ESMA Publishes Table Showing Compliance with its Guidelines Relating to Global Supervisory Co-Operation on AIFs

On June 20, ESMA published a table showing which competent authorities comply or intend to comply with its guidelines on the model MoU concerning consultation, cooperation and the exchange of information related to the supervision of the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD).

The table indicates that all member states have complied or intend to comply with the guidelines, with the exception of Slovenia (the guidelines are not applicable to Slovenia).  Table.

ESMA Updates Q&A on EMIR Implementation

On June 23, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published an updated version of its Q&A on the implementation of EMIR. The updated Q&A includes updates on the reporting of collateral, reporting of valuations and OTC derivatives novations.  Q&A.

European Trade Associations Call for Urgent Action to Incorporate ESA Regulations in EEA Agreement

The European Banking Federation (EBF) has published joint letters (dated June 6, 2014) to be sent to the European Commission and to the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) signed by the EBF, the European Fund Management Association (EFAMA), the European Savings and Retail Banking Group (ESBG), the Federation of European Securities Exchanges (FESE) and Insurance Europe.

The trade associations call on the Commission and EFTA to find an urgent solution to ensure that the ESA Regulations are included in the EEA Agreement and warn of potential disruption to the single market in financial services.  The trade associations suggest that there is a risk that EEA member states will be transformed into third countries for the purpose of EU financial services legislation, which will impose new regulatory and organizational requirements for companies that have established branches in EEA member states.

The letter summarizes concerns that were raised in a position paper published in April 2014 by Finance Norway, which analyzed the potential risks of delaying the inclusion of the ESA Regulation in the EEA Agreement.  Position Paper.

Council of the EU Agrees General Approach on Long-Term Investment Funds Regulation

On June 25, the Council of the EU published a press release announcing that it has agreed to a general approach on the proposed Regulation on European Long-Term Investment Funds (ELTIF Regulation). The incoming Italian Presidency of the Council has been invited to start negotiating with the European Parliament, on the basis of the general approach, to enable adoption of the ELTIF Regulation at first reading.  Press release.

Square Peg Round Hole: Reforms Needed to Revive Italian Project Finance

The recent placement of project bonds to finance Belgium’s A11 motorway made Italian lawyers wonder when it will be possible to structure a similar transaction under Italy’s national project bond laws. The asset class was introduced in Italy two years ago, with the aim of financing infrastructures and public interest services through bond markets rather relying solely on bank lending. Please click here for the full article released by IFLR.

Basel Committee on Banking Supervision Publishes Consultative Document on Guidelines Concerning Weak Banks

On June 18, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) published a consultative document on supervisory guidelines for identifying and dealing with weak banks.  The guidelines are intended to assist bank supervisors and include information on supervisory preconditions for dealing with weak banks; techniques to identify weak banks; preparatory work on recovery; and corrective measures.

The BCBS has requested comments on the consultative document by September 19, 2014.  Document.

Council of EU Agrees on General Approach on the Fourth Money Laundering Directive and Revised Wire Transfer Regulation

On June 15, the Council of the EU published a note (dated June 13, 2014) outlining the general approach of the Presidency of the Council of the EU to the proposed Fourth Money Laundering Directive (MLD 4).

On June 15, the Council of the EU also published a note (dated June 13, 2014) outlining the general approach of the Presidency of the Council of the EU to the proposed revised Wire Transfer Regulation (WTR).

On June 18, the Council of the EU published a press release stating that its Permanent Representatives Committee has called upon the incoming Italian presidency to begin negotiations with the European Parliament to adopt MLD 4 and the revised WTR.

MLD 4 contains, among other things, specific provisions concerning the identification of beneficial ownership.  The proposed directive and regulation are intended to ensure consistency between EU anti-money laundering rules and the international approach.  MLD4 ApproachWTR ApproachPress Release.

ESMA Publishes Its Annual Report

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published its annual report for 2013 on its website.  The annual report highlights the objectives of ESMA through 2013 and the extent to which it achieved those objectives.  Report.

Bank of England Launches New Framework to Test for Cyber Vulnerabilities

On June 10, the Bank of England launched a new framework to help identify areas where the financial sector could be vulnerable to sophisticated cyber-attack. The new framework is called CBEST and was launched in May 2014.

CBEST uses intelligence from Government and accredited commercial providers to identify potential attackers to a particular financial institution.  It then replicates the techniques these potential attackers use in order to test the extent to which they may be successful in penetrating the defenses of the institution.  Participation will be voluntary, although it is expected that take-up will be significant.  Press Release.  

ESMA Chair Speech on Systemic Risks and Current Policies in EU Fund Industry

On June 10, the Chair of the European Securities Markets Authority (ESMA) gave a speech on systemic risks and current policies in the EU fund industry, which considers whether asset managers can be too big to fail.

Among other topics, the speech outlined ESMA’s priorities on the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD), bearing in mind that the transitional period for full implementation comes to an end in July 2014. ESMA is looking to develop its existing Q&A document, and invites comments on any further topics stakeholders would like to see included in it.  Speech.