Tracker, Financial Services Regulation & Compliance - Investment Firms


Central Bank (Supervision and Enforcement) Act 2013 (s48(1) Client Asset Regulations 2015 for Investment Firms (SI 104 of 2015) has been signed by Deputy Governor (Financial Regulation) Cyril Roux on 25 March 2015

This SI sets out the rules that investment firms must adhere to in dealing with client assets. It has the goal of ensuring that investment firms will have stronger systems and controls in place to protect ownership rights of clients and investors.  Investment firms must also have in place a process which will facilitate the speedy return of clients assets or investor money in the event of insolvency. The Central Bank of Ireland (CBI) also published guidance for investment firms to assist in the interpretation of the Regulation.

EU & International


European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) enters into a Memorandum of Understanding with Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) regarding trading repositories

This Memorandum of Understanding is established under Article 76 of the European Markets Infrastructure Regulations (EMIR). This Article provides that third country authorities without a trade repository in the EU can access information on derivative contracts held in the jurisdiction, which are relevant for their mandates.  The Memorandum of Understanding is effective from 18 February 2015.

European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) enters into a Memorandum of Understanding with Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) regarding Central Counterparties (CCPs)

This Memorandum of Understanding is established under the European Markets Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR).  It establishes cooperation arrangements between ESMA and MAS regarding CCPs that are established in Singapore, are authorised by MAS and have applied for recognition under EMIR. This Understanding is effective from 10 February 2015.

European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) publishes findings from its review of how national competent authorities (NCAs) have implemented ESMA guidelines on automated trading into their day-to-day supervision of trading platforms

This review analysed supervisory practices across 30 NCAs, with a focus on the 12 NCAs supervising trading platforms with the most significant automated trading volumes.  According to the review, the majority of NCAs had integrated the ESMA guidelines into their supervisory approaches.  This increases the level of supervision of automated trading activity.  Despite this integration, a number of challenges associated with automated trading were identified.  These include the following:

  • IT knowledge; 
  • Testing of trading halts; and
  • Market complexity.

European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) publishes its revised opinion on the draft Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS) on the clearing obligations on interest rate swaps

This revised opinion follows the European Commission's modification of the RTS in December 2014.  On the whole, ESMA supports the objectives of the additions introduced by the European Commission.  However, it has published some observations, which relate to the following:

  • Non-EU intragroup transactions;
  • Frontloading; and 
  • Calculation of threshold investment funds.

European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) publishes its report on Trends, Risks and Vulnerabilities in the EU securities markets

This Report was published on 11 March 2015 and deals with the period between July and December 2014.  It sets out that the markets conditions in the EU have remained tense, with an increase in asset valuations, stable prices over time but there is also rising short term price volatility across key markets. ESMA noted further that capital market issuance for corporate funding is on the increase. 

International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) issues the Final Code of Conduct Fundamentals for Credit Rating Agencies (CRA Code)

This revision brings out changes from the 2008 version of this code.  The revisions have the goal of making the CRA Code stronger and clearer.  It should offer a strong framework for CRAs and protect the integrity of the ratings process, as well as safeguarding confidential information provided by issuers.

European Securities and Markets Authorities (ESMA) publishes its final report on guidelines on periodic information to be submitted to ESMA by Credit Rating Agencies (CRA)

This Report takes into account the responses received from the consultation period from July 2014.  The guidelines are published with a view to establishing consistent, efficient and effective supervisory practices throughout the EU.

For further information please contact a member of the Financial Regulation team.

Date published: 2 April 2015