Tracker, Financial Services Regulation & Compliance - Investment Firms


Central Bank publishes feedback statement to consultation paper on EMIR

On 16 July 2015, the Central Bank published a feedback statement and the submissions to its public consultation, CP90 ‘Supervision of Non-Financial Counterparties under EMIR’. The statement outlines a revised model of Non-Financial Counterparty (NFC) supervision. The main revisions include:

  • Alignment with ESMA NFC categorisations as NFC-s (below the clearing threshold) and NFC+s (above the clearing threshold);
  • Limiting use of the originally proposed EMIR Regulatory Return (ERR), needing third party assessment, to exceptional cases, primarily cases of non-compliance; and
  • Introducing a modified ERR, the Annual ERR, that is not required to be assessed by a third party and will be required from counterparties that are not classified as NFC+ but have been identified by the Central Bank as having significant derivative positions.

The Central Bank will advise a targeted selection of NFCs of their Annual ERR obligation by the end of September 2015. Relevant counterparties will be required to complete and submit an Annual ERR (provided at Appendix 1 of the statement) in relation to the period 1 January 2015, to 31 December 2015, by the end of January 2016, and on an annual basis thereafter.

Central Bank releases new Acquiring Transaction Notification Form for firms authorised under the Investment Intermediaries Act, 1995 (as amended)

The Central Bank updated the Acquiring Transaction Notification Form to provide prior notification to the Central Bank of a proposed acquisition of, or increase in, a direct or indirect qualifying holding in respect of firms which hold authorisations as Investment Business Firms under the Investment Intermediaries Act, 1995 (as amended) (IIA).


ESMA renews ban on short selling in Greece until 3 August 2015

ESMA renewed the Greek HCMC emergency temporary prohibition on transactions in any financial instrument that create, or increase, a net short position on any of the shares admitted to trading on the Athens Exchange and Multilateral Trading Facility “EN.A” under Regulation No 236/2012 on short selling and certain aspects of credit default swaps. The renewed measure shall apply for a period of seven days and shall be in force as of 00:00:01 hours (CET) on the 28th of July 2015 until 24:00:00 (CET) on the 3rd of August 2015.

FSB publishes Progress Report on Implementation of OTC Derivatives Market Reforms

The Financial Stability Board (FSB) issued a progress report on the implementation of OTC derivatives market reform. The report finds that implementation of OTC derivatives market reforms is well underway, with the foundational authority needed to give effect to the full range of these reforms in place in most FSB member jurisdictions. Feedback on the report should be submitted by 24 August 2015.

ESMA publishes responses received to the draft guidelines on knowledge and competence

In April, 2015, ESMA published draft guidelines specifying criteria for the assessment of knowledge and competence of investment firm's personnel giving investment advice or information about financial instruments, investment services or ancillary services to clients on behalf of the investment firm to fulfil their obligations under Article 24 and 25 of MiFID II. On 22 July 2015, ESMA published the responses it received to its draft guidelines and annexed questions. A final report is expected in Q4, 2015.

ESMA publishes responses received to its public consultation on the EMIR 4 clearing obligation

In May 2015, ESMA launched a public consultation on the clearing obligation under EMIR 4. On 17 July 2015, ESMA published the responses it received to this consultation.

ISDA publishes a new classification letter for counterparty notification of status under EMIR

The International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) published a classification letter that will enable counterparties to notify each other of their status for clearing and other regulatory requirements under EMIR. Under the Regulation, financial and non-financial counterparties must comply with certain regulatory obligations, the application of which often depends on the classification of both parties to a given transaction. The classification letter enables derivatives counterparties to classify themselves according to the EMIR taxonomy by answering a series of questions set out in the letter.

Steven Maijoor at ECON MiFID II/MiFIR Scrutiny Hearing

Maijoor addressed the ECON Committee offering reassurances on ESMA's efforts to be transparent in light of its resources and time constraints and an opinion on non-equity transparency, position limits and ancillary activities. The draft RTS are currently undergoing an early legal review by the Commission legal services to ensure legally sound final draft technical standards and to avoid a potentially lengthy re-approval process.

ESMA proposes to include ETDs in EMIR's interoperability arrangements for CCPs

ESMA has issued its final report on interoperability arrangements between EU-based clearing houses (CCPs) required under EMIR and related Guidelines and Recommendations. In its report, ESMA recommends  extension of the EMIR provisions related to interoperability arrangements to Exchange-Traded Derivatives (ETDs). A further extension to OTC derivatives will be assessed at a later stage. ESMA will submit the final report to the European Commission, Parliament and Council so that its recommendation can be endorsed and implemented.

ESMA issues opinion on the equivalence of the Israeli prospectus regime

ESMA revised its framework for the assessment of third country prospectuses under Article 20 of the Prospectus Directive in 2013. The new assessment of the Israeli laws and regulations on prospectuses is based on the revised framework and replaces the previous ESMA statement setting out its view on prospectuses drawn up according to Israeli laws and regulations.  While there were only some minor changes to the original statement, the new opinion also includes annexes dealing with requirements for SME share prospectuses and rights issues.

ESMA publishes Draft RTS on prospectus related issues under the Omnibus II Directive

ESMA published its Final Report and draft RTS on prospectus related issues under the Omnibus II Directive. The Report includes a number of changes from the original proposals as a result of public consultation, the responses to which are included in the report.

ESMA publishes guidelines for issuers performance measures

ESMA has published its Final Guidelines on Alternative Performance Measures (APMs) for listed issuers. The final guidelines set out the principles that issuers should follow when presenting APMs in documents which qualify as regulated information and address their labelling, calculation, presentation and comparability. The guidelines will apply to issuers with securities traded on regulated markets, and persons responsible for drawing up a prospectus. They will be supervised by competent authorities and other bodies in the EU with responsibilities under the Transparency Directive, Prospectus Directive or Market Abuse Regulation. The proposed guidelines are aligned with other regulations and guidance issued by securities regulators in the United States, Australia and Canada on this matter. In order to enable sufficient time for issuers to prepare for applying these guidelines and to align their application with the entry into force of the new Market Abuse Regulation, the guidelines are effective from 3 July 2016.

ESMA consults on regulatory technical standards under the CSD Regulation

This second Consultation Paper is limited to the provisions on buy-in of the draft RTS and is seeking input and quantitative elements from stakeholders on the different options presented in the paper. The Consultation is open until 6 August 2015.

Basel Committee and IOSCO issue final criteria for identifying "simple, transparent and comparable" securitisations

The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision and the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) released final criteria for identifying simple, transparent and comparable securitisations. The purpose of these criteria is to assist in the financial industry's development of simple, transparent and comparable securitisation structures. However, the criteria do not serve as a substitute for investors' due diligence, they only apply to term securitisations, and are non-exhaustive and non-binding (additional and/or more detailed criteria may be necessary based on specific needs and applications).


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

Date published: 04 August 2015