European Commission Requests the EIOPA Advise on PEPP Regulation Delegated Acts

 

On August 5, the Council of the EU published a cover note, which attaches a call for advice from the European Commission to the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) (dated July 31) on possible delegated acts concerning the Regulation on a Pan-European Personal Pension Product (PEPP Regulation) ((EU) 2019/1238).

The Commission requests advice relating to:

  • The criteria and factors to determine when there is a significant PEPP saver protection concern under Article 64(9).
  • The specification of additional information for supervisory reporting under Article 40(9) of the PEPP Regulation.

The PEPP Regulation was published in the Official Journal of the EU on July 25.

The Commission requests the final version of the advice by August 14, 2020.

The FCA Reclassifies Cryptoassets, But Is It Moving Away From Its Technology Neutral Approach?

 

On August 5, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) released final guidance on cryptoassets in a policy statement that includes feedback from their January consultation paper. It is important to note that the policy statement is of a limited scope and focuses on whether different types of cryptoassets fall within the regulatory perimeter of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA) and Electronic Money Regulations 2011 (EMRs). While the policy statement does touch upon the use of cryptoassets for payment services, prospectus requirements and anti-money laundering issues, it does not provide much new guidance on these areas. Read the full Orrick-authored article here.

FDIC Annual Publication Examines Potential Credit and Market Risks

 

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) published its annual review of the primary risk factors facing the banking system, focusing on the categories of credit risk and market risk. The key credit risk identified by the FDIC is increased competition among lenders as loan growth has slowed, posing risk management challenges given market demand for higher-yielding leveraged loan and corporate bond products, resulting in looser underwriting standards. The main market risk recognized in the report is the current interest rate environment. Release. Report.

Agencies Complete Resolution Plan Evaluations and Extend Deadline for Certain Firms

 

The Federal Reserve Board and the FDIC completed their evaluation of 82 foreign banks’ 2018 resolution plans, which describe a company’s strategy for rapid and orderly resolution in the event of bankruptcy. In light of proposed resolution plan rule changes, the agencies also extended the deadline to file their next resolutions plans to 2021 for these 82 foreign banks and 15 additional domestic banks. Release. Joint Release.

CFPB Releases Qualified Mortgage ANPR

 

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is soliciting comments on possible amendments to the Ability to Repay/Qualified Mortgage (ATR/QM) Rule. In particular, the CFPB is considering revising the current definition of a qualified mortgage under the Truth in Lending Act to use alternative methods to debt-to-income ratio to measure a consumer’s financial capacity. These considerations are prompted by the January 2021 expiration of rules in which certain mortgage loans eligible for purchase or guarantee by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae, which do not otherwise meet the debt-to-income ratio requirements, fall under the current definition of qualified mortgage. Release.

ESMA Will Not Renew Temporary Restriction on Marketing, Distributing and Selling CFDs to Retail Clients

On July 31, European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published a press release which announced it would not renew the temporary restriction on the market, distribution or sale of contracts for difference (CFDs) to retail clients in the EU. Therefore, the measures in ESMA Decision (EU) 2049/679 automatically expired on July 31.

This decision was made because most national competent authorities have taken permanent national product intervention measures relating to CFDs, which are at least as stringent as ESMA’s temporary measures. However, it will continue to monitor activity relating to CFDs to determine whether other EU-wide measures may be needed. Release.

EBA Consults on Draft Guidelines on Determination of Weighted Average Maturity of Contractual Payments Due Under the Tranche of a Securitization Transaction

 

On July 31, the European Banking Authority (EBA) published a consultation paper on draft guidelines on the determination of the weighted average maturity (WAM) of the contractual payments due under the tranche of a securitization transaction. The guidelines are intended to provide guiding principles for institutions opting to use the WAM approach rather than final legacy maturity approach for calculating the risk-weighted exposure amounts of a securitization position under the methods that use the maturity of the tranche as a risk factor.

The main areas covered by the guidelines are:

  • Meaning of contractual payments due under the tranche.
  • Data and information requirements.
  • Methodologies for determining the contractual payments of the securitized exposures, and of the tranches, both for traditional and synthetic securitizations.
  • Implementation and use of the WAM model.

The EBA will hold a public consultation on the draft guidelines on September 3 and the deadline for responses is October 31.

The consultation paper can be found here.

ESMA Updates MiFIR Data Reporting Q&As: July 2019

 

On July 29, ESMA published an updated version of it Q&As on data reporting under the Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation (MiFIR) ((EU) 600/2014). There is one additional Q&A in section 5 about the date to use in field 24 (expiry date) of RTS 23 for financial instruments without a defined expiration date.

The updated Q&As can be found here.

European Commission Publishes Communication on Equivalence Policy With Non-EU Countries

 

On July 29, the European Commission published a communication (and annex) on equivalence in the area of financial services. The Commission highlights recent improvements to the design of EU equivalence regimes and notes that significant changes have been introduced to the equivalence regimes in a number of legislative amendments relating to the proposed:

  • Omnibus Regulation relating to the powers, governance and funding of the European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs) – where the role of each ESA in monitoring equivalent third countries is strengthened;
  • Regulation amending the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR) supervisory regime for EU and third-country central counterparties (CCPs) (EMIR 2.2) – where a more risk-sensitive and proportionate approach for third-country regimes is being introduced; and
  • Investment Firms Directive (IFD) – where new assessment criteria, safeguards and reporting obligations for third-country firms are being created.

In relation to making equivalence assessments, the Commission emphasizes that decisions are not taken in isolation and proportionality is very important, and it notes that the Commission is concerned about identifying risks to the EU financial system.

The communication also summarizes equivalence decisions adopted since January 2018 and sets out its priorities for 2019 and 2020, including:

  • continuing work on equivalence assessments, especially relating to the Regulation on indices used as benchmarks in financial instruments and financial contracts or to measure the performance of investment funds;
  • repealing existing decisions where the third-country framework no longer delivers the necessary outcomes (for example, under the CRA Regulation);
  • focusing on high-impact areas and third countries (EMIR (Regulation 64/2012) is specifically mentioned);
  • areas where there is an impending review or expiration of an equivalence deadline (the Capital Requirements Regulation (575/2013) is specifically mentioned); and
  • examining market segments that are undergoing dynamic or structural changes (the Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation (Regulation 600/2014) (MiFIR) is specifically mentioned).
  • The communication included the communication itself, an annex and a press release.

SEC Staff Observation from Examinations of Investment Advisers

 

On July 23, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) published a Risk Alert on its “Observations from Examinations of Investment Advisers: Compliance, Supervision, and Disclosure of Conflicts of Interest.” The purpose of this Risk Alert is to raise awareness of certain compliance issues that OCIE observed by sharing the Staff’s observations from these examinations. The Risk Alert provides a good summary of the Staff’s observations across a broad range of compliance topics, but emphasized its specific observations relating to employees or prospective employees with disciplinary histories. As stated by the Staff: “the key takeaway is that OCIE encourages advisers, when designing and implementing their compliance and supervision frameworks, to consider the risks presented by hiring and employing supervised persons with disciplinary histories and adopt policies and procedures to address those risks.” Risk Alert.