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The following posts provide a snapshot of the principal U.S., European and global financial regulatory developments of interest to banks, investment firms, broker-dealers, market infrastructures, asset managers and corporates.

  • European Central Bank Consults on Compounded €STR Rates
    07/24/2020

    The European Central Bank has launched a consultation on proposals to publish compounded term rates based on the euro short-term rate (€STR). The consultation closes on September 11, 2020. The ECB is requesting feedback on specific characteristics of the compounded rate using €STR. Publication would take place on a daily basis shortly after the €STR publication. Published maturities could range from one week up to one year. A daily index, making it possible to compute compounded rates over non-standard periods, is also envisaged.
     
    View the ECB's consultation paper on compounded term rates based on €STR.
  • European Central Bank Published Good Practice Guidance on Preparation for Benchmark Rate Reforms 
    07/23/2020

    The European Central Bank has published a report on the results of its industry-wide assessment of Eurozone banks’ readiness for the benchmark interest rate reforms, which affect both EONIA and EURIBOR in the euro area. The purpose of the report is to share good practices that the ECB has identified in its horizontal assessment of the preparedness of Eurozone banks supervised under the Single Supervisory Mechanism. According to the ECB, banks need to improve their preparation for the reforms and escalate their implementation of risk mitigation measures. 

    Read more.
  • EU Consultation on Guidelines for SFT Position Reporting by Trade Repositories
    07/09/2020

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published a consultation paper on proposed Guidelines on the calculation of positions in Securities Financing Transactions by trade repositories under the EU Securities Financing Transactions Regulation. The consultation closes on September 15, 2020. ESMA intends to finalize the Guidelines for publication in Q4 2020 or Q1 2021.

    The proposed Guidelines aim to ensure consistency of position calculation by trade repositories to national regulators, including the time of calculations, the scope of the data used in calculations, the treatment of outliers, the recordkeeping of data and the calculation methodologies. They also aim to ensure a consistent methodology is used under SFTR and the European Market Infrastructure Regulation.

    View the consultation paper.
  • Final EU Guidelines on the Treatment of Structural FX Under Capital Requirements Regulation
    07/01/2020

    The European Banking Authority has published final guidelines on the implementation of the structural FX provision under the Capital Requirements Regulation. The CRR requires institutions to calculate their net open positions in currencies according to specified formulae but permits institutions to exclude positions that have been taken for hedging purposes and that are structural. The guidelines will apply to both firms and national regulators from January 1, 2022, to allow firms time to comply with the new framework.  However, regulators should review, update or revoke permissions already granted before the guidelines apply.

    Read more.
  • UK Legislation Made to Onshore EMIR 2.2
    06/26/2020

    The U.K. has published Over the Counter Derivatives, Central Counterparties and Trade Repositories (Amendment, etc., and Transitional Provision) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020 to onshore the new EU regime for third-country CCPs introduced by amendments to the European Market Infrastructure Regulation, known as EMIR 2.2. EMIR 2.2, which has applied since January 1, 2020, is part of the EU’s push to enhance the regulation of CCPs amid concerns regarding potential CCP failures given their increasing systemic importance and is widely regarded as a direct response to Brexit, given that three of the largest European CCPs are based in the U.K.

    Read more.
  • European Securities and Markets Regulator Publishes 2019 Annual Report and Updated 2020 Work Program
    06/15/2020

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published its 2019 Annual Report together with an updated version of its 2020 Work Program, incorporating changes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
     
    ESMA’s 2019 Annual Report discusses ESMA’s work in 2019, which included: (a) the entry into force of EMIR 2.2, including significant new responsibilities for ESMA in the authorization and supervision of CCPs; (b) ESMA’s common supervisory action on the application of the revised Markets in Financial Instrument Directive’s requirements on the assessment of appropriateness, for which ESMA will consider whether any follow-up work is needed in 2020; (c) reviews of MiFID II and the Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation, including on fair access to, and lowering the cost of, market data and the consolidated tape; and (d) sustainable finance, including technical advice delivered to the European Commission on the integration of sustainability risks for investment firms and investment funds into relevant EU legislation, a report on undue short-termism in securities markets and contributions to the technical expert group on sustainable finance which is due to deliver technical advice on delegated legislation relating to the EU Benchmarks Regulation.

    Read more.
  • European Commission Publishes Draft Delegated Regulation on Fees Charged to Third-Country Central Counterparties
    06/11/2020

    The European Commission has published a draft delegated regulation on the fees charged by the European Securities and Markets Authority to central counterparties established in third-countries that are recognized by ESMA and able to provide clearing services in the EU. The draft regulation will supplement the European Market Infrastructure Regulation. EMIR was revised twice during 2019. The second revision (known as EMIR 2.2) introduced changes to the procedures and authorities involved in the authorization of CCPs and the requirements for the recognition of third-country CCPs. EMIR 2.2, is part of the EU’s push to enhance the regulation of CCPs amid concerns regarding potential CCP failures given their increasing systemic importance and is widely regarded as a direct response to Brexit, given that three of the largest European CCPs are based in the U.K. Feedback on the draft delegated regulation can be submitted until July 9, 2020.

    Read more.
  • European Commission Publishes Draft Delegated Regulations on Criteria for Tiering of Third-Country CCPs and on Comparable Compliance
    06/11/2020

    The European Commission has published two draft delegated regulations, the first is on the criteria for determining whether a third-country CCP is systemically important and the second is on the minimum elements to be assessed by the European Securities and Markets Authority when assessing third-country CCPs’ requests for comparable compliance and the modalities and conditions of that assessment. The draft regulations will supplement the European Market Infrastructure Regulation. EMIR was revised twice during 2019.  The second revision (known as EMIR 2.2) introduced changes to the procedures and authorities involved in the authorization of CCPs and the requirements for the recognition of third-country CCPs. “EMIR 2.2” is part of the EU’s push to enhance the regulation of CCPs amid concerns regarding potential CCP failures given their increasing systemic importance and is widely regarded as a direct response to Brexit, given that three of the largest European CCPs are based in the U.K. Feedback on the draft delegated regulations can be submitted until July 9, 2020.

    Read more.
  • European Systemic Risk Board Announces Further Actions to Combat Impact of COVID-19
    06/08/2020

    The European Systemic Risk Board has announced a series of further actions designed to combat the impact of COVID-19 on European financial markets. The actions relate to the five priority areas already identified by the ESRB as requiring particular focus in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, as follows:
    • Implications for the financial system of guarantee schemes and other fiscal measures to protect the economy: the ESRB has published a Recommendation introducing minimum requirements for national monitoring of the financial stability implications of the various debt moratoria and guarantee schemes introduced by Member States to support economies through COVID-19 (Recommendation A); national regulators are also advised to regularly report information on these schemes to the ESRB in accordance with reporting templates to be published by the ESRB by June 30, 2020 (Recommendation B); national regulators implicated by the Recommendation should communicate the actions they have taken, or intend to take, in response to the Recommendation A by July 31, 2020 and Recommendation B by December 31, 2020;
    Read more.
  • EU Consultation on Draft Guidelines on Outsourcing to Cloud Service Providers
    06/03/2020

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has opened a consultation on draft guidelines on outsourcing to cloud service providers. The draft guidelines cover: (i) governance, documentation, systems and procedures that firms should have in place; (ii) the assessment and due diligence to be undertaken before outsourcing arrangements are entered; (iii) minimum elements that outsourcing agreements should include; (iv) exit strategies; and (v) access and audit rights. The consultation closes on September 1, 2020. ESMA expects to publish the final guidelines in Q4 2020 or Q1 2021.

    Read more.
  • European Securities and Markets Authority Publishes Updated Transparency and Position Limits Opinions for Third-Country Trading Venues
    06/03/2020

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published two opinions on the application of post-trade transparency and position limits rules to third-country trading venues.
     
    The first opinion relates to post-trade transparency requirements under the Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation. Under MiFIR, EU investment firms must publish information on transactions in financial instruments traded on an EU trading venue. ESMA’s opinion states that information about transactions concluded on a third-country trading venue should also be made public in accordance with MiFIR, but it is unnecessary for EU firms to republish such information where the transparency rules of the third-country trading venue are similar to those applicable to EU trading venues under MiFIR. 

    Read more.
  • European Securities and Markets Authority Publishes Final Technical Advice on FRANDT Clearing Services Provision Under EMIR REFIT
    06/02/2020

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published its final report and technical advice on the conditions for clearing services providers’ commercial terms to be considered fair, reasonable, non-discriminatory and transparent, in accordance with changes introduced under the revised European Market Infrastructure Regulation, or EMIR Refit. EMIR Refit requires the European Commission to adopt legislation setting out these conditions by June 18, 2021. The Commission tasked ESMA with publishing technical advice on the conditions, which ESMA launched a consultation on in October 2019. ESMA’s final technical advice takes account of the responses received to the consultation. 

    Read more.
  • European Systemic Risk Board Actions on Five COVID-19 Priority Areas
    05/14/2020

    The European Systemic Risk Board has established five priority areas on which it intends to take action to combat the impact of COVID-19 on the EU financial system. In determining its actions, the ESRB hopes to ensure an effective response to the pandemic across the EU that prevents individual Member State actions from negatively impacting the EU Single Market and to take advantage of flexibility in regulatory standards to support financial institutions in providing financial services and liquidity.

    Read more.
  • EU Moves to Further Delay the Bilateral Margin Requirements for Uncleared Derivatives
    05/04/2020

    The European Supervisory Authorities have published updated joint draft Regulatory Technical Standards amending the existing EU risk mitigation techniques for uncleared OTC derivatives. In December 2019, the ESAs published a draft RTS to amend existing bilateral margin requirements made under the European Market Infrastructure Regulation in line with certain clarifications made to the related international framework by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision and the International Organization of Securities Commissions. These updated draft RTS include all those amendments and also delay the upcoming bilateral margin requirements to bring the EU framework in line with the global timeline. In response to the coronavirus outbreak, the Basel Committee announced in April 2020, a one-year deferral for the implementation of the final two phases of the joint Basel Committee and International Organization of Securities Commissions' framework for non-centrally cleared derivatives margin requirements.

    Read more.
    TOPICS: COVID-19Derivatives
  • International Swaps and Derivatives Association Announces Preliminary Results of LIBOR Pre-Cessation Fallbacks Consultation
    04/15/2020

    The International Swaps and Derivatives Association has announced the preliminary results of its consultation on pre-cessation fallbacks for LIBOR-referencing derivatives. The consultation was launched in February 2020, and sought industry responses on ISDA’s proposals to add a pre-cessation trigger to the LIBOR cessation fallbacks ISDA is proposing to implement in its standard documentation. The trigger would cause LIBOR-based derivative contracts to fall back to an alternative reference rate in the event that the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority deemed LIBOR to be no longer representative.

    Read more.
  • Basel Committee on Banking Supervision Announces Further Measures to Alleviate COVID-19 Impact
    04/03/2020

    The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision has announced a series of measures designed to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on the global banking sector. The latest measures are designed to facilitate bank lending to the real economy and boost banks’ operational capacity to the financial strain of COVID-19. They follow the extension to Basel III implementation deadlines announced by the Group of Central Bank Governors and Heads of Supervision on March 27, 2020.

    Read more.
  • European Securities and Markets Authority Publishes Advice on Fines and Penalties for Third-Country CCPs
    03/31/2020

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published its final technical advice to the European Commission on procedural rules for imposing fines and penalties on third-country CCPs and trade repositories. The technical advice also covers the alignment of the rules with those applicable to EU credit rating agencies, which ESMA directly supervises. The European Commission mandated ESMA to produce the technical advice in response to changes made to the European Market Infrastructure Regulation by EMIR Refit and EMIR 2.2. EMIR Refit updated (amongst other things) the requirements applicable to trade repositories, including with respect to fines and penalties. EMIR 2.2 introduced investigatory and supervisory powers over CCPs for ESMA to ensure compliance with the new requirements, including the ability to request information from CCPs, appoint an independent investigation officer to investigate any possible infringements under EMIR 2.2 and impose fines.

    Read more.
  • International Swaps and Derivatives Association Announces Results of LIBOR Fallbacks Consultation and New Pre-Cessation Fallbacks Consultation
    02/24/2020

    The International Swaps and Derivatives Association has published the results of its consultation on fallbacks to be introduced into standard ISDA documentation based on alternative risk-free rates for EUR LIBOR and EURIBOR. The fallbacks would apply if the relevant IBOR were to be permanently discontinued. Respondents to the consultation agreed with ISDA’s proposed approach of adopting a compounded setting in arrears rate with a backward-shift adjustment and historical median over a five-year lookback period approach to address technical issues associated with the fallback rates. ISDA therefore intends to develop fallback provisions on this basis. It will publish an anonymized summary of the consultation feedback in the coming weeks.

    Read more.
  • EU Recommendations for Alignment of the EU Derivatives Trading and Clearing Obligations
    02/07/2020

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published a final report and recommendations on aligning the trading obligation under the Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation with recent changes made to the clearing obligation under the European Markets Infrastructure Regulation by the EMIR Refit Regulation. ESMA's report to the European Commission will support the Commission's report to the European Parliament and Council that is due by December 18, 2020.

    Read more.
    TOPICS: DerivativesMiFID II
  • Further Consultation on Pre-Cessation Fallbacks Announced
    02/05/2020

    The International Swaps and Derivatives Association has announced that it will be issuing later in February 2020 a further consultation on how to implement pre-cessation fallbacks. A “pre-cessation” trigger in derivative contracts would cause LIBOR-based contracts to fall back to an alternative reference rate in the event that the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority deemed LIBOR no longer to be representative. 

    Read more.
  • European Securities and Markets Authority Consults on Pre-Trade Transparency Regime
    02/03/2020

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has launched a consultation to collect the views of market participants on the pre-trade transparency regime applicable to systematic internalizers for “non-equity instruments” (which include bonds, structured-finance products, emission allowances and derivatives) under the Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation. A consultation on the transparency regime for equity and equity-like instruments has been launched separately.

    Read more.
  • Bank for International Settlement Says Buy-Side Firms Need to Adopt Global FX Code
    01/30/2020

    The Chair of the Markets Committee of the Bank for International Settlements has written to the Chair of the Global Foreign Exchange Committee providing a brief assessment of the effectiveness of the FX Global Code. The FX Global Code was first published by the GFXC in May 2017. It superseded and substantively updated existing guidance for participants in FX markets previously provided by the Non-Investment Products (NIPs) Code. The Code comprises a set of global principles of good practice for the FX market, covering a broad range of areas, including ethics, governance, execution, information-sharing, risk management, compliance, trade confirmation and settlement. The Global FX Committee committed to reviewing the code every three years.

    In the letter, the BIS Markets Committee sets out its assessment of and recommendations for improving the effectiveness of the FX Global Code. In particular, the Committee recommends that additional action is taken by the Global FX Committee to ensure that more of the large buy-side firms sign up to the Code.

    View the letter.
  • International Organization of Securities Commissions Priorities for 2020
    01/30/2020

    The International Organization of Securities Commissions has published its annual work program, setting out its priorities for 2020. IOSCO will continue to focus on the five areas identified by its Board in 2019 as well as one new issue. The areas of focus are:
    • Crypto-assets: following its consultation last year, in February 2020, IOSCO will publish a final report on issues, risks and regulatory considerations relating to crypto-asset trading platforms. IOSCO will also publish the outcome of its review of the regulatory risks relating to investment funds exposures to crypto-assets. Finally, a report will be issued in early 2020 on issues relating to Global Stablecoins.
    Read more.
  • UK Conduct Regulator Clarifies Rules on Publication of Non-Representative LIBOR
    01/20/2020

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has responded to a request from the International Swaps and Derivatives Association for clarification on the expected timeframes for publication of a non-representative LIBOR. The FCA (in conjunction with the Financial Stability Board) had previously requested ISDA to introduce “pre-cessation” triggers in its derivative contracts, causing LIBOR-based contracts to fall back to an alternative reference rate in the event that the FCA deemed LIBOR to no longer be representative. ISDA requested clarity about the length of the period during which such a non-representative LIBOR might be published prior to its total cessation.

    Read more.
  • UK Regulators Push For More Action on LIBOR Transition
    01/16/2020

    The Bank of England, U.K. Prudential Regulation Authority, U.K. Financial Conduct Authority and the Working Group on Sterling Risk-Free Reference Rates have published a set of documents outlining priorities and milestones for 2020 on LIBOR transition.

    Read more.
  • International Swaps and Derivatives Association Publishes FAQs on IBOR Fallback Rate Adjustments
    01/10/2020

    The International Swaps and Derivatives Association has published a set of Frequently Asked Questions on Interbank Offered Rate Fallback Rate adjustments. The FAQs are part of ISDA's preparations for the sweeping changes being made to global interest rate benchmarks, which may see a transition from IBORs to overnight risk free rates. Parties to derivatives contracts that currently reference IBORs are being encouraged to include contractual fallback provisions providing for adjusted RFRs that could replace IBORs if they are discontinued before a contract is concluded. RFRs are structurally different to IBORs, hence why the RFRs must be adjusted in order to be incorporated into contracts that currently reference IBORs.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: Derivatives
  • European Systemic Risk Board Recommends Options for Addressing Procyclicality in Derivatives Markets and Securities Financing Transactions
    01/09/2020

    The European Systemic Risk Board has published a report on mitigating the procyclicality of margins and haircuts in derivatives markets and securities financing transactions. The report assesses the systemic risks arising from procyclicality associated with margin and haircut practices and makes recommendations for addressing the risks. 

    Read more.
    TOPIC: Derivatives
  • International Swaps and Derivatives Association Publishes Guide on Cross-Border Application of Margin Rules
    01/06/2020

    The International Swaps and Derivatives Association has published a guide on the cross-border application of margin rules established under the U.S., EU and Japanese regimes for uncleared derivatives. While most jurisdictions base their margin rules on the framework established by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision and the International Organization of Securities Commissions, there is still scope for differences to arise under national regimes. The guide provides an overview of the margin rules in each of the three jurisdictions, focussing on the cross-border and substituted compliance elements. It also includes a series of charts showing the application and availability of substituted compliance under each regime.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: Derivatives
  • European Securities and Markets Authority Publishes Clarifications on Reporting of Securities Financing Transactions
    01/06/2020

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published a final report and guidelines on reporting under the Securities Financing Transaction Regulations, together with amended SFTR validation rules and a statement on Legal Entity Identifiers. The SFTR requires all securities financing transactions to be reported to EU-recognized trade repositories. SFTs involve the use of securities to borrow cash or other high investment-grade securities and include repurchase transactions, securities lending and sell/buy backs.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: Derivatives
  • New EU Regulation Enhances European Supervisory Authorities' Powers
    12/27/2019

    An EU Regulation has been published amending the European Supervisory Authorities' powers under various pieces of EU legislation. The Regulation grants ESMA additional powers to monitor market data and authorize benchmark administrators under the Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation and the Benchmarks Regulation, respectively. It also amends the legislation founding the European Banking Authority, the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority and the European Securities and Markets Authority, granting them additional powers to facilitate their supervisory duties. The Regulation will enter into force on December 30, 2019. The provisions regarding ESMA's enhanced supervisory powers over market data and benchmarks will apply from January 1, 2022. All other provisions regarding the European Supervisory Authorities' enhanced powers will apply from January 1, 2020.

    Read more.
  • European Supervisory Authorities Publish New Risk Mitigation Technique Standards for OTC Derivative Contracts
    12/23/2019

    The European Supervisory Authorities have published joint draft Regulatory Technical Standards amending the existing EU risk mitigation techniques for uncleared OTC derivatives, together with a joint statement on the introduction of fallbacks in OTC derivative contracts and the requirement to exchange collateral. The draft RTS amend existing bilateral margin requirements made under the European Market Infrastructure Regulation, in line with certain clarifications made to the related international framework by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision and the International Organization of Securities Commissions. The draft RTS were originally published on December 5, 2019, but have been republished with one additional amendment. The Final Report has been submitted to the European Commission for endorsement.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: Derivatives
  • EU Temporary Equivalence and Recognition for UK CCPs Extended in Event of a No-Deal Brexit
    12/23/2019

    An amended temporary equivalence decision on the regulatory framework applicable to central counterparties in the U.K. and Northern Ireland has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union. The decision amends the existing EU equivalence decision, which applies from the date that the U.K. leaves the EU in the event that no withdrawal agreement has been agreed, and ends on March 30, 2020. The amended decision extends the period of equivalence to one year following a U.K. no-deal exit from the EU and will apply from December 24, 2019. It would not apply in the event that the Withdrawal Agreement is ratified by both sides.

    Read more.
  • Financial Stability Board Publishes Feedback to Derivatives and Trading Portfolios’ Solvent Wind-Down Consultation
    12/20/2019

    The Financial Stability Board has published a statement summarizing the feedback it received to its June 2019 consultation on the solvent wind-down of derivatives and trading portfolios. The consultation sought feedback on a series of questions regarding existing wind-down practices that may be used as a recovery option for global systemically important institutions that find themselves under stress. The FSB intended to consider publishing guidance on solvent wind-down planning depending on the responses elicited by the consultation.

    Read more.
  • Consultation on Credit Adjustment Spread Methodologies for Fallbacks in Cash Products Referencing GBP LIBOR
    12/19/2019

    The Working Group on Sterling Risk-Free Reference Rates has opened a consultation on credit adjustment spread methodologies for fallbacks in cash products referencing GBP LIBOR. The consultation focuses on cash products, including, but not limited to, syndicated loans, floating rate notes, retail loans, bilateral corporate loans and securitizations.  It only covers GBP LIBOR and credit adjustment spreads to be applied to a SONIA-derived rate. Responses to the consultation can be submitted until February 6, 2020.

    Read more.
  • International Swaps and Derivatives Association Consults on Fallbacks Based on Alternative Risk-Free Rates For Derivatives Referencing EUR Libor and EURIBOR
    12/18/2019

    The International Swaps and Derivatives Association has launched a consultation in which it proposes to amend its standard documentation to implement fallbacks based on alternative risk-free rates for certain key Interbank Offered Rates - EUR LIBOR and EURIBOR. ISDA states that the back-ups will apply if the relevant IBOR is permanently discontinued, based on defined triggers. Responses to the consultation should be submitted to ISDA by January 21, 2020.
    Read more.
  • UK Prudential Regulatory Authority Responds on Prudential Impediments for Banks Arising from the LIBOR Transition
    12/18/2019

    The Prudential Regulation Authority has published a letter addressed to the Chair of the Working Group on Sterling Risk-Free Reference Rates. The letter responds to the Working Group's letter in October 2019 requesting regulatory forbearance or clarification from regulators on the impact that the LIBOR transition is likely to have on the prudential requirements for banks. The main issues raised by the Working Group include: (i) the potential for certain capital instruments to no longer qualify as regulatory capital; (ii) the potential for securitizations and MREL-eligible instruments to be considered as "new contracts" as a result of changes to contractual terms, leading to the need to insert bail-in or other bank recovery contractual terms; and (iii) that many banks will need to obtain regulatory approvals for alterations to the models used to determine their regulatory capital arising from their exposures and risks.

    Read more.
  • Financial Stability Board Calls for Sustained Efforts to Migrate From LIBOR
    12/18/2019

    The Financial Stability Board has published a progress report on reforms to major interest rate benchmarks. The report provides the FSB's annual update on progress taken by the official sector and market participants to move from interbank offered rates to overnight risk-free rates by the end of 2021 in line with the FSB's 2014 recommendations. The FSB highlights that the continued reliance by global financial markets on LIBOR poses significant financial stability risks and urges all participants to continue with their efforts to transition to the alternative risk-free rates. The FSB also warns regulated firms to expect increased examination from regulators of their efforts to transition as the end of 2021 approaches.

    View the report.
  • Financial Stability Board Publishes 2020 Work Program
    12/17/2019

    The Financial Stability Board has published its work program for 2020. The FSB confirms that it will continue to monitor developments to identify and manage new and emerging risks, work to finalize the outstanding components of the post-crisis reforms and assess the implementation of reforms as well as their effects. Key areas of focus will be:
    • LIBOR transition: the FSB will monitor implementation of the benchmark reforms and report on outstanding issues.
    • Global stablecoins: the FSB will launch a consultation on global stablecoins in April 2020.
    • Global payment systems: the FSB will work with other international bodies to develop and deliver a roadmap for using digital innovations to improve global cross-border payments.
    • FinTech: the FSB will report on the perspective of emerging market and developing economies.

    View the FSB work program for 2020.
  • European Securities and Markets Authority Publishes Information on Pending Applications for Benchmark Administrators
    12/13/2019

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published a list of the entities that are awaiting their national regulator’s approval for authorization and registration as EU benchmark administrators. Under the EU Benchmark Regulation, existing EU and third country benchmark administrators are entitled to apply for authorization to continue as administrators.

    Read more.
  • Proposed EU Procedural Rules for Penalties Imposed on Third-Country CCPs, Trade Repositories and Credit Rating Agencies
    12/13/2019

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has launched a consultation on proposed procedural rules for penalties imposed on third-country CCPs, trade repositories and credit rating agencies. Responses are invited by January 18, 2020. ESMA intends to finalize its technical advice by the end of Q1 2020.

    Read more.
  • EMIR 2.2 Regulation on the Authorization and Recognition of CCPs Published
    12/12/2019

    A new Regulation amending the European Market Infrastructure Regulation has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union, introducing changes to the procedures and authorities involved in the authorization of central counterparties and the requirements for the recognition of third-country CCPs. The Regulation, known as “EMIR 2.2”, is part of the EU’s push to enhance the regulation of CCPs amid concerns regarding potential CCP failures given their increasing systemic importance. 

    Read more.
  • European Securities and Markets Authority Publishes Annual Report on Regulators’ Supervisory Measures under EMIR
    12/09/2019

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published its annual report on the supervisory measures and penalties imposed by national regulators in respect of certain provisions under the European Markets Infrastructure Regulation. The relevant provisions govern: (i) the clearing obligation; (ii) the reporting obligation; (iii) non-financial counterparties; and (iv) the risk mitigation techniques under EMIR.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: Derivatives
  • International Swaps and Derivatives Association Seeks Clarity on Implications of Potential "Non-Representative" LIBOR Statement
    12/04/2019

    The International Swaps and Derivatives Association has published a letter in which it responds to the Financial Stability Board's November 15, 2019 letter on pre-cessation triggers. The co-Chairs of the FSB's Official Sector Steering Group requested ISDA to include a "pre-cessation trigger" alongside the cessation trigger in its standard language in derivatives contracts, via either definitions for new contracts or in a single protocol (without embedded optionality) for outstanding contracts. The pre-cessation trigger would cause a LIBOR-based contract to fall back to an alternative reference rate in the event that the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority, as the regulator of LIBOR, deemed that LIBOR was no longer representative.

    Read more.
  • UK Conduct Regulator Sets Out Conduct Expectations of Firms For LIBOR Transition
    11/19/2019

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has published a statement on conduct risk during the LIBOR transition, which is due to be completed by the end of 2021. The statement is in the form of questions and answers and sets out the FCA's expectations of firms relating to governance and accountability, replacing LIBOR with alternative rates in existing contracts, offering new products with alternative rates, communicating with customers about the transition from LIBOR and best practice for firms investing on behalf of clients.

    View the FCA's statement.
  • Financial Stability Board’s LIBOR Steering Group Encourages ISDA to Roll Out Pre-Cessation Trigger
    11/15/2019

    The co-Chairs of the Financial Stability Board’s Official Sector Steering Group, whose work focuses on interest rate benchmarks that are deemed to play a critical role in the global financial system, have written to the International Swaps and Derivatives Association requesting that it includes a “pre-cessation trigger” alongside the cessation trigger in its standard language in derivatives contracts, via either definitions for new contracts or in a single protocol (without embedded optionality) for outstanding contracts. The pre-cessation trigger would cause a LIBOR-based contract to fall back to an alternative reference rate in the event that the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority, as the regulator of LIBOR, deemed that LIBOR was no longer representative. 

    Read more.
  • Working Group on Euro Risk-Free Rates Makes Recommendations for €STR Fall-Back Arrangements
    11/12/2019

    The European Central Bank has published a report by the working group on euro risk-free rates on €STR fall-back arrangements. The EU Benchmark Regulation requires regulated entities to have put in place written plans on the steps that they would take should a benchmark used in their contracts be materially amended or ceases. The Working Group recommends that instead of selecting an alternative rate, regulated entities should take into account the ECB's regular review of €STR's methodology and the policies and procedures for the possible cessation of €STR, together with the use of contractual fallbacks.

    View the report.
  • Final EMIR 2.2 Technical Advice Published
    11/11/2019

    Following its consultation earlier this year, the European Securities and Markets Authority has published final reports and the final technical advice on third-country CCP tiering, comparable compliance and fees under draft revisions to the European Market Infrastructure Regulation, known as EMIR 2.2. EMIR 2.2 will change the requirements for the supervision of both EU and third-country CCPs, and includes the controversial formal EU "location policy" for CCPs. The technical advice will assist the Commission in preparing the final delegated legislation that will supplement the EMIR 2.2.

    Read more.
  • Working Group on Euro Risk-Free Rates Recommends Fallback Provisions Contracts Referencing EURIBOR
    11/06/2019

    The European Central Bank has published a report by the working group on euro risk-free rates providing high-level recommendations for fall-back provisions in contracts for cash products and derivatives transactions referencing EURIBOR. The recommendations are not legally binding and market participants can decide whether, and to the extent to which, they wish to adopt them. EURIBOR were identified as critical benchmarks for the purposes of the EU Benchmarks Regulation  and the methodology for calculating EURIBOR has been revised to be Benchmark Regulation-compliant, to be implemented by the end of 2019.

    Read more.
  • EU Consultation on Changes to Position Limits for Commodity Derivatives
    11/05/2019

    Following its Call for Evidence issued in May this year, the European Securities and Markets Authority has launched a consultation on proposed revisions to the legal framework for position limits and position management in commodity derivatives. The position limits regime was introduced by the revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive. MiFID II requires the European Commission to report to the European Parliament and the Council on the impact of the application of position limits and position management on liquidity, market abuse and orderly pricing and settlement conditions in commodity derivatives markets. ESMA must provide the Commission with advice regarding this new regime to support the Commission's preparation of the report, including any recommendations for changing the legislative requirements. Responses to ESMA's consultation should be submitted by January 8, 2020.

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    TOPICS: DerivativesMiFID II
  • EU Recommendations on Financial Accounting Implications of Transition to €STR
    11/05/2019

    The European Central Bank has published a report by the working group on euro risk-free rates on the financial accounting implications of the transition from EONIA to €STR and the introduction of €STR-based fallbacks for EURIBOR. 

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