ESMA Publishes Responses to Consultations on MAR

On October 17, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published responses that it received to consultations published in July 2014 relating to the Market Abuse Regulation (Regulation 596/2014) (MAR) on: (i) draft technical advice on possible delegated acts concerning MAR; and (ii) draft regulatory technical standards (RTS) and implementing technical standards (ITS) on MAR.  Response.

ESMA Securities and Markets Stakeholder Group Responds to ESMA Consultations on Draft Technical Standards and Technical Advice on the Market Abuse Regulation

On October 13, the Securities and Markets Stakeholder Group (SMSG) of the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA)published its response to the July consultations published by ESMA on draft technical standards and draft regulatory standards (RTS),implementing technical standards (ITS) on the Market Abuse Regulation (Regulation 596/2014) (MAR) and draft technical advice on possible delegated acts concerning MAR.

SMSG has provided, in its response, advice to ESMA on the nine topics covered in the ESMA consultations including identifying key issues in respect of market soundings, insider lists, investment recommendations and manager transactions. The SMSG also sets out general comments on ESMA’s approach to building a single rulebook on market abuse.

The closing date for responses on the ESMA consultations was October 15.  SMSG Response.

ESMA Final Draft RTS for Central Clearing of Interest Rate Swaps under EMIR

On October 2, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published a report containing final draft regulatory technical standards (RTS) for the central clearing of interest rate swaps (IRS) under EMIR. The four IRS classes that will be subject to central clearing are basis swaps, fixed-to-float swaps, forward rate agreements and overnight index swaps, each denominated in a range of currencies.  Report.

ESMA Compliance Table Relating to MiFID Remuneration

On October 7, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published a guidelines compliance table relating to its guidelines on remuneration policies and practices under the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID).

The table lists the jurisdictions whose national competent authorities (NCAs) have informed ESMA whether they comply or intend to comply with the guidelines. The only jurisdiction in the table listed as not complying is Germany. There is a comment in the table that states that the German NCA (BaFin) does not entirely comply with the guidelines insofar as it excludes from their scope any remuneration agreed within the scope of application of collective agreements. Guidelines Compliance Table.

ESMA Publishes Guidelines on the EU Implementation of CPSS-IOSCO Principles

On September 4, ESMA published the translation of guidelines and recommendations on implementing the principles for financial market infrastructures in respect of central counterparties (i.e., clearing houses) published by the Committee on Payment and Settlement Systems (CPSS) and the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) in April 2012.

The purpose of the guidelines and recommendations is to ensure that EMIR and the regulatory technical standards made under it are fully harmonized and compliant with the CPSS and IOSCO principles.  This will bring EU clearing houses into line with international standards. Guidelines.

ESMA Publishes Responses to Consultation on the Clearing Obligation Under EMIR

On August 19, ESMA published a list of responses received in respect of its first consultation on the clearing obligation relating to draft regulatory technical standards (RTS) for the clearing of interest rate swaps under EU Regulation 648/2012 on OTC derivative transactions, central counterparties and trade repositories (EMIR).  The first consultation was published on July 11 and proposed that basis swaps, fixed-to-float interest rate swaps, forward rate agreements and overnight index swaps should be subject to central clearing.

ESMA will use the responses received to draft its final RTS which will then be subject to endorsement by the European Commission. Responses.

ESMA Publish Report on Guidelines and Recommendations Relating Principles for Financial Market Infrastructures in Respect of Central Counterparties

On August 5, ESMA published a report setting out guidelines and recommendations for the implementation of the principles for financial market infrastructures in respect of central counterparties (CCPs) published by the Committee on Payment and Settlement Systems (CPSS) and the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO).

The guidelines and recommendations apply to competent authorities and trade repositories when carrying out their duties under EU Regulation 648/2012 on OTC derivative transactions, central counterparties and trade repositories (EMIR).  As is explained in the report, the purpose of the guidelines and recommendations is to ensure that EMIR, and the regulatory technical standards made under it, is fully harmonized and compliant with the CPSS and IOSCO principles.  Report.

ESMA Discussion Paper on Calculation of Counterparty Risk by UCITS for OTC Derivatives Subject to EMIR Clearing

On July 23, ESMA published a discussion paper on how the limits on counterparty risk in centrally cleared OTC derivative transactions under the UCITS IV Directive should be calculated, and whether the same rules for both OTC transactions that are centrally cleared and for exchange-traded derivatives (ETDs) should be applied.

The UCITS IV Directive allows UCITS to invest in both ETDs and OTC derivatives, but only investments in OTC derivatives are currently subject to counterparty risk exposure limits.

The consultation closes on October 22, 2014.  ESMA will use the feedback to determine its final views on the appropriate way forward, including a possible recommendation to the European Commission on a modification of UCITS IV.  Discussion Paper.

Central Securities Depositories Regulation (CSDR) Update

On July 23, the Council of the EU published a press release announcing that it had adopted the CSDR on improving securities settlement and regulating central securities depositories.

The European Commission published a letter on July 23 (dated June 23, 2014) to ESMA setting out a provisional request for technical advice concerning possible delegated acts relating to certain settlement discipline measures and aspects relating to supervisory co-operation under the CSDR.

The letter attaches two formal mandates for technical advice to assist the Commission in preparing delegated acts as required by Articles 7 (penalties for settlement fails) and 14 (supervisory co-operation) of the CSDR.

The commission has requested ESMA to provide its technical advice nine months after the CSDR enters into force.  Press ReleaseLetterFormal Mandates.

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.