Tracker, Financial Services Regulation & Compliance - Investment Firms


Minister for Finance introduces European Communities (Credit Rating Agencies) (Civil Liability) Regulations 2015

The Minister for Finance has introduced the the EC (Credit Rating Agencies) (Civil Liability) Regulations 2015 with the intention of giving full effect to Article 35a of EC Regulation 1060/2009 relating to the civil liability of credit rating agencies in certain defined scenarios. The 2015 Regulations allow for the adaptation of the EC Regulation 1060/2009 to operate within the Irish procedural framework.

Central Bank publishes new form for notification of acquisition of qualifying holdings in Investment Business Firms

The form is to be used 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.


ESMA opinion on emergency measure by the Hellenic Capital Market Commission under the Regulation on short selling and certain aspects of credit default swaps

On the 29th of June 2015, ESMA issued an opinion on the emergency measure introduced by the Hellenic Capital Market Commission (HCMC) under Article 20 of the Regulation. The measure consisted of a temporary prohibition of 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 the Multilateral Trading Facility of “EN.A” (Alternative Market of the Athens Exchange) of which the relevant Competent Authority is HCMC and was applied from 30th June 2015 at 00.00.01 CET to the 6th July 2015 at 24:00:00 (CET). ESMA considers that adverse developments which constitute a serious threat to market confidence in the Greek market still persist, that the measures are appropriate and proportionate, and that it is necessary and appropriate for HCMC to impose a short selling ban on shares and ETFs units that would last until the end of September.

FSB, BCBS, CPMI and IOSCO publish progress report on work to enhance CCP resilience

The Financial Stability Board (FSB), the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS), the Committee on Payments and Markets Infrastructures (CPMI) and the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) released a progress report on their work to enhance the resilience, recovery planning and resolvability of central counterparties (CCPs). The progress report provides an update on delivery against the 2015 workplan developed by these bodies to ensure effective coordination of policy work to make CCPs more resilient. Increased use of central clearing of derivatives is intended to enhance financial stability. At the same time, fully realising the benefits of CCPs requires them to be subject to strong regulatory oversight and supervisory requirements. The agreed workplan focuses on CCPs that are systemic across multiple jurisdictions.

SMSG publishes position paper regarding ESMA’s work on MAR level 3

ESMA has been mandated to draft regulatory and implementing technical standards (level 2) and to issue guidelines (level 3) in relation to the Market Abuse Regulation (MAR). The Securities and Markets Stakeholder Group (SMSG) has provided advice on relevant future topics to be dealt with on level 3. First, SMSG recommends that ESMA should establish an interactive online tool on its website which provides a comprehensive compendium of the level 1 and level 2-regulations as well as the related ESMA guidelines and Q&As. Second, the MAR requires ESMA to issue three sets of guidelines. One of the three guidelines will deal with the requirements for persons receiving market soundings. SMSG recommends ESMA avoid an excessively complex level 3-regime which would discourage market soundings. As to the guidelines specifying the right to delay the disclosure of inside information, SMSG recommends CESR’s non-exhaustive list of examples of legitimate interests to be incorporated into ESMA’s guidelines. Furthermore, ESMA’s guidelines should interpret the requirement “not misleading the public” in accordance with the former CESR guidance and specify that delay of disclosure is only misleading if an issuer actively sends signals that contradict the delayed inside information. ESMA should further clarify some key aspects of insider trading law, such as price relevance of inside information. To this end, ESMA should aim to provide more analysis with respect to the divergent approaches taken by the NCAs in this specific area of insider trading law. In particular, ESMA should provide more guidance on the “reasonable investor test”. Finally, ESMA’s Guidelines should define which information directly concerns the issuer. SMSG asks ESMA to clarify that issuers are under no obligation to respond to speculation or market rumours which are without substance.

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

Date published: 02 October 2015