regulatory technical standards (RTS)

EBA Amends ITS on Benchmarking of Internal Approaches for 2018 Benchmarking Exercise

 

On May 4, 2017, the European Banking Authority (“EBA“) published an amended version of its implementing technical standards (“ITS“) on benchmarking of internal approaches under Article 78(8) of the CRD IV Directive (2013/36/EU) (EBA ITS 2017 02).

The final draft ITS are contained in a zip file that has been added to the EBA’s dedicated webpage on regulatory technical standards (RTS) and ITS on benchmarking portfolios. They are intended for use by the EBA and competent authorities in their 2018 assessment of internal approaches for credit and market risk. The ITS have been amended to reflect updates to the Single Rulebook. They also reflect updates to the benchmarking portfolios that were necessary to facilitate the 2018 benchmarking exercise for both credit and market risk so that they remain relevant for supervisors.

The amendments are expected to apply to the submission of initial market valuation data in November 2017 and of other market and credit risk data in April 2018. The EBA has submitted the updated ITS to the European Commission, but the Commission has not yet adopted them.

The EBA aims to annually update the ITS to ensure future benchmarking exercises are relevant and successful.

ESAs and IOSCO Publish Statements on Variation of Margin Exchange under EMIR

 

On February 23, 2017, the Joint Committee of European Supervisory Authorities (“ESAs“) published a statement on variation margin exchange under the EMIR regulatory technical standards (“RTS“) on risk mitigation techniques for uncleared over-the-counter derivative contracts under Article 11(15) of the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (“EMIR“). The International Organization of Securities and Commissions (“IOSCO“) has also published a related statement.

The statement responds to industry requests relating to operational challenges in meeting the deadline of March 1, 2017, for exchanging variation margin, the effect of which will be experienced particularly by smaller counterparties.

Neither the ESAs nor competent authorities (“CAs“) have the power to disapply directly applicable EU legalization. As a result, any further delays of the application of the EU rules would formally need to be implemented through EU legislation, which the ESAs state is not possible due to the lengthy process for adopting EU legislation.

The ESAs outline their expectations of smaller counterparties as follows:

“The ESAs expect CAs to generally apply their risk-based supervisory powers in their day-to-day enforcement of applicable legislation. This approach entails that CAs can take into account the size of the exposure to the counterparty plus its default risk, and that participants must document the steps taken toward full compliance and put in place alternative arrangements to ensure that the risk of non-compliance is contained, such as using existing Credit Support Annexes to exchange variation margins. This approach does not entail a general forbearance, but a case‑by‑case assessment from the CAs on the degree of compliance and progress. In any case, the ESAs and CAs expect that the difficulties will be solved in the coming few months and that transactions concluded on or after March 1, 2017, remain subject to the obligation to exchange variation margin.”

The statement points out that in 2015, the IOSCO had already granted a nine-month delay based on similar arguments from the industry. The ESAs comment that it is unfortunate that the financial industry has not prepared for the implementation. The ESAs had previously expressed concern about the delayed adoption of the then draft RTS.

In its statement, IOSCO explains that some market participants have faced difficulty in completing the necessary credit support documentation and operational processes to settle variation margin in accordance with the requirements. However, IOSCO expects all affected parties to make every effort to fulfill the necessary variation margin requirements by the deadlines. IOSCO adds that it believes that relevant IOSCO members should consider taking appropriate measures available to them to ensure fair and orderly markets during the introduction and application of such variation margin requirements.

The European Commission (EC) adopted Delegated Regulation 648/2012 supplementing EMIR with the RTS in October 2016. The Joint Committee of ESAs submitted the final draft RTS to the Commission in March 2016.

EBA Publishes Final Draft RTS Report Specifying Requirements on More Secure Customer Authentication

 

On February 23, 2017, the European Banking Authority (“EBA“) published a report setting out its final draft regulatory technical standards (“RTS“) on strong customer authentication and common and secure communication under Article 98 of the Directive on payment services in the internal market (“PSD2“).

The RTS were developed in close cooperation with the European Central Bank (“ECB“) and consulted on by the EBA in August 2016. The key points raised in the consultation related to the scope and technologically neutral requirements of the draft RTS, the exemptions, including scope, thresholds and the request of many respondents for an exemption for transactions identified as low risk, access to payment accounts by third-party providers and the requirements around the information communicated.

The EBA states that it had to make difficult trade-offs between the various objectives of PSD2, including enhancing security, encouraging competition, allowing for technology and business‑model neutrality, contributing to the integration of payments in the EU, protecting consumers, facilitating innovation and enhancing customer convenience.

There was extensive input to the consultation paper. The EBA summarizes responses in section 4 of the report and provides its assessment as to whether changes have been made to the RTS as a result of the response.

The final draft RTS are set out in section 3 of the report. The draft will be submitted to the European Commission (EC), after which it will be subject to scrutiny by the European Parliament and the Council of the EU before being published in the Official Journal of the European Union. The RTS will apply 18 months after their adoption by the Commission as a delegated act. The EBA states that this suggests an application date of the RTS in November 2018 at the earliest.

EBA Requests European Commission to Revise Deadlines for the Submission of Certain Draft Technical Standards Under the CRD IV and the CRR

 

On January 3, 2017, the EBA published a letter (dated December 23, 2016) that was sent to the Director-General Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union (“FISMA“), by Andrea Enria, EBA Chairman, requesting the revision of deadlines for the submission of certain draft technical standards required under the CRD IV and the CRR.

In the letter, the EBA states that it cannot deliver on all the mandates required under the CRD IV and the CRR due to a “significant workload” and “considerable resources constraints” and goes on to request submission within new time limits for the following mandates, which were due to be delivered by the end of December 2016:

  • Regulatory technical standards (“RTS”) and implementing technical standards (ITS) on the authorization of credit institutions. The EBA currently expects to be able to accomplish these mandates during 2017, most likely around mid-2017.
  • RTS on consolidation methods under Article 382(5) of the CRR. The EBA currently expects to deliver on this mandate by the end of 2017, subject to developments relating to revisions of the CRR.
  • RTS on the exclusion of transactions with non-financial counterparties established in third countries under Article 382(5) of the CRR. The EBA expects to submit the RTS during Q1 2017.
  • RTS on disclosure of encumbered and unencumbered assets under Article 443 of the CRR. The EBA intends to deliver these during Q1 2017.

The letter goes on to address some of the remaining mandates given to the EBA under the CRD IV and the CRR, which, in the light of EU and international developments, were assessed as less meaningful by the supervisory community. Mr. Enria notes that these are continuously re‑prioritized due to scarce EBA resources. He highlights the following:

  • With regard to the credit risk mitigation (“CRM”) framework, in particular the RTS on immaterial portfolios for the internal ratings approach, RTS on conditional guarantees and RTS on eligible collateral within the CRM framework.

With regard to the operational risk area, in particular the RTS on the combined use of different approaches.

ESMA Consultation on Consolidated Tape for Non Equity Products RTS Under MiFID II: Responses

 

On December 8, 2016, ESMA published the responses it has received to its consultation on draft regulatory technical standards (RTS) specifying the scope of the consolidated tape for non‑equity financial instruments under Article 65(8)(c) of the MiFID II Directive (2014/65/EU).

Respondents include:

  • The Investment Association;
  • International Capital Market Association;
  • Wholesale Markets Brokers’ Association (WMBA)
  • Association française des investisseurs institutionnels; and
  • Deutsche Börse Group.

ESMA will use the feedback it receives to finalize the draft RTS, which will be submitted to the Commission for endorsement. The date of application of MiFID II Directive and MiFIR is January 3, 2018.

European Parliament Votes to Delay PRIIPS Regulation Application Date

 

On December 1, 2016, the European Parliament published a press release announcing that it has voted to delay the Regulation on key information documents (“KIDs“) for packaged retail and insurance-based investment products (“PRIIPs“) (Regulation 1286/2014) (PRIIPs Regulation).

The press release highlights that MEPs had criticized previous proposed standards requiring providers of PRIIPs to produce a KID as “flawed and misleading.” The Parliament has also published the text of the legislative resolution delaying the application date of the PRIIPs Regulation to January 1, 2018. This additional time is to enable those concerned to comply with the new requirements.

In September 2016, the Parliament announced that it had rejected the Delegated Regulation that the European Commission had adopted supplementing the PRIIPS Regulation with regard to regulatory technical standards (RTS) on the presentation, content, review and revision of KIDs. The Commission also proposed to extend the application of the PRIIPS Regulation by one year earlier in November 2016.

European Commission Adopts Delegated Regulation on RTS on Criteria for Establishing When an Activity Is Considered to Be Ancillary to the Main Business

 

The European Commission adopted, on December 1, 2016, a Delegated Regulation supplementing the MiFID II Directive (2014/65/EU) in relation to regulatory technical standards (“RTS“) on the criteria for establishing when an activity is considered to be ancillary to a firm’s main business (C(2016) 7643 final).

The MiFID II Directive exempts persons dealing on their own account, or providing investment services to clients, in commodity derivatives and emission allowances, provided that activity is ancillary to their main business and their main business is not the provision of investment services or banking activities. Article 2(4) of the MiFID II Directive gives the Commission power to adopt RTS specifying the criteria for establishing when an activity is to be considered ancillary to the main business of a group.

ESMA submitted draft RTS to the Commission in September 2015. The Commission notified ESMA in April 2016 that it intended to endorse the draft RTS, subject to several amendments being made. In May 2016, ESMA submitted a formal opinion and a revised draft of the RTS to the Commission.

It is now for the Council of the EU and the European Parliament to consider the Delegated Regulation. Should neither of them object, it will enter into force 20 days after its publication in the Official Journal of the EU (OJ) and will apply from January 3, 2018.

Joint Committee of ESAs Final RTS on Key Information Documents for PRIIPs

The Joint Committee of the European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs) published its final draft regulatory technical standards (RTS) on key information documents (KIDs) for packaged retail and insurance-based investment products (PRIIPs). The draft RTS include a mandatory template, which includes certain mandatory texts and details of the layout to use, a methodology for the assignment of each PRIIP to one of the seven classes in the summary risk indicator, and the requirements relating to the presentation of costs.

An accompanying press release states that the proposed KIDs provide retail investors, for the first time across the EU, with simple and comparable information on PRIIPs. It is intended that the three page document will increase the transparency and comparability of information about the risks, performance and costs of PRIIPs.

The draft RTS have been submitted to the European Commission for endorsement and will enter into force on December 31, 2016.

EBA Publishes Reports, Guidelines and Draft RTS in Relation to the CRR

The European Banking Authority (“EBA”) has published the following documents in connection with the Capital Requirements Regulation (Regulation 575/2013) (“CRR”):

  1. Final guidelines on limits on exposures to shadow banking entities that carry out banking activities outside a regulated framework under Article 395. The guidelines introduce an approach that will allow EU institutions to set limits for their exposures to shadow banking entities as part of their internal processes. They are informed by a report on the exposures of a sample of EU institutions to shadow banking entities and the impact of setting limits. The guidelines will apply from 1 January 2017. Together with the report, they will assist the European Commission in its work on its upcoming report on the appropriateness and impact of imposing limits on exposures to shadow banking entities;
  2. consultation paper on draft regulatory technical standards (“RTS”) specifying the assessment methodology on the use of internal models for market risk, under Article 363(4)(c) of the CRR;
  3. legislative proposal to extend certain exemptions for commodity dealers (COM(2015) 648);
  4. report on the impact assessment and calibration of the net stable funding ratio (“NSFR”) required under the CRR. The EBA recommends the introduction of an NSFR in the EU to ensure an appropriate stable funding structure relating to the degree of asset illiquidity, as the way of properly mitigating funding risk in banks.

Meanwhile, the text of the European Commission Implementing Regulation ((EU) 2015/2344) laying down implementing technical standards with regard to currencies with constraints on the availability of liquid assets in accordance with the CRR was published in the Official Journal of the EU.

EBA Publishes Draft RTS in Relation to the BRRD

The EBA has published the following draft RTS in connection with the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive (2014/59/EU) (BRRD):

  1. Final draft RTS on the valuation of derivatives under Article 49(4);
  2. A document setting out final draft RTS and guidelines on the business reorganization plans to be submitted where a resolution authority decides to apply the bail-in tool under the BRRD; and
  3. Final draft RTS on the information that should be contained in the detailed records of financial contracts required in support of the power to impose a stay on claims by creditors under Article 71. The final draft RTS also specify the circumstances in which the requirement to maintain detailed records will be imposed.