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Last seats available: join the #ESMA2017 Conference next week in Paris, France.

“The State of European Financial Markets”

Tuesday, 17 October 2017, 9am – 5pm CET

The Westin Grand Vendôme,

3 Rue De Castiglione, 75001 Paris, France

2017 will be a pivotal year for financial markets. The ESMA Conference 2017 will be a unique gathering of political decision makers, global regulators and high-profile financial industry leaders. Around 350 participants will discuss the state of European financial markets – including the key issues currently affecting the financial sector such as the macroeconomic environment, regulation, investor protection, innovation and last but not least Brexit.

ESMA invites you to its conference to reflect on the state of Europe’s financial markets together with its key speakers:

Leading regulators:

  • Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice President of the European Commission responsible for the Euro and Social Dialogue as well as for Financial Stability, Financial Services and the Capital Markets Union
  • Roberto Gualtieri, MEP, Chair of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON), European Parliament
  • Ashley Alder, Chair of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO)
  • Steven Maijoor, Chair of the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA)
  • Anneli Tuominen, Vice-Chair ESMA and Director General of the Finanssivalvonta (FIN-FSA)

Industry leaders:

  • Xavier Rolet, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the London Stock Exchange (LSE)
  • Matthieu Duncan, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Natixis Asset Management
  • Hans-Ole Jochumsen, Vice-Chair NASDAQ
  • Elizabeth Corley, Vice-Chair Allianz Global Advisors
  • Thomas Book, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Eurex Frankfurt AG and Eurex Zürich AG

You can reserve your seat by registering here.

Steven Maijoor, Chair of the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), has delivered the following statement to the Economic & Monetary Affair Committee (ECON) at the European Parliament as part of the annual hearing of the chairs of the three European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs).



In his statement Mr. Maijoor focused on ESMA work in preparation for the implementation of MiFID II:

“MIFID II implementation highlights that the single rulebook needs to be complemented by supervisory convergence measures. Therefore, in the past 12 months ESMA issued a large number of guidelines and Q&As – often in response to demands from market participants and National Competent Authorities (NCAs) – to ensure coherent and consistent application of the rules coming into force.

“A distinctive part of this convergence work relates to ESMA’s efforts to strengthen consumer protection, which was clearly one of the main aims of the entire MiFID reform. In addition, ESMA has published specific Opinions on commodity position limits and pre-trade transparency waivers – which number in the hundreds. Finally, together with the NCAs we have set up complex IT systems for trade reporting to facilitate the technical delivery of the legal requirements.”

As well as the general readiness of regulators for the start date:

“I remain optimistic about our overall readiness to operate within the new framework in less than three months from now. However, one should not underestimate the size and complexity of this project, and thus the risk of potential glitches in the initial operational period. ESMA does acknowledge the multiple challenges for everyone involved, and will address all issues with available tools as the implementation progresses.

“That said I would also like to draw your attention to resource constraints at ESMA’s end, which require some prioritisation of tasks and projects. One example of this is our recent agreement with NCAs to go-live with the new pre-trade transparency and position limits regimes as of January 2018, with certain ESMA Opinions to come only in the months afterwards, where necessary.”

UK withdrawal from the European Union

He also spoke about ESMA’s work on preparing for the withdrawal of the UK from the European Union:

“This brings me to some Brexit-focused considerations that I would like to share with you, given they relate to all of ESMA’s main activities. Let me start with saying that the reality of certain market participants needing to re-locate from the UK to the EU-27 in order to maintain Single Market access sparked some concerns about regulatory arbitrage between the EU-27 Member States in order to attract this business. A timely response was required, and ESMA used its currently available tools to react. We issued one general Opinion in May and three sector-specific ones in July for investment firms, secondary markets and asset management, and tackled key aspects of outsourcing and delegation to third countries. We relied strictly on existing EU legislation, and aimed at providing appropriate guidance to the NCAs, which are dealing with requests from re-locating entities. Moreover, in the interest of supervisory and regulatory convergence, ESMA launched the Supervisory Cooperation Network, offering a forum for NCAs to discuss individual relocation cases on an anonymous basis.

“Obviously, Brexit may pose significant financial stability risks, in particular in the event that the UK would leave without any arrangements in place. ESMA has been looking closely at the areas where a cliff-edge effect could mean higher risks for investors and markets as a whole, and, together with other relevant authorities, is working on possible mitigating actions. In addition, as a direct supervisor of Credit Rating Agencies and Trade Repositories within the EU, with a number of entities headquartered in London, ESMA requests appropriate contingency plans from individual supervised entities. ESMA will maintain an ongoing dialogue with stakeholders to reduce as much as possible the risk of disruptions under any scenario.

3rd Country related issues

“Brexit also triggered broader political discussions, including in this Committee, as to whether the current 3rd country equivalence model is fit for purpose. ESMA has also recently commenced its work on reviewing its Guidelines for Endorsement of 3rd country Credit Rating Agencies. However, it is clear that some significant legislative changes need to be considered soon, potentially in a horizontal manner. The first steps have been made by the European Commission in relation to the EMIR Regulation, and I welcome the proposal to assign certain supervisory powers over 3rd country CCPs to ESMA, in particular in relation to CCPs having a significant impact on the stability of the EU financial market.

“Also, the recent ESAs review proposal of the European Commission would not only require ESMA to monitor the equivalence-related developments on an ongoing basis, but also become the direct supervisor of certain key 3rd country benchmarks and prospectuses. In the same vein, assigning supervisory powers for ESMA towards non-EU trading venues could be considered, as suggested in ESMA’s consultation response from earlier this year. I believe that such a step to centralise the third country supervision would bring a number of benefits for the Union as a whole, and I would be delighted to have an opportunity to discuss this with you and other elements of the ESAs review proposal in the coming weeks and months.”

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published its 2018 Work Programme (WP), which sets out its priorities and areas of focus for 2018 in support of its mission to enhance investor protection and promote stable and orderly financial markets.

The 2018 WP takes into account ESMA’s Strategic Orientation 2016-2020 and reflects the shift in focus of ESMA’s work, from building the single rulebook, towards two key activities: supervisory convergence and assessing risks. In addition, the possible changes proposed under the ESAs and CCP Reviews and ongoing planning for the UK’s exit from the European Union (EU) present a changing environment for ESMA. This will require it to be prepared to adapt and reprioritise the 2018 WP as needed.

For 2018, the key areas of focus under ESMA’s activities of supervisory convergence, assessing risks, single rulebook and direct supervision will be:

  • Providing guidance and promoting the consistent application of MiFID II and MiFIR by market participants and National Competent Authorities (NCAs);

  • Ensuring the quality, integration, usability and transparency of the data that ESMA collects;

  • Contributing to the development of Level 2 measures in relation to the revised Prospectus regime; and

  • Enhancing the effectiveness and lasting impact of supervisory activities at individual credit rating agencies (CRA) and trade repositories (TR) level.

Steven Maijoor, ESMA Chair, said:

“ESMA will focus on promoting supervisory convergence and assessing risks in 2018 with a particular emphasis on promoting the consistent application of MiFID II and MiFIR. This reflects both the importance of ensuring a smooth transition to the new MiFID regime and our shift as a supervisory authority from building the single rulebook to ensuring its application through convergent supervisory practices across the European Union.”

“Additionally, we will need to be alive to the risks and challenges presented by developments regarding ESMA’s mandate under the ESAs and CCP Reviews, as well the preparation required for the UK’s departure from the European Union. We will be flexible in adapting and reprioritising the Work Programme to this changing environment”

“The activities set out in the 2018 Work Programme, will contribute to ESMA meeting its responsibilities in enhancing investor protection and promoting stable and orderly markets.”

Work Programme 2018

ESMA’s priorities and key areas of work for 2018:

  1. Promoting supervisory convergence - Continue to support sound, efficient and consistent implementation of new supervisory requirements, with particular emphasis on MiFID/R; complete IT systems either required by legislation or which increase ESMA’s and/or NCAs’ efficiency; and develop and apply convergence tools, including peer reviews and stress tests;

  2. Assessing risks to investors, markets and financial stability - Enhance analytical input into ESMA’s operational work, including stress tests, impact assessments, product assessments and financial stability monitoring; and establish adequate data management and statistics capabilities;

  3. Completing the single rulebook for EU financial markets - Complete technical standards and technical advice related to key legislative developments, e.g. Securitisation, Prospectus, MMF, EMIR Review; and maintain the existing Single Rulebook; and

  4. Directly supervising specific financial entities (CRAs and TRs) - Intensify supervision to ensure compliance with the spirit of the regulation. A small increase in the number of entities to supervise, particularly TRs, is expected in 2018.

The overall budget for 2018 is expected to be €42,051,386 with a projected staff of 232.

ESMA maintains focus on supervisory convergence and risk assessment in 2018

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published its 2018 Work Programme (WP), which sets out its priorities and areas of focus for 2018 in support of its mission to enhance investor protection and promote stable and orderly financial markets.

For 2018, the key areas of focus under ESMA’s activities of supervisory convergence, assessing risks, single rulebook and direct supervision will be: