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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.

  • 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of insolvency officials, regardless of whether the sending participant has become insolvent or transfer orders have been revoked in the meantime.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.

    Read more.
  • Final Draft EU Technical Standards Amending Requirements for PRIIPs Key Information Document
    02/03/2021

    The European Supervisory Authorities have published a final report and final draft amending Regulatory Technical Standards on amendments to the RTS on the presentation, content, review and revision of a standardized "key information document" and the conditions for fulfilling the requirement to provide a KID (Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2017/653). The RTS supplements the Packaged Retail and Insurance-based Investment Products Regulation, which introduced a requirement for manufacturers of PRIIPs to produce a KID with the intention of improving retail investors' understanding of the financial products they were purchasing.

    The ESAs were asked to review the RTS and present proposals for amending the RTS. In July 2020, the ESAs wrote to the European Commission to explain that agreement among them had not been reached on all of the proposed changes and that, therefore, the final draft amending RTS could not be submitted to the Commission. The Board of the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority did not approve with qualified majority all of the proposals.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: Securities
  • 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.
  • EU Delays Securities Settlement Discipline Regime to February 2022
    01/27/2021

    EU Regulatory Technical Standards postponing the implementation deadline of the settlement discipline regime under the Central Securities Depositories Regulation have been published in the Official Journal of the European Union. The RTS delay the application date of the settlement discipline rules from February 1, 2021 to February 1, 2022, by amending the existing RTS (Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2018/1229). The settlement regime was originally due to apply from September 13, 2020. However, that date was changed to February 1, 2021, amid calls from industry associations and other stakeholders to delay the application date so that systems, procedures and measures could be put in place. The latest delay arises from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the financial services industry. The RTS cover measures for preventing settlement fails through automated matching, a hold and release mechanism and partial settlement. The RTS also provide measures for monitoring and addressing settlement fails, such as a mechanism for cash penalties and a buy-in process.

    View the amending Delegated Regulation.
    TOPICS: COVID-19Securities
  • European Securities and Markets Authority Publishes Guidelines on Reporting Securities Financing Transactions
    12/21/2020

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published guidelines on the reporting obligations under the EU Securities Financing Transactions Regulation. SFTs involve the use of securities to borrow cash or other higher investment-grade securities, or vice versa. Such transactions can include repurchase transactions, securities lending and sell/buy backs. The reporting obligation applies from January 11, 2021 for Non-Financial Counterparties. It has applied since July 13, 2020 for banks and investment firms (delayed from April 13, 2020 due to COVID-19), CCPs and central securities depositories and from October 12, 2020 for other Financial Counterparties.

    The guidelines will apply to counterparties to SFTs, trade repositories and relevant EU financial regulators from the day after publication or the day from which the relevant obligation applies.

    The guidelines cover:
    • the reporting start date when it falls on a non-working day;
    • the number of reportable SFTs;
    • the population of reporting fields for different types of SFTs, for margin data and for reuse, reinvestment and funding sources data;
    • the approach used to link SFT collateral with SFT loans;
    • the generation of feedback by trade repositories and its subsequent management by counterparties, in the case of rejection of reported data and reconciliation breaks; and
    • the provision of access to data to authorities by trade repositories.

    View the guidelines on reporting under SFTR.

    View details of the delays to SFTR reporting due to COVID-19.
    TOPIC: Securities
  • European Securities and Markets Authority Renews Notification Requirement for Net Short Positions at or Exceeding 0.1%
    12/17/2020

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has renewed its decision requiring holders of net short positions in shares traded on an EU-regulated market to notify national regulators if the position reaches or exceeds 0.1% of issued share capital. ESMA originally introduced the requirement on March 16, 2020 for a period of three months and has extended it twice since then. This latest extension will apply the requirements from December 19, 2020 until March 19, 2021. The temporary transparency obligations are a response to perceived threats to market integrity arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. They apply to any natural or legal person, irrespective of their country of residence, but do not apply to shares admitted to trading on a regulated market where the principal venue for the trading of the shares is located in a third country, market making activities, or stabilization activities.

    The European Free Trade Association's Surveillance Authority published a decision on the same day renewing its decision imposing the same transparency obligations for shares admitted to trading on an EEA regulated market. The renewed requirements also apply from December 19, 2020 until March 19, 2021.

    View ESMA's decision.

    View the EFTA decision.
    TOPICS: COVID-19Securities
  • UK Central Securities Depository Granted Temporary Recognition by the European Securities and Markets Authority
    12/11/2020

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has announced that Euroclear UK & Ireland Limited, a central securities depository established in the U.K., will be granted recognition under the EU CSD Regulation. The recognition will allow Euroclear UK & Ireland Limited to continue to provide certain services to EU customers after the end of the Brexit transitional period until at least June 30, 2021. ESMA's recognition decision follows the November 2020 temporary equivalence decision granted to U.K. CSDs.

    View ESMA's announcement.

    View details of the EU's equivalence decision for U.K. CSDs.
  • 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.
  • EU Grants Temporary Equivalence for UK Central Securities Depositories
    11/26/2020

    An EU equivalence decision has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union granting temporary equivalence for U.K. central securities depositories from the end of the Brexit transitional period (on December 31, 2020). The equivalence decision applies to CSDs already established in the U.K. and will apply from January 1, 2021 until June 30, 2021.

    View the EU equivalence decision for U.K. CSDs.
  • 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.
  • Final Draft EU Technical Standards for SME Growth Markets Under Market Abuse Regulation
    11/05/2020

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published its final report and final draft Technical Standards on the amendments to the Market Abuse Regulation for the promotion of SME Growth Markets. SME Growth Markets were a new sub-category of multilateral trading facility introduced by the revised Markets in Financial Instruments package in January 2018 to facilitate access to capital for SMEs. ESMA is mandated to prepare: (i) Regulatory Technical Standards on liquidity contracts; and (ii) Implementing Technical Standards on insider lists and to submit those to the European Commission by September 1, 2020. Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the delivery of the final draft RTS and ITS have been delayed and ESMA acknowledges that it is unlikely that they will be adopted in time for the application of the amendments to MAR, which is January 1, 2021. The final report outlines ESMA's proposals and provides the final draft RTS and ITS that ESMA has submitted to the European Commission for consideration.

    Read more.
  • 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.
  • Financial Stability Board Publishes Final Recommendations on Global Stablecoins
    10/13/2020

    Following its consultation earlier this year, the Financial Stability Board has published a final report on the regulation, supervision and oversight of global stablecoin arrangements. In the report, the FSB discusses the characteristics of GSCs, the risks posed by GSCs, existing approaches to regulating and supervising GSCs and issues with cross-border supervision of GSCs. Alongside the report, the FSB has published a summary of the responses to its consultation.

    Read more.
  • 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.
  • European Commission Sets out Capital Markets Union Action Plan
    09/24/2020

    The European Commission has published a Communication to EU bodies on its Capital Markets Union Action Plan. The CMU is an EU initiative which aims to enhance and further integrate the capital markets of EU Member States. An action plan to develop the initiative was first adopted in 2015 and has been commented upon and updated since then. The Commission's Communication sets out the latest Action Plan, and is accompanied by a Q&A. It follows the recommendations of the High-Level Forum on the CMU, which proposed 17 key recommendations for the CMU, and the Commission's Roadmap on the CMU which set out details of the Commission's proposed Action Plan for comments by interested parties.

    Read more.
    TOPICS: COVID-19Securities
  • UK Prudential Regulation Authority Publishes Proprietary Trading Review
    09/21/2020

    The U.K. Prudential Regulation Authority has published a report on the extent of proprietary trading by PRA-authorized deposit takers and investment firms incorporated in the U.K. Restrictions on proprietary trading (being the trading of financial instruments or commodities as principal by banks or investment firms) were introduced for ring-fenced retail banks in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis and came into force in January 2019. However, the U.K. decided not to impose a complete ban on proprietary trading for all banks, as had been seen in other countries, such as the U.S. under the Volcker Rule. Instead, the PRA was mandated to produce a report under the Financial Services (Banking Reform) Act 2013, with a view to informing the U.K. Parliament of the need for any further restrictions on proprietary trading.

    Read more.
  • International Organization of Securities Commissions Publishes Guidance on Conflicts of Interest in Debt Capital Raising
    09/21/2020

    The International Organization of Securities Commissions has published guidance on how to address potential conflicts of interest and associated conduct risks for intermediaries involved in the issuance of debt securities. Intermediaries may perform a variety of roles on a debt capital raising transaction and may also have a proprietary interest in the transaction itself.  In 2017, the IOSCO Board decided to examine conflicts of interest and other conduct risks in the capital raising process. IOSCO published guidance for the equity capital raising process in September 2018.

    Read more.
    TOPICS: COVID-19Securities
  • European Securities and Markets Authority Renews Notification Requirement for Net Short Positions at or Exceeding 0.1%
    09/18/2020

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has renewed its decision requiring holders of net short positions in shares traded on an EU-regulated market to notify national regulators if the position reaches or exceeds 0.1% of issued share capital. ESMA originally introduced the requirement on March 16, 2020 for a period of three months, extending it for a further three months on June 17, 2020. ESMA's latest decision means the measure will now apply from September 18, 2020 until December 18, 2020.

    Read more.
    TOPICS: COVID-19Securities
  • Financial Stability Board Further Delays Implementation Deadlines for Minimum Haircut Standards for Uncleared SFTs
    09/07/2020

    The Financial Stability Board has announced delays to the implementation of minimum haircut standards for non-centrally cleared securities financing transactions. SFTs involve the use of securities to borrow cash or other higher investment-grade securities, or vice versa. Such transactions can include repurchase transactions, securities lending and sell/buy backs. In 2015, the FSB published its regulatory framework and recommendations for haircuts on uncleared SFTs, which included timelines for the implementation of the recommendations by FSB member jurisdictions. The deadline for implementation was extended in July 2019 by the FSB because of the delay to implementation of the Basel III framework, including the minimum haircut standards on bank-to-non-bank SFTs, which was postponed to January 2022. In March 2020, a further delay to the implementation of the Basel framework to 2023 was announced, with the objective of relieving the operational burden on banks impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The FSB has decided to delay its framework again because it is expected to be implemented by many jurisdictions through the Basel III framework.

    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 Technical Standards Supplementing the Securitization Regulation
    09/03/2020

    Several EU Technical Standards supplementing the EU Securitization Regulation have been published in the Official Journal of the European Union. The Securitization Regulation has applied directly across the EU since January 1, 2019. It provides the criteria for identifying which securitizations will be designated as "simple, transparent and standardized" (STS) securitizations, a system to monitor the application of those criteria as well as common requirements on risk retention, due diligence and disclosure. Related amendments to the EU Capital Requirements Regulation set out the regulatory treatment of exposures to securitizations that are deemed to be STS securitizations.

    Read more.
  • EU Draft Technical Standards Published for Further Delaying Securities Settlement Discipline Rules to 2022
    08/28/2020

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published a final report and final draft Regulatory Technical Standards to further postpone the securities settlement discipline rules under the Central Securities Depositories Regulation to February 2022. ESMA announced on July 28, 2020 that it was preparing the draft RTS in response to a request from the European Commission to consider whether a further delay was needed due to the impact of COVID-19. The EU has already postponed the application date of the settlement discipline rules from September 13, 2020 to February 1, 2021 due to industry feedback that more time was needed to put in place the operational requirements for implementation of the rules. The draft RTS published today by ESMA would further delay the application date by a year from February 1, 2021 to February 1, 2022.

    View the final report and final draft RTS.

    View details of the amending RTS delaying the rules to February 2021.
    TOPICS: COVID-19Securities
  • EU Delays Securities Settlement Discipline Rules to 2021
    08/24/2020
     

    EU Regulatory Technical Standards postponing the implementation deadline of the settlement discipline regime under the Central Securities Depositories Regulation have been published in the Official Journal of the European Union. The RTS delay the application date of the settlement discipline rules from September 13, 2020 to February 1, 2021, by amending the existing RTS (Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2018/1229). The RTS cover measures for preventing settlement fails through automated matching, a hold and release mechanism and partial settlement. The RTS also provide measures for monitoring and addressing settlement fails, such as a mechanism for cash penalties and a buy-in process.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: Securities
  • EU Considering Further Delaying Securities Settlement Discipline Rules to 2022
    08/24/2020

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has announced that it is preparing new Regulatory Technical Standards to further postpone the securities settlement discipline rules under the Central Securities Depositories Regulation. The move follows a request from the European Commission for ESMA to consider whether a further delay is needed in light of the impact of COVID-19. The Commission has adopted the draft RTS prepared by ESMA that will delay the application date of the settlement discipline rules from September 13, 2020 to February 1, 2021. Those RTS are now subject to scrutiny by the European Parliament and Council of the European Union and will only come into force once published in the Official Journal of the European Union. ESMA's announcement relates to a proposal for an additional delay until February 2022.

    Read more.
    TOPICS: COVID-19Securities
  • International Organization of Securities Commissions Reports on Liquidity Provision in the Equity Secondary Markets
    08/11/2020

    The International Organization of Securities Commissions has published a report on liquidity provision in the secondary markets for equity securities. The report sets out common themes for regulators to consider as the main elements of market making programs that promote liquidity provision enhance investor confidence and facilitate fair and efficient markets. These key elements are: (i) registration of market makers; (ii) obligations imposed on market makers; (iii) balancing the obligations and benefits of the programs; (iv) monitoring program compliance; and (v) public disclosure.

    View the report.
    TOPIC: Securities
  • European Commission Publishes Capital Markets Recovery Package in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic
    07/24/2020

    The European Commission has published a series of proposed legislative amendments to reduce the burden on financial institutions during the coronavirus pandemic in relation to their obligations under the EU Securitization Regulation, the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive and the Prospectus Regulation. The package is referred to as the Capital Markets Recovery Package and is designed to make it easier for companies to raise capital and increase banks' capacity to finance the recovery.

    Read more.
  • 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.
  • Outcome of European Supervisory Authorities’ Review of PRIIPs Technical Standards Published
    07/21/2020

    The Joint Committee of the European Supervisory Authorities has published a letter addressed to the European Commission informing it of the outcome of the ESAs’ review of the Regulatory Technical Standards (Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2017/653) on the presentation, content, review and revision of a standardized “key information document” and the conditions for fulfilling the requirement to provide a KID. The RTS supplements the Packaged Retail and Insurance-based Investment Products Regulation, which introduced a requirement for manufacturers of PRIIPs to produce a KID with the intention of improving retail investors’ understanding of the financial products they were purchasing.

    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 Publishes Proposed Roadmap on Capital Markets Union Action Plan
    07/07/2020

    The European Commission has published a proposed Roadmap setting out details of its new Action Plan on the Capital Markets Union. The CMU is an EU initiative seeking to enhance and further integrate the capital markets of EU Member States. An action plan to develop the initiative was first adopted in 2015 and has been commented upon and updated since then, most recently in June 2020 when a High-Level forum on the CMU published a final report with 17 recommendations for advancing the CMU.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: Securities
  • Final Recommendations on EU Capital Markets Union Published
    06/10/2020

    The High Level Forum on the Capital Markets Union has published its final report setting out 17 recommendations aimed at moving the EU’s capital markets forward and completing the Capital Markets Union. The recommendations are grouped into four main clusters, which focus on: (i) creating a vibrant and competitive business environment; (ii) building stronger and more efficient market infrastructure; (iii) fostering retail investments in capital markets; and (iv) going beyond boundaries across the internal market.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: Securities
  • 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 Extends Period for Lower Short Sale Disclosures
    06/03/2020

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published a Decision renewing the temporary lower threshold for disclosures of net short positions in shares. ESMA's original Decision has been in effect since March 16, 2020 and was due to expire on June 16, 2020. The Decision to renew the measures will apply from June 17, 2020 for a further three months. The lower thresholds apply to all holders of net short positions in shares traded on an EU regulated market (i.e., exchange) who must notify the relevant national regulator if the position reaches or exceeds 0.1% of the issued share capital and of each 0.1% above that threshold.

    Read more.
    TOPICS: COVID-19Securities
  • International Organization of Securities Commissions Publishes Statement on COVID-19 Disclosure for Issuers
    05/29/2020

    The International Organization of Securities Commissions, the international policy forum for securities regulators, has published a statement on the disclosure standards that securities issuers should adhere to in the context of COVID-19.

    Read more.
    TOPICS: COVID-19Securities
  • EU Call for Transparency in Financial Reports of EU-Listed Issuers
    05/20/2020

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published a statement calling for transparency in the half-year financial reports of EU-listed issuers. The statement focuses on interim financial statements that need to be prepared according to IFRS standards and on interim management reports for 2020 half-yearly reporting periods. However, the statement is also relevant to the reporting of financial information in other interim periods. ESMA highlights that issuers must provide updated and useful information that covers the current and expected impact of the coronavirus pandemic on their financial position, performance and cash-flows. In addition, issuers should identify the principal risks and uncertainties to which they are exposed.

    View ESMA's statement.
    TOPICS: COVID-19Securities
  • 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 Consultation on SME Growth Markets
    05/06/2020

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has launched a consultation on the functioning of the small and medium-sized Growth Markets regime under the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II and on draft technical standards for the promotion of the use of SME Growth Markets to be developed under the Market Abuse Regulation. SME Growth Markets were a new sub-category of multilateral trading facility introduced by MiFID II in January 2018 to facilitate access to capital for SMEs. The consultation closes on July 15, 2020.

    Read more.
  • EU Recommendations For STS Framework For Synthetic Securitization
    05/06/2020

    The European Banking Authority has published a report on the feasibility of developing a framework for simple, transparent and standardized synthetic securitization that is limited to balance-sheet securitization under the EU Securitization Regulation.

    The EBA is recommending:
    • The establishment of a cross-sectoral framework for STS synthetic securitization that is limited to balance-sheet securitization;
    • To be eligible for 'STS' status, a synthetic securitization must comply with the proposed STS criteria, including the criteria adapted appropriately for synthetic securitization;
    • The European Commission should consider the potential for a differentiated capital treatment for STS balance-sheet synthetic securitization; and
    • Any proposal for STS synthetic securitization should include a mandate to the EBA to monitor the functioning of the STS synthetic market.

    The European Commission will consider the report and recommendations in preparing its own report and, if appropriate, legislative proposal.

    View the EBA's report on a STS framework for synthetic securitization.
  • Financial Stability Board Consults on Global Stablecoins
    04/14/2020

    The Financial Stability Board has launched a consultation on global stablecoin arrangements. The consultation is in response to the G20 mandating the FSB to analyze potential regulatory issues posed by global stablecoins and to advise on multilateral responses. Responses to the consultation should be submitted by July 15, 2020. The FSB's final report is expected to be published in October 2020.

    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 Grants Regulatory Forbearance for Financial Reporting in Wake of COVID-19
    03/27/2020

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published guidance for issuers on compliance with their financial reporting requirements in light of the challenges presented by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Under the EU Transparency Directive, issuers of debt securities or shares must publish annual and half-yearly financial reports within four months and three months, respectively, of the end of the relevant reporting period.

    Read more.
  • COVID-19: EU Regulatory Forbearance for Banks and Investment Firms for Reporting Securities Financing Transactions
    03/26/2020

    UPDATE: Further to its statement published on March 18, 2020, the European Securities and Markets Authority has published a clarifying statement to confirm that the regulatory forbearance granted for banks and investment firms subject to the upcoming reporting obligation under the Securities Financing Transaction Regulation also applies to securities financing transactions subject to the backloading requirement.

    ESMA published its initial public statement on steps it is taking to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the EU financial markets. ESMA is granting regulatory forbearance for banks and investment firms subject to the upcoming reporting obligation under the SFTR. Banks and investment banks were due to start reporting SFTs from April 13, 2020. EU banks and investment firms have been rolling out necessary diligence to categorize their clients and confidentiality waivers ahead of the launch, as well as installing new IT systems to report. ESMA's regulatory forbearance delays the reporting obligation for banks and investment firms from April 13, 2020 to July 13, 2020, which is the date from which CCPs and central securities depositories must begin reporting SFTs. Other Financial Counterparties must report from October 12, 2020 and Non-Financial Counterparties from January 11, 2021.

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    TOPICS: COVID-19Securities
  • 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.
  • COVID-19: UK Financial Conduct Authority Confirms No Short Selling Ban (Yet)
    03/23/2020

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has published a statement confirming that, in the wake to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is working with regulators in the U.S., the EU and elsewhere to ensure that the financial markets can remain orderly and open. Noting the recent volatility in the financial markets, the FCA confirms that the U.K. has not imposed a short selling ban and neither has the U.S. or any other major financial market. The EU has however temporarily reduced the threshold for the reporting of short positions. Net short position holders are required to notify the relevant national regulator of any net short position of 0.1% of the issued share capital of a company and of each 0.1% above that threshold. This also applies to listed shares on UK markets.  It is not necessary to notify existing positions above the new lower threshold that were not previously notifiable, until new trading takes place.

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    TOPICS: COVID-19FundsSecurities
  • COVID-19: European Securities and Markets Authority Extends Consultation Deadlines
    03/20/2020

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has announced that it is extending the consultation response dates to assist market participants as they implement arrangements to ensure business continuity during the coronavirus outbreak.

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  • EU Lowers Short Sale Disclosure Threshold
    03/16/2020

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has announced a Decision to lower the threshold for disclosing short positions in shares. Effective March 16, 2020, all holders of net short positions in shares traded on an EU regulated market (i.e., exchange) must notify the relevant national regulator if the position reaches or exceeds 0.1% of the issued share capital. Net short position holders must notify the relevant national regulator of any net short position of 0.1% of the issued share capital of a company and of each 0.1% above that threshold.

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    TOPICS: COVID-19Securities
  • UK Regulator Consults on Enhancing Climate-Related Disclosures by Certain Issuers
    03/06/2020

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has published a consultation paper on proposals to enhance climate-related disclosures by listed issuers and to clarify the existing disclosure obligations of issuers in relation to climate, environmental, social and governance matters. The FCA proposals would implement the disclosure recommendations of the Financial Stability Board's Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures. Responses to the consultation may be submitted until October 1, 2020. 

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