NCAs

EIOPA Publishes Results of Peer Review Under Solvency II

 

On January 25, the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (“EIOPA“) published the results of its peer review that examined how national competent authorities (“NCAs“) evaluated the propriety of administrative, management or supervisory body (“AMSB“) members and qualifying shareholders between January 2016 and May 2017.

Important areas of risk include:

  • A number of regulatory frameworks are not aligned with the Solvency II framework and NCAs are applying different standards and scope while assessing propriety.
  • Very few NCAs perform continuing assessment of the propriety of qualifying shareholders and AMSB members. Continuing assessment should involve proactive, risk-based and proportionate engagement resulting from the NCAs’ own initiative, as part of its supervisory activities.
  • Some NCAs do not make their supervisory expectations and standards known internally to supervisory staff and externally to insurers.

Insurers are required to be owned and run by persons of integrity and of good repute to ensure sound and proper management under the Solvency II Directive (2009/138/EC).

The results published by EIOPA can be found here.

EIOPA Launch Big Data Review of the Motor and Health Insurance Markets

 

The European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (“EIOPA“) has published a press release on July 6, 2018 announcing the launch of an EU wide review on the use of Big Data. The focus of the review is on the motor and health insurance markets.

The review is intended to gather empirical evidence on the use of Big Data by insurance undertakings and intermediaries along the whole insurance value chain (including pricing and underwriting, in product development, in claims management, as well as in sales and marketing).

The review will analyze the potential benefits and risks for both industry and consumers to determine what (if any) supervisory and regulatory actions are required. It will assess new business models and data quality issues arising from Big Data, including implications for consumers.

EIOPA will conduct the review in co-operation with national competent authorities (“NCAs“) with a view to covering at least 60% of the motor and health insurance markets in each member state. The data is intended to be collected during July and August 2018. The following quantitative and qualitative questionnaires have been sent to NCAs, consumer associations and representative sample of insurance undertakings:

EIOPA intends to publish the review’s key findings in the first quarter of 2019.

The review follows the cross-sectoral review of the use of Big Data by financial institutions published by the Joint Committee of the European Supervisory Authorities (“ESAs“) in March 2018.

EBA Opinion and Draft Guidelines on Implementation of Delegated Regulation Setting Out RTS on SCA and CSC Under PSD2

 

On June 13, 2018, the European Banking Association (“EBA“) published a consultation paper (EBA/CP/2018/09) on draft guidelines on the conditions to be met to benefit from an exemption from contingency measures under Article 33(6) of Delegated Regulation (EU) 2018/389, which sets out regulatory technical standards (“RTS“) on strong customer authentication (“SCA“) and common and secure communication (“CSC“) under the revised Payment Services Directive ((EU) 2015/2366) (“PSD2“).

Alongside the consultation paper, the EBA has published an opinion (EBA-Op-2018-04) on implementation of the RTS on SCA and CSC. Both the draft guidelines and the opinion are designed to clarify a number of issues identified by market participants relating to the RTS on SCA and CSC, which will apply from 14 September 2019.

The draft guidelines propose a pragmatic and consistent approach to the four conditions that an account servicing payment service provider (“ASPSP“) must meet if it wishes to benefit from an exemption from the fallback option envisaged under Article 33(6) of the Delegated Regulation. The EBA considers that the draft guidelines provide clarity for all parties involved (that is, ASPSPs, national competent authorities (“NCAs“) and the EBA) on the information to be considered to determine whether an exemption request meets the Article 33(6) conditions. In particular, the guidelines will enable NCAs to carry out a quick assessment of exemption requests, especially during the time when the bulk of these requests are received.

The EBA plans to hold a public hearing to discuss the draft guidelines on 25 July 2018. Comments can be made on the draft guidelines until 13 August 2018.

The opinion focuses on implementation of the RTS. It sets out the EBA’s views in “pressing” areas identified by the market and NCAs, including on exemptions to SCA, consent, the scope of data sharing, and requirements for application programming interfaces (“APIs“) and dedicated interfaces to take into account. Although the opinion is addressed to NCAs, given the supervisory expectations it is conveying, the EBA advises it should prove useful for PSPs, among others.

In the opinion, the EBA explains that it will provide further clarification on interpretation of the RTS on SCA and CSC through its online interactive single rulebook and Q&A tool. The tool will be extended to PSD2-related queries by the end of June 2018.

ESMA Publishes Opinion on the Effect of Excluding Fund Managers From the Scope of MiFIR Intervention Powers

 

On January 12, 2017, the ESMA published an opinion on the impact of exclusion of fund management from the entire scope of MiFIR (Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation) (Regulation 600/2014).

Although, under Articles 40 and 42 of MiFIR, the ESMA and other NCAs (national competent authorities) can prohibit and restrict the sale, marketing and/or distribution of specific financial instruments or shares in Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs), this power applies only to credit institutions and MiFID firms and excludes from its scope any alternative investment fund managers that might be authorized under the AIFM Directive (2011/61/EU) or to UCITS management companies so authorized under the UCITS IV Directive (2009/65/EC).

The ESMA has commented with the opinion that the intervention powers within MiFIR may create arbitrage situations between fund management companies themselves, as well as between fund management companies and MiFID firms. It has also stated that both the ESMA and relevant NCAs should be given the power to apply the restrictions under MiFIR directly to fund management companies.

Commission Extends by One Year the Application Date for the MiFID II Package

On February 10, the European Commission published a press release announcing it is proposing a one year extension to the application date of the MiFID II legislative package (that is, the MiFID II Directive (2014/65/EU) and the Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation (Regulation 600/2014) (MiFIR).

To implement its proposal, the Commission has published:

  • A legislative proposal for a Directive amending the MiFID II Directive as regards certain dates.
  • A legislative proposal for a Regulation amending MiFIR, the Market Abuse Regulation (Regulation 596/2014) (MAR) and the Regulation on improving securities settlement and regulating central securities depositories (CSDs) (Regulation 909/2014) (CSDR) as regards certain dates.

Member states must transpose the MiFID II Directive by July 3, 2016. Both the MiFID II Directive and MiFIR are scheduled to apply from January 3, 2017. Under the Commission’s proposal, national competent authorities (NCAs) and market participants will have an additional year to comply with MiFID II. The proposed new application date is January 3, 2018.

The Commission is proposing the application date extension as a result of the complex technical data infrastructure that needs to be established so that MiFID II can operate effectively. As a result of significant challenges in collecting the data that is needed, ESMA informed the Commission in October 2015 that neither NCAs nor market participants will have the necessary systems ready by January 3, 2017. As a result, ESMA has concluded that a delay is unavoidable.

In the light of these exceptional circumstances, and to avoid legal uncertainty and potential market disruption, the Commission considers an extension of the MiFID II application date is necessary.

ESMA Publishes Peer Review Report on Compliance with SSR Regarding Market Making Activities

On January 5, the European Securities and Markets Authority (“ESMA”) published a peer review report aimed at assessing how national competent authorities (“NCAs”) apply the exemption for market making activities foreseen in Article 17 of the Short Selling Regulation (SSR).  The report reviewed whether the NCAs are applying the general principles and criteria of eligibility for the exemption in compliance with the corresponding ESMA Guidelines and to identify good practices.

The report concluded that all NCAs have dedicated resources and have designed processes to handle the notification of exemptions and the notification functions are staffed with capable, knowledgeable and committed staff and that there are a number of approaches taken by NCAs.

The report highlighted some areas for concern, including: NCAs are not properly seeking assurance, in advance, that market makers seeking an exemption comply with the organizational requirement of the ESMA Guidelines; and many NCAs are too reliant on monitoring by trading venues rather than monitoring by the NCAs themselves. 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.