ESMA

ESMA Publishes Consolidated Guidelines on the Application of the Endorsement Regime Under CRA Regulation

 

On March 20, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published the official translations of its consolidated guidelines on the application of the endorsement regime under Article 4(3) of the Credit Rating Agencies Regulation (Regulation 1060/2009) (CRA Regulation) (ESMA33-9-282). READ MORE

ESMA Fines Fitch CRAs for Breaching Conflict of Interest Requirements

 

On March 28, ESMA fined three credit rating agencies, all belonging to the Fitch Group, a total of €5,132,500, in relation to breaching the conflict of interest requirements under the CRA Regulation (1060/2009) (CRAR). They were fined because, between June 2013 and April 2018, 20% of three Fitch subsidiaries were indirectly owned by an individual through a French entity. However, that same individual was also sitting on the boards of three entities rated by the Fitch subsidiaries.

Each of the three subsidiaries voluntarily undertook measures to ensure similar infringements would not be committed again, and this was considered by ESMA, along with other mitigating and aggravating factors, when the fines were determined. The subsidiaries can appeal the decision but this will not have a suspensive effect.

The public notice issued in relation to the fines can be found here.

ESMA Publishes Guidelines on Risk Factors Under Prospectus Regulation

 

On March 29, the European Sescurities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published a report setting out final guidelines on how national competent authorities (NCAs) should review risk factors as required by the new Prospectus Regulation. The aim of the guidelines is to encourage more appropriate, focussed and streamlined risk factor disclosures for securities and are intended to assist NCAs in their review of disclosure. ESMA noted that in 2019 it will focus on the consistency of application of the guidelines on risk factors by NCAs.

The purpose of including risk factors in a prospectus is to help investors make informed investment decisions by enabling them to assess the risks. Risk factors generally include information concerning: the issuer’s financial situation, business activities and industry; the nature of the security; external risks such as legal and regulatory, environmental, social and governance.

A copy of the report can be found here.

ESMA Announces Recognition of UK CSD in Event of No-Deal Brexit

 

On March 1, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published a press release announcing that in the event of a no-deal Brexit, it will recognize Euroclear UK and Ireland Ltd, the UK central securities depository (UK CSD), as a third country CSD under the Central Securities Depositories Regulation (909/2014) (CSDR).

ESMA has adopted this recognition decision in order to allow the UK CSD to serve Irish securities and to avoid any negative impact on the Irish securities market. ESMA has previously communicated that its board of supervisors supports continued access to the UK CSD.

The UK CSD will be recognized to provide its services to the EU, having been assessed as meeting the recognition conditions under Article 25 of the CSDR.

The recognition decision would take effect on the date following Brexit date, under a no-deal Brexit scenario.

ESMA Publishes 2019 Work Program for Credit Rating Agencies, Trade Repositories and Third-Country CCPs and CSDs

 

On February 19, EMSA published its 2018 annual report and 2019 work program relating to its supervision of credit rating agencies (“CRAs“), trade repositories (“TRs“) and its monitoring of third-country central clearing counterparties (“TC-CCPs“) and central securities depositories (“TC-CSDs“) (ESMA80-199-273). READ MORE

ESMA Updates MiFID II Transitional Transparency Calculations for Electricity Derivatives

 

On January 22, the European Securities and Markets Authority (“ESMA“) published an updated version of its transitional transparency calculations (“TTC“) required under the MiFID II Directive (2014/65/EU) and the Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation (600/2014) (“MiFIR“).

The update relates to the TTC for commodity derivatives and affects only electricity derivatives.

Further information is contained in section E10 of ESMA’s frequently asked questions (“FAQ“) (ESMA50-164-677) on the TTC, which explains why the last TTC results for commodity derivatives, published on December 6, 2017, have been modified.

The transparency calculations can be found here and the FAQs, which were published on ESMA’s website, can be found here.

EIOPA Publishes Call for Evidence on Integration of Sustainability Risks in Solvency II

 

On January 17, the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (“EIOPA“) published a call for evidence on the integration of sustainability risks and factors in the prudential assessment of assets and liabilities for insurers and (re)insurers under the Solvency II Directive (2009/138/EC). The Commission’s initiatives on sustainable finance form part of its broader initiative to establish the capital markets union (“CMU“).

The deadline for responses to the call for evidence is March 8, 2019. EIOPA plans to prepare a draft opinion for consultation during the second half of 2019 for submission to the European Commission in the third quarter of 2019.

The call for evidence relates to the European Commission’s call for advice from EIOPA and ESMA in July 2018, following which EIOPA launched a survey to help it build up a suitable evidence base on the sustainable finance legislative proposals.

EIOPA expects to collect market data to analyze how sustainability risks affect (re)insurers investments, with particular focus on climate change, as well as data on market practices on insurance underwriting. The Commission has asked EIOPA to assess whether Solvency II presents any inherent incentives or disincentives to sustainable investment, including but not limited to investments in unrated bonds and loans, unlisted equity and real estate. National competent authorities will collect information from individual undertakings within their jurisdiction to support EIOPA’s analysis.

ESMA Publishes First Annual Statistical Report on Retail Investment Products

 

On January 10, ESMA published its first annual statistical report on the performance and costs of retail investment products in the EU (ESMA 50-165-731).

The report highlights, in particular, the significant impact of costs on the final returns that retail investors make on their investments. It covers undertakings for collective investments in transferable securities (“UCITS“), alternative investment funds sold to retail investors (“retail AIFs“) and structured retail products (“SRPs“).. READ MORE