

b)    will deviate from and create inconsistency with the currently applicable EMIR reporting standards;

c)    will not provide certainty, clarity, predictability and consistency, which is essential for the market and public authorities in relation to reporting standards; and

d)    would result in a significantly extended timeline for the introduction of global standards in the EU.

ESMA has therefore not amended the draft technical standards.

ESMA’s Regulation requires it to adopt a formal opinion on proposed amendments to its draft technical standards by the EC within a six-week period. The draft technical standards may now be adopted or amended by the EC.

The three European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs) – EBA, EIOPA and ESMA – today published the results of their monitoring exercise on automation in financial advice. The Report shows that while the phenomenon of automation in financial advice seems to be slowly growing, the overall number of firms and customers involved is still quite limited. As the identified risks have not materialised and considering the limited growth of the phenomenon, the ESAs believe that no immediate action is necessary. 

Through this Report, the risks and benefits of this phenomenon, which had previously been identified by the ESAs have largely been confirmed by national competent authorities (NCAs) and remain valid.
 
In examining emerging business models, the ESAs found that automated services are being offered, through partnerships, by established financial intermediaries, rather than by pure FinTech firms. Additionally, some new trends are emerging such as the use of Big Data, chatbots and a broader range of products.
 
The ESAs concluded that given the overall importance of the topic, and the emergence of some ongoing changes to business models, a new monitoring exercise will be conducted if and when the development of the market and market risks warrant this work.

Background

Following the publication of the Report on Automation in Financial Advice in 2016, this new analysis has been carried out through a survey involving NCAs, on the evolution of 'automation in financial advice' in the securities, banking and insurance sectors over the past two years.

The Chair of the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), Steven Maijoor, has discussed Level 2 measures under the Securitisation Regulation with the European Parliament's Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) in Brussels today. 

In his introductory statement during the ECON scrutiny session, Mr. Maijoor focused on the main elements of ESMA’s recent activities under the EU Securitisation Regulation and gave an overview of ESMA’s remaining deliverables under this regulation in the upcoming months.

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) is seeking candidates to represent the interests of all types of financial markets stakeholders as members of its Securities Markets Stakeholders Group (SMSG) as first announced on 4 July. The call for expression of interest for membership in the SMSG will close on 6 September 2018.

The SMSG helps to facilitate consultation between ESMA and its stakeholders on ESMA’s areas of responsibility and provides technical advice on its policy development. This helps to ensure that stakeholders can contribute to the formulation of policy from the beginning of the process.

The SMSG was established under Article 37 of the ESMA Regulation and is composed of 30 members, representing consumers, users of financial services, financial market participants, academics, employees in the financial sector and SMEs. It meets on at least four occasions per year and twice with ESMA’s Board of Supervisors. 

Each Member of the SMSG serves for a period of two and a half years and can serve two consecutive terms.

The successful candidates will take up their roles in January 2019.

Application process

The call for expression of interest for membership in the SMSG is open to all those who represent stakeholders active in the European Union. The deadline for applications is 6 September 2018.

Relevant documents for the application can be found here. 

·         Call for Expression of Interest;

·         Application form; and

·         Renewal Procedure.

The applications should be accompanied by a CV, preferably in the Europass format. Candidates are also invited to provide a letter of motivation, clearly stating the reasons behind the application.   

Selection process

The details of the selection process are in the Call for Expression of Interest. 

The final decision on the composition of the SMSG is expected to be made by the ESMA Board of Supervisors in November 2018.

 

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