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Financial Regulatory Developments Focus
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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.

  • UK HM Treasury Consults on an Expanded Resolution Regime for CCPs
    02/24/2021

    HM Treasury has opened a consultation seeking views on an expanded resolution regime for CCPs. The existing U.K. CCP recovery and resolution regime was established by the Financial Services Act 2012, which extended to CCPs (with modifications) the special resolution regime for banks and investment firms. Since then, there have been international and EU developments. In particular, the Financial Stability Board published guidance on financial resources for CCP resolution and the EU has published the EU CCP Recovery and Resolution Regulation. The U.K., when it was an EU member state, supported and helped develop the EU Regulation. HM Treasury is proposing to amend the U.K. regime to bring it into line with international standards and the proposals, bar a few technical exceptions, follow the EU Regulation. Responses to the consultation may be submitted until May 28, 2021.

    Read more.
  • European Securities and Markets Authority Consults on 2021 Supervisory Fees for EU Trade Repositories
    02/22/2021

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published a consultation on its proposals for recalibrating the 2021 annual supervisory fees to be charged by ESMA to EU trade repositories. ESMA's annual fees are intended to cover its costs for supervising EU trade repositories, and to be proportionate to the turnover of the trade repository concerned.

    Read more.
  • EU Launches Review of the Financial Collateral Directive
    02/12/2021

    The European Commission has launched a targeted consultation related to post-trade services, which considers the EU Financial Collateral Directive. The Commission is also consulting on the Settlement Finality Directive, combining the review of these two Directives since they are closely related. The consultations close on May 7, 2021. The FCD establishes a harmonized EU framework for the use of financial collateral to secure transactions. It provides for close-out netting provisions to be enforceable under their terms and ring-fences the operation of financial collateral arrangements should one of the parties become insolvent, creating protections from the usual insolvency laws of a Member State. The FCD consultation does not cover the re-use of financial collateral given under a security financial collateral arrangement by a collateral taker as this issue has recently been addressed in the Securities Financing Transactions Regulation. The consultation focuses on issues relating to the recognition of close-out netting provisions and its impact on SFD systems.

    Read more.
  • EU Launches Review of the Settlement Finality Directive
    02/12/2021

    The European Commission has launched a targeted consultation related to post-trade services, which considers the EU Settlement Finality Directive. The Commission is also consulting on the Financial Collateral Directive, combining the review of these two Directives since they are closely related. The consultations close on May 7, 2021. The SFD establishes various insolvency carve-outs for designated market infrastructure systems and provides for finality of transactions within such systems. Under the protections currently afforded by the SFD, transfer orders which enter into designated systems within certain deadlines are guaranteed to be finally settled and cannot be unwound at the behest of insolvency officials, regardless of whether the sending participant has become insolvent or transfer orders have been revoked in the meantime. The SFD essentially excludes "insolvency claw-back" rules, such as those for transactions at an undervalue or trading by insolvent or near-insolvent entities, from applying to holdings in designated systems and modifies the timing of "moratorium" rules which prevent transactions by insolvents. This also gives certainty as regards holdings in central securities depositories and as to the finality of transactions in some clearing and payment systems. Under the SFD, each EU Member State automatically recognizes systems that have been designated by other Member States. However, there is no EU regime for third country systems, a lacuna which has already been fixed by the U.K. in its SFD laws after Brexit.

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  • EU Amends Rules to Address LIBOR Cessation and Extends Use of Third-Country Benchmarks to 2023
    02/02/2021

    The Council of the European Union has announced that it has adopted the final text of the regulation to address LIBOR cessation, which will amend the EU Benchmark Regulation. According to the Council, the amending Regulation will be published in the Official Journal of the European Union on February 12, 2021 and it will enter into force and apply from February 13, 2021.

    The EU Benchmark Regulation sets out the authorization and registration requirements for benchmark administrators, including third-country entities, and the requirements for governance and control of administrators. It provides for different categories of benchmarks depending on the risks involved, imposes additional requirements on benchmarks considered to be "critical" and gives powers to national regulators to mandate, under certain conditions, contributions to or the administration of critical benchmarks.

    Read more.
  • European Securities and Markets Authority Publishes Final Report on Proposed Fees for Benchmark Administrators
    02/01/2021

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published its final report on proposed supervisory fees for EU benchmark administrators. In 2019, the EU Benchmarks Regulation was amended, granting ESMA new powers to act as competent authority for EU administrators of critical benchmarks and third-country benchmark administrators that have been recognized by ESMA from January 1, 2022. Before these amendments take effect, third-country benchmark administrators may seek recognition from a national regulator of an EU member state. Both the current and new provisions only apply in the absence of an equivalence decision for the relevant third-country where the benchmark administrator is located. The recognition allows EU supervised entities to use the benchmark, for example in financial contracts. The amendments require ESMA to charge fees to the administrators under its supervision. The European Commission tasked ESMA with producing technical standards on those fees.

    Read more.
  • EU Grants Equivalence to More US CCPs
    01/28/2021

    An EU equivalence decision for U.S. CCPs regulated by the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission that are "covered clearing agencies" under the SEC rules has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union. The decision paves the way for these U.S. CCPs to be recognized by the European Securities and Markets Authority upon which they will be able to provide clearing services to EU trading venues and businesses. Relevant U.S. CCPs that potentially would be covered by this designation but which were not previously granted equivalence include the Fixed Income Clearing Corporation, National Securities Clearing Corporation, The Depository Trust Company and The Options Clearing Corporation. ICE Clear Credit LLC also registered with the SEC, however, this CCP already benefits from EU equivalence as it falls within the previous EU equivalence decision for U.S. CCPs regulated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. ICE Clear Europe, which was an EU CCP until Brexit, is also recognized under the EU's temporary equivalence for U.K. CCPs. LCH SA is also registered with the SEC, but is an EU CCP and so the equivalence regime is not applicable to it.

    Read more.
  • EU CCP Recovery and Resolution Regulation Published
    01/22/2021

    The EU Regulation on the recovery and resolution of CCPs has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union. The Regulation sets out the rules and procedures for the recovery and resolution of EU CCPs authorized under the European Market Infrastructure Regulation. The aim of the Regulation is the establishment of a framework for the orderly recovery of a CCP through implementation of recovery plans. A CCP's recovery plan will form part of its operational rules, which are agreed with its clearing members. A CCP's operating rules must also ensure the enforceability of the recovery measures outlined in the recovery plan, including to contracts or assets governed by the law of a third country or to third-country entities.

    If the recovery measures do not restore the CCP's viability, the CCP's resolution authority will have the power to take action to ensure the continuity of the CCP's critical functions and, if needed, resolve the CCP. This includes setting up bridge CCPs. In the event of losses arising under a resolution, these will be borne by a CCP's owners, creditors and counterparties in line with the hierarchy of claims in insolvency. The CCP recovery and resolution framework would apply to all CCPs established in the EU. It is not proposed that the recovery and resolution framework would apply to the wider group of a CCP.

    Read more.
  • European Commission Publishes New EU Cybersecurity Strategy
    12/16/2020

    The European Commission and High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy have published details of a new EU Cybersecurity strategy, which aims to enhance the EU's resilience to cyber threats and build a cybersecure digital transformation. The overall strategy is set out in a Communication, which is accompanied by two legislative proposals. The first legislative proposal is for a new EU Directive on the resilience of critical entities (the proposed CER Directive), which will enhance and repeal the existing 2008 European Critical Infrastructure Directive (Council Directive 2008/114/EC). The second proposal is for a new Directive on cybersecurity across the EU (NIS2), which would augment and repeal the existing NIS Directive (Directive (EU) 2016/1148). The Commission consulted earlier this year on proposals for each of these legislative proposals.

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  • UK Government Seeks Input on UK Framework for Cross-Border Financial Services
    12/15/2020

    HM Treasury has launched a call for evidence on the U.K.'s framework for cross-border financial services. HM Treasury is considering policy approaches for ensuring the U.K. framework is fit for the future given the U.K.'s exit from the EU, including consideration of how effective and proportionate regulation can support attracting investment and liquidity to the U.K. Responses to the consultation may be submitted until March 11, 2021.

    Read more.
  • European Commission Consults on Central Securities Depositories Regulation
    12/08/2020

    The European Commission has launched a consultation on proposals to improve securities settlement in the EU and on central securities depositories. The EU Central Securities Depositaries Regulation provides a harmonized regulatory and prudential regime for CSDs and increases the robustness and resilience of securities settlement arrangements. There is a single market for CSD services across the EU and a third-country equivalence regime for CSDs. Responses to the consultation can be submitted until February 2, 2021.

    Read more.
  • Financial Stability Board Issues Final Guidance on Financial Resources for CCP Resolution
    11/16/2020

    The Financial Stability Board has issued a final report and guidance on financial resources to support CCP resolution and on the treatment of CCP equity in resolution. The FSB consulted on the guidance in 2018, stating that, in its view, further evidenced-based guidance was needed to develop the guidance, such as the practical experience of resolution planning that resolution authorities and Crisis Management Groups have gained.

    Read more.
  • EU Authority Updates Statements on Reporting Obligations Post-Brexit Transitional Period
    11/10/2020

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published updated statements regarding the end of the Brexit transition period on December 31, 2020. 

    Read more.
  • UK Grants Equivalence to EEA CCPs
    11/10/2020

    The U.K. Central Counterparties (Equivalence) Regulations 2020 (SI No. 2020/1244) have been made, granting equivalence for EEA CCPs from 10:59 pm on December 31, 2020. The decision will enable U.K. businesses and trading venues to continue using the clearing services of EEA CCPs under the U.K. European Market Infrastructure Regulation after the end of the Temporary Recognition Regime, provided that the Bank of England grants the individual CCP concerned recognition status.

    The EU has granted temporary equivalence for U.K. CCPs, which is set to expire in June 2022.

    View the Central Counterparties (Equivalence) Regulations 2020, SI No. 2020/1244.

    View details of the temporary equivalence decision for U.K. CCPs.
  • European Securities and Markets Authority Reports on Implementation of EU Central Securities Depositaries Regulation
    11/05/2020

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published two reports relevant to the EU Central Securities Depositaries Regulation. The CSDR provides a harmonized regulatory and prudential regime for CSDs and increases the robustness and resilience of securities settlement arrangements. There is a single market for CSD services across the EU and a third-country equivalence regime for CSDs. ESMA's reports, which will be considered as part of the upcoming review of CSDR by the European Commission, are on the following:
     
    1. Internalized settlement, which is the regime for settlement other than through an EU CSD. In the report, ESMA notes that no significant risks have been identified. National EU regulators have identified that operational risk and custody risk are evident, in response to which, ESMA recommends improved operational processes and enhanced identification of client accounts. According to ESMA, the issues involved in the internalized settlement reporting regime are normal in terms of any new reporting requirements. Noting the limited time period that the data covers, ESMA highlights that continued monitoring of the regime is important to assess whether the area warrants regulation. ESMA considers that custodian clients should at least be informed of the risks and costs of the place of settlement.
    2. Cross-border services and handling of applications. ESMA found that CSDR has had a limited impact on the provision of cross-border services in the EU by EU CSDs. ESMA states that future reports will need access to more detailed information and that they should consider whether most of the activity remains with global custodians as well as the impact of CSDR on costs and competition.

    View ESMA's reports.
  • EU Final Guidelines on Transfers of Information Between Securitization Repositories
    10/05/2020

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published a final report and final guidelines on the portability of information between securitization repositories under the EU Securitization Regulation. ESMA is responsible for the registration and supervision of securitization repositories. It is required under the Securitization Regulation to develop guidelines for supervisory purposes and will apply them from January 1, 2021, except for those provisions that require securitization repositories to have policies for the orderly transfer of data to other securitization repositories, which apply from June 18, 2021. The guidelines will apply to transfers of information between repositories either at the request of a reporting entity or in the event of a securitization repository's registration being withdrawn. The guidelines set out the specific procedures and the content of policies for the orderly transfer of information by securitization repositories.

    View ESMA's final report and guidelines.
  • EU Grants Temporary Recognition to UK CCPs For End of Brexit Transition Period
    09/28/2020

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has announced that it has granted temporary third-country recognition to three U.K. CCPs from January 1, 2021 under the European Market Infrastructure Regulation. ESMA's announcement follows the time-limited equivalence decision for the U.K.'s legal and regulatory supervision regime of U.K. CCPs, which was published on September 21, 2020. The third-country recognition for ICE Clear Europe Limited, LCH Limited and LME Clear Limited means that EU clearing members of these three CCPs will be able to continue to access the services and that the CCPs will be able to continue to provide their services in the EU at the end of the transition period on December 31, 2020, following the U.K.'s withdrawal from the EU.

    Read more.
  • EMIR 2.2 Secondary Legislation Published
    09/21/2020

    Three Commission Delegated Regulations have been published in the Official Journal of the European Union, supplementing the revised European Market Infrastructure Regulation. The Delegated Regulations contain provisions related to the changes introduced by EMIR 2.2, the amending EU Regulation that came into force on January 1, 2020 and introduced changes to the procedures and authorities involved in the authorization of central counterparties and the requirements for the recognition of third-country CCPs. EMIR 2.2 also introduced a new tiering system for third-country CCPs, making non-systemically important (or "Tier 1") third-country CCPs subject to less stringent requirements than systemically important (or "Tier 2") third-country CCPs. The Commission Delegated Regulations all relate to third-country CCP provisions of EMIR 2.2 and will enter into force on September 22, 2020. They have been published in the form adopted by the European Commission in July 2020.

    Read more.
  • Confirmation on EU Securitization Disclosure Requirements
    09/04/2020

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published a press release confirming that certain requirements under the Securitization Regulation will enter into force on September 23, 2020.

    Read more.
  • EU Publishes Draft Delegated Regulation on Changes to CCP Colleges under EMIR 2.2
    09/01/2020

    The European Commission has published a draft Delegated Regulation designed to amend existing Delegated Regulation (EU) No 876/2013, which supplements the European Market Infrastructure Regulation with regards to changes to the composition, functioning and management of colleges for central counterparties. Under EMIR, "colleges" are supervisory bodies made up of the regulators responsible for supervision of a given CCP. From January 2020, revisions to EMIR (known as "EMIR 2.2") took effect, which introduced changes to the procedures and authorities involved in the authorization of central counterparties and the requirements for the recognition of third-country CCPs. EMIR 2.2 required ESMA to develop draft Regulatory Technical Standards on: (i) which currencies were "most relevant" for the purposes of determining which central banks should be included in a CCP's college; and (ii) details of the practical arrangements for the functioning of the college that should be agreed in writing between the members of the college.

    Read more.
  • Global Common Template Published to Aid Continuity of Access to Financial Market Infrastructures
    08/14/2020

    The Financial Stability Board has published a common template for gathering information about continuity of access to financial market infrastructures for firms in resolution. The template facilitates implementation of the FSB’s 2017 Guidance on continuity of access to FMIs for a firm in resolution. The aim of the common template is to streamline the process of gathering information, reduce the burden on FMIs who receive multiple requests for information and make more efficient the process of giving information by FMIs to participants and authorities. All FMIs are urged to complete the questions in the common template and to make those available to their participants and national resolution authorities by November/December 2020. The FSB intends, after 12 months, to assess how the common template has achieved its goals.

    View the comment template.

    View the FSB’s Guidance.
  • 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.
  • Final EU Guidelines for Securitization Repositories Assessing Data Completeness and Consistency
    07/10/2020

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published a final report and final guidelines on securitization repository data completeness and consistency thresholds. The guidelines will apply to EU securitization repositories that are registered with and supervised by ESMA. From January 1, 2021, ESMA will consider the guidelines in its supervision of securitization repositories.

    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.
  • European Commission Consults on Proposed Revisions to EU Cybersecurity Rules
    07/07/2020

    The European Commission has launched a consultation on proposed revisions to the EU Directive on the security of network and information systems across the Union (commonly known as the NIS Directive), which is designed to protect the security of EU network and information systems. The NIS Directive sets out, among other things, the parameters of national network and information security strategies to be implemented by Member States for providers of "essential services", which include credit institutions (as defined under the EU Capital Requirements Regulation) and financial market infrastructures.

    Read more.
  • UK Conduct Regulator Statement on Open Access Regime for Exchange-Traded Derivatives
    07/06/2020

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has published an updated statement on the open access regime for trading and clearing exchange-traded derivatives. The Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation provided a temporary opt-out from the open access requirements for trading venues and clearing houses in relation to ETDs. The opt-out was due to expire on July 3, 2020. However, in light of COVID-19, the EU has announced it is postponing the implementation of the open access regime for ETDs until July 3, 2021. The FCA's statement acknowledges the EU's postponement of the regime and states that the amended open access regime will form part of retained EU law that will be transposed by the U.K. post-Brexit and will continue to apply in the U.K. after the end of the transition period.

    Read more.
  • EU Notice on Postponement of Open Access Provisions for Exchange-Traded Derivatives
    07/03/2020

    A notice of information has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union, postponing the entry into application of open access provisions for exchange-traded derivatives under the Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation until July 3, 2021.

    MiFIR requires a trading venue to provide open and non-discriminatory access to a CCP so that a CCP can clear trades in transferable securities, money market instruments and ETDs concluded on a trading venue of their choice. There is a reciprocal requirement on CCPs to provide open and non-discriminatory access to a trading venue that wishes to clear financial instruments through a particular CCP. These provisions have been in force for over-the-counter products (i.e. those not traded on a regulated market) for some time. The European Securities and Markets Authority published a statement in June 2020 setting out the circumstances in which trading venues and CCPs may refuse requests for access, acknowledging the strain placed on trading venues and CCPs by COVID-19, which may impact their ability to deal with such requests.

    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 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.
  • EU Statement on Open Access Requests for Exchange-Traded Derivatives
    06/11/2020

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published a statement on the open access provisions for exchange-traded derivatives under the Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation.

    MiFIR requires a trading venue to provide open and non-discriminatory access to a CCP so that a CCP can clear trades in transferable securities, money market instruments and ETDs concluded on a trading venue of their choice, which will in turn allow the members of a trading venue to select the CCP they wish to use for clearing. There is a reciprocal requirement on CCPs to provide open and non-discriminatory access to a trading venue that wishes to clear financial instruments through a particular CCP. These provisions are controversial since they mean that valuable intellectual property and IT systems developed by exchanges effectively must be made available to competitors or new market entrants. It has been argued that the open access requirements make the EU unattractive as a location for exchange businesses due to the commercial disadvantages that result for those exchanges which have successfully invested in innovation.

    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;
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  • 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 Commission Publishes Adjusted 2020 Work Program
    05/27/2020

    The European Commission has published an adjusted 2020 Work Program to reflect the unexpected challenges arising from COVID-19. The Commission still intends to deliver on the commitments made under its original Work Program, published in January 2020, but has adjusted the timing of certain actions necessary to achieve its objectives. An update on the delivery and expected timing of the objectives under the adjusted Work Program are set out in an amended version of Annex 1 on the Commission’s website.

    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.
  • Council of the European Union Publishes Working Paper on Interoperability Arrangements and MiFIR Open Access for Exchange Traded Derivatives
    04/29/2020

    The Council of the European Union has published a working paper on interoperability arrangements as a source of contagion risk and open access provisions for exchange-traded derivatives under the Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation.

    Interoperability arrangements are links between CCPs that involve the cross-system execution of transactions. They are relevant where multiple CCPs service the same trading venue and allow clearing members of one CCP to centrally clear trades carried out with members of another CCP, without requiring the first counterparty to be a member of the second CCP. The European Market Infrastructure Regulation contains provisions governing CCP interoperability arrangements, including the need for non-discriminatory access, adequate risk management policies and the need for prior approval of relevant national regulators.

    Read more.
  • EU Regulatory Forbearance for Audit Requirements for Interest Rate Benchmark Administrators and Contributors
    04/09/2020

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has issued a public statement asking national regulators across the EU not to prioritize supervisory actions against interest rate benchmark administrators and contributors for failing to comply with the external audit requirements under the Benchmark Regulation, where those audits are carried out by September 30, 2020. The EU Benchmark Regulation requires an interest rate benchmark administrator to have an external audit conducted of its compliance with the benchmark methodology and Benchmark Regulation. Contributors to interest rate benchmarks are required to have an external audit conducted of their input data and compliance with the Benchmark Regulation. ESMA is granting the regulatory forbearance in response to the impact of COVID-19. ESMA states that administrators and contributors that anticipate a delay to the required audits should inform their nation regulator.

    View ESMA's statement.

    Details of other regulatory responses to COVID-19 are available on our COVID-19 Research Center.
  • 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 Organization of Securities Commissions Publishes Report on Global Stablecoins
    03/23/2020

    The International Organization of Securities Commissions has published a report analyzing the regulatory issues arising from the use of global stablecoins and setting out how the existing IOSCO principles would apply to a global stablecoin, depending on its structure. IOSCO states that global stablecoins, depending on how they are set up, share features with regulated securities and other regulated financial instruments and services. Using a hypothetical global stablecoin case, the report analyzes how the IOSCO Principles and Standards would apply and also considers some of the broader implications. The report also includes an analysis, jointly conducted by IOSCO and the Committee on Payment and Market Infrastructures, of the applicability of the CPMI-IOSCO Principles for Financial Market Infrastructures. The conclusion is that the PFMI will apply to global stablecoin arrangements involving the performance of systemically important payment system functions or other FMI functions.

    View IOSCO's report on global stablecoin initiatives.
  • Financial Stability Board Announces Coordinated Financial Sector Response to COVID-19
    03/20/2020

    The Financial Stability Board is coordinating with its members to support coordinated action required to preserve global financial stability. National regulators and financial institutions are encouraged to take advantage of regulatory flexibility to protect funding for market participants and the real economy, and international standard setting bodies are working together, including with reference to financial policy responses in their respective jurisdictions, to ensure the financial system can continue to finance growth.
     
    View the FSB's announcement.
  • Financial Stability Board Highlights Vulnerabilities in Global Financial System
    02/18/2020

    The Financial Stability Board has written to G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors outlining the key focus areas for the FSB’s work ahead of the next G20 summit in Saudi Arabia in November 2020. The communication builds on certain areas highlighted as priorities in the FSB’s 2020 Work Program, published in December 2019.

    Read more.
  • European Commission Publishes 2020 Work Programme
    01/29/2020

    The European Commission has published its 2020 Work Programme, setting out the EU’s strategic priorities for the next 12 months.

    Read more.
  • UK Regulator Outlines Priorities for Supervising Benchmark Administrators
    01/24/2020

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has written to the CEOs of benchmark administrators that it supervises. In the letter, the FCA sets out its supervisory strategy as well as the potential harms that benchmark administrators pose to their customers and to the financial markets. The FCA is asking all benchmark administrators to consider the harm that their firm may present and to consider how those could be mitigated. The FCA intends to focus over the next two years on the following areas to ensure that its supervision of benchmark administrators mitigates the identified risks:
    • Quality of standards: the quality of an administrator's governance and controls, the information provided in their Benchmark Statement, their recalculation and cessation policies, their outsourcing arrangements and their approach to operational resilience; and
    • Excessive fees and costs: the FCA is concerned that competition may not be working well in the provision of benchmarks following the feedback received to its Wholesale Sector Competition Review and Asset Management Market Study. The FCA intends to carry out a Call for Input on access to data in wholesale markets so that it can gain a better understanding of the issues and determine whether any action is needed.
    Read more.
  • Proposed EU Guidelines for Securitization Repositories Assessing Data Completeness and Consistency
    01/17/2020

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has launched a consultation on proposed guidelines on securitization repository data completeness and consistency thresholds. The proposed guidelines would apply to EU securitization repositories that are registered with and supervised by ESMA. The consultation closes on March 16, 2020.

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  • European Securities and Markets Authority Publishes 2020-2022 Strategic Orientation
    01/09/2020

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published its Strategic Orientation for 2020-2022, setting out its longer-term objectives for regulating financial markets. The previous Strategic Orientation covered the period from 2016-2020 and so is coming to an end this year. Looking forward, ESMA aims to:
    • develop the EU Capital Markets Union by encouraging wider retail investor participation, which would assist with the diversification of funding sources and efficiency of capital markets;
    • promote sustainable finance and long-term oriented capital markets as part of the EU's commitment to meet the UN's Sustainable Development Goals by 2030;
    • examine the opportunities and risks of digitalization and technology for market participants and regulators;
    • guarantee the EU's voice in financial markets, aiming to maintain the openness of EU financial markets and develop EU co-operation with third-country authorities to ensure investor protection and financial stability; and
    • encourage proportionality, particularly with respect to SMEs and innovative companies, where ESMA may need to tailor its initiatives to meet its objectives.

    View ESMA 2020-2022 Strategic Orientation.
  • European Securities and Markets Authority Publishes Final Report and Updated Q&A on CCP Membership Criteria and Due Diligence
    01/07/2020

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published a final report on the 2018 survey it conducted on central counterparties' membership criteria and due diligence practices, together with an update to its Q&As providing guidance on the correct implementation of the European Markets Infrastructure Regulation. The survey was prompted by the default in September 2018 of an individual who was acting as a clearing member of Nasdaq Clearing AB. This triggered ESMA's investigation into CCPs' membership and due diligence practices and their compliance with participation requirements under EMIR and the joint Principles for Financial Market Infrastructures issued by the Committee on Payment and Settlement Systems and the International Organization of Securities Commissions.

    Read more.
  • European Securities and Markets Authority Publishes Evidence on Market Impacts of Circuit Breakers
    01/07/2020

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published a working paper setting out its findings on the market impacts of “circuit breakers”, instruments used by trading venues to interrupt excessive price movements in financial instruments. The revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive places obligations on national regulators to require a regulated market in their jurisdiction to be able to temporarily halt or constrain trading if there is significant price movement in a financial instrument on that market during a short period and, in exceptional cases, to be able to cancel, vary or correct any transaction. 

    Read more.
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