ESMA regulates securities financing activities by setting out reporting requirements, data access, collection, verification, aggregation, comparison and publication of data on securities financing transactions (SFTs) by trade repositories (TRs). The Securities Financing Transactions Regulation (SFTR) is the main piece of EU legislation in this area.
Securities Financing Transactions Regulation refers to transactions that are related to, inter alia, the build-up of leverage, pro-cyclicality, liquidity and maturity transformation, and interconnectedness in the financial markets. SFTs include:
- a repurchase transaction;
- securities or commodities lending and securities or commodities borrowing;
- a buy-sell back transaction or sell-buy back transaction;
- a margin lending transaction.
SFTR responds to the need to enhance the transparency of securities financing markets and thus of the financial system. The Regulation was published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 23 December 2015.
In order to ensure equivalent conditions of competition and international convergence, SFTR follows the FSB Policy Framework and creates a Union framework under which details of SFTs can be efficiently reported to trade repositories (TRs) and information on SFTs and total return swaps is disclosed to investors in collective investment undertakings.
It has been the legislators’ intention that SFTR leverages substantially on key aspects of EMIR such as, among others, the establishment of the reporting obligation, the registration requirements for TRs and the establishment of levels of access to data, building on the sufficiency of some of the controls in place for the already registered TRs.
In addition to laying down rules on the transparency of SFTs and on the operation of TRs, SFTR also introduces new rules on the transparency of collective investment undertakings towards investors in periodical reports and pre-contractual documents.
The new rules on transparency provide for the reporting of details regarding SFTs concluded by all market participants, whether they are financial or non-financial entities, including the composition of the collateral, whether the collateral is available for reuse or has been reused, the substitution of collateral at the end of the day and the haircuts applied.
SFTR mandates reporting of all SFTs to TRs. TRs centrally collect and maintain the records of SFTs. They play a central role in enhancing the transparency of SFTs markets and reducing risks to financial stability.
Rules and guidance on implementing SFTR provisions
ESMA has developed detailed rules and guidance on reporting, registering, and accessing data.
What needs to be reported to TRs:
Legal entity identifier (LEI) codes should be used to identify counterparties which are legal entities. LEI can be issued by any of the Local Operating Units (LOU) of the global entity identifier system (GLEIS).
When reporting, counterparties should take also into account the Guidelines on reporting, the validation rules applied by TRs, as well as the ISO 20022 XML schemas to ensure that reporting is performed according to the SFTR regime, including the specifications of the Technical Standards on reporting and data collection, verification, aggregation, comparison and publication of data.
Key elements for the correct functioning of the reporting regime under SFTR and ensuring the quality of SFT reporting are (i) the validation by TRs of the data submissions by the counterparties that are subject to the reporting obligation, (ii) the reconciliation of data between TRs and (iii) the response mechanisms.
- Regulatory technical standards on the collection, verification, aggregation, comparison and publication of data.
The direct and immediate access to SFT data is essential to allow authorities to fulfil their responsibilities and mandates, whereas the adequate establishment of access levels for authorities ensures the confidentiality of the trade repository data.
- Regulatory technical standards on access to details of SFTs.
13 December 2018 – European Commission endorses the RTS
22 March 2019 – Technical standards are published in the Official journal
11 April 2019 – Technical standards enter into force
12 months after the date of entry into force – reporting obligation for Credit Institution, Investment Firms, and relevant third-country entities
15 months after the date of entry into force – Reporting obligation for CCPs and CSDs, and relevant third-country entities
18 months after the date of entry into force – Insurance companies, Funds, IORP and relevant third-country entities
21 months after the date of entry into force – Reporting obligation for non-financial counterparties