Benchmarks

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), in coordination with National Competent Authorities (NCAs), is closely monitoring the impact of the Ukraine crisis on financial markets and is prepared to use its relevant tools to ensure the orderly functioning of markets, financial stability and investor protection. This is part of the European Union’s overall response to the tragic consequences of Russia’s military aggression.

ESMA provides a forum for supervisors to discuss questions and coordinate responses arising from the current situation. To ensure stakeholders are adequately informed, ESMA outlines below its specific supervisory and coordination activity, as well as recommendations to financial market participants:

Supervisory and coordinating activities

  • CCPs – ESMA is closely monitoring CCP related volatility and margin developments in energy and commodities market segments. It is also in close contact with NCAs focussing on the impact on clearing members and their clients in those markets;
  • Credit Rating Agencies – ESMA continues to actively engage with CRAs to ensure sufficient transparency around ratings and is monitoring the impact of sanctions on CRAs’ operations in close cooperation with other regulators;
  • Benchmarks – ESMA is engaging with its supervised benchmarks administrators to verify the impact of market developments and sanctions on the provided benchmarks. It is also engaging and coordinating with NCAs regarding the impact on benchmarks provided by the administrators under NCAs' supervisory remit;
  • Investment Management – ESMA has reinforced its coordination role by monitoring investment funds, organising frequent exchanges with NCAs to analyse market developments and supervisory risks linked to the crisis, focusing on liquidity issues and the use of liquidity management tools (LMTs) and monitoring issues relating to valuation of assets and potential suspension of redemptions;
  • Secondary markets – ESMA and NCAs are monitoring the market situation, and ESMA is assisting NCAs with the consistent implementation of sanctions by market operators including the suspension of trading in instruments by venues;
  • Central Securities Depositories – ESMA is monitoring, in coordination with NCAs, the impact of sanctions on CSDs’ operations and assisting with their implementation in a consistent manner. It is also consolidating data on the levels of settlement fails as one of the indicators to monitor market developments;
  • Cyber Security – ESMA is facilitating the collection and sharing of information and experiences among NCAs regarding cyber incidents; and
  • Risk assessment – ESMA continuously monitors the risks to market participants and financial stability and exchanges its risk assessment regularly with policy makers and authorities at national, EU and international level.

Market Recommendations

  • Sanctions Compliance – financial market participants should ensure they comply with the relevant EU sanctions and monitor for any further restrictions. The European Commission (EC) will provide clarity and answer queries on the scope and implementation of these and ESMA is supporting the EC in collecting such queries;
  • Market disclosure – issuers should disclose as soon as possible any inside information concerning the impacts of the crisis on their fundamentals, prospects, and financial situation in line with their transparency obligations under the Market Abuse Regulation, unless the conditions for a delayed disclosure are met; and
  • Financial Reporting – issuers should provide transparency, to the extent possible on both a qualitative and quantitative basis, on the actual and foreseeable direct and indirect impacts of the crisis on their business activities, exposures to the affected markets, supply chains, financial situation and economic performance in their 2021 year-end financial report if these have not yet been finalised and in the annual shareholders’ meeting or otherwise in their interim financial reporting disclosures.

Further information:

David Cliffe
Team Leader - Communications
Tel:   +33 (0)1 58 36 43 24
Email: press@esma.europa.eu

Sarah Edwards
Communications Officer
Tel: +33 (0)1 58 36 64 23
Email: press@esma.europa.eu

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) is since 1 January the supervisor of European Union (EU) critical benchmarks administrators and EU recognised third-country administrators under the Benchmarks Regulation. 

Last week ESMA also took over the chairmanship of the EURIBOR College from the Belgian Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA), which is comprised of the supervisors of all credit institutions contributing to EURIBOR. The first meeting under ESMA was held on 27 January.

Verena Ross, Chair, said:

“It is an honour for ESMA to take on its new Benchmark supervisory mandate.  One of our key priorities is the effective supervision of EURIBOR, which is a critical benchmark due to its widespread use by EU market participants and the direct exposure of millions of Europeans through their mortgages and loans referencing EURIBOR.

“ESMA’s new supervisory role will contribute, in coordination with National Authorities, to further strengthen the supervision of critical EU benchmarks and third country non-EU benchmark administrators and ensure they meet the standards and objectives established by the Benchmarks Regulation.

"Finally, I want to thank the FSMA for its work and the smooth handover of the College chairmanship. We look forward to building on their pioneering supervisory approach.”

There are currently eight administrators under ESMA’s direct supervision, including the European Money Markets Institute (EMMI), which provides the EU critical benchmark EURIBOR, and seven recognised third-country administrators. The register of administrators and third country benchmarks has recently been updated to reflect ESMA’s new mandate

ESMA aims to establish a data-driven, risk-based and outcome focused supervisory framework for the administrators of benchmarks under its supervision. It will engage actively with administrators, the supervised contributors to EURIBOR, users of benchmarks and their relevant competent authorities to ensure the smooth and orderly functioning of the financial markets as well as to protect investors and safeguard financial stability in the EU.

ESMA is currently engaging with third-country administrators seeking recognition in the EU. If you wish to apply for recognition in the EU please use the following email address: Supervision-BMR@esma.europa.eu. The form and content of the application for recognition is detailed in the Delegated Regulation (EU) 2018/1645.

ESMA’s 2022 Annual Work Programme sets out the areas of supervisory focus for 2022 under the Benchmarks Regulation.

 

More information:

Solveig Kleiveland

Email: press@esma.europa.eu

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