DOMESTIC:

Minister for Finance announces exemption from Stamp Duty on transfers of shares in Irish companies admitted to the Enterprise Securities Market of the Irish Stock Exchange

On 17 May 2017, the Minister signed an order to commence Section 70 of the Finance (No.2) Act 2013, which provides that stamp duty shall not be chargeable on any transfer of shares admitted to the Enterprise Securities Market (ESM) operated by the Irish Stock Exchange (ISE), from 5 June 2017. The Department of Finance indicated that it is hoped that this will encourage more investors to back these companies leading to an increased supply of equity to promote growth and job creation.

Minister for Finance publishes the Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman Bill 2017

On 10 May 2017, the Minister for Finance announced the publication to the Bill along with an Explanatory Memorandum and the Regulatory Impact Assessment after they received government approval. The Bill proposes amalgamating the offices of the Financial Services Ombudsman and the Pensions Ombudsman and extending the time limit for complaints to the Ombudsman.

Central Bank Commission approves restructuring of financial regulation functions

In order to meet a growing regulatory mandate the Central Bank announced the restructuring of their financial regulation functions under two pillars:

1. the Prudential Regulation pillar which will include the directorates for credit institutions, insurance, and asset management supervision; and

2. the Financial Conduct pillar which will include the directorates for consumer protection, securities and markets supervision and enforcement.

Both pillars will be supported by their Policy and Risk Directorate.

EUROPEAN:

Directive (EU) 2017/828, Regulation (EU) 2017/827, Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2017/867, Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/812, Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2017/747 are published in the Official Journal

  • Directive (EU) 2017/82 amends the existing Shareholder Rights Directive (EC) 2007/36 as regards the encouragement of long-term shareholder engagement. This Directive will need to be implemented by 10 June 2019.
  • Regulation (EU) 2017/827, amending Regulation (EU) No 258/2014 which establishes a Union Programme to support specific activities in the field of financial reporting and auditing for the period of 2014-2020, was published and applies from 1 January 2017 to ensure the continuity of funding for the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG).
  • Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2017/867 sets out the classes of arrangements to be protected in partial property transfers under Article 76 of Banking Recovery and Resolution Directive (EU) 2014/59 and enters into force on 9 June 2017.
  • Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/812 relates to the calculation of technical provisions and basic own funds for the purpose of Solvency II reporting (with reference dates from 31 March 2017 until 29 June 2017). The Implementing Regulation was published on 18 May 2017 and it entered into force the following day.
  • Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2017/747 supplements the Single Regulation Mechanism Regulation (EU) 806/2014 with regard to the criteria relating to the calculation of ex ante contributions, and on the circumstances and conditions under which the payment of extraordinary ex post contributions may be partially or entirely deferred. The Delegated Regulation enters force on 19 May 2017.

European Supervisory Authorities launches consultation on Draft Joint Regulatory Technical Standards where group policies and procedures to mitigate the risk of money laundering and terrorist financing cannot be implemented

The Consultation relates to Joint Regulatory Technical Standards which will be put in place setting out the measures credit institutions and financial institutions shall take to mitigate the risk of money laundering and terrorist financing where a third country’s law does not permit the application of group-wide policies and procedures as required by the Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive. The consultation runs until 11 July 2017.

European Securities and Markets Authority publishes updated Questions and Answers regarding the implementation of the Market Abuse Regulation (EU) No 596/2014

The Q&A covers general questions on the insider dealing prohibition under the Market Abuse Regulation (MAR) as well as questions on:

  • the disclosure of inside information;
  • the prevention and detection of market abuse;
  • managers’ transactions; and
  • investment recommendation and information recommending or suggesting an investment strategy.

European Securities and Markets Authority publishes Draft Implementing Technical Standards on forms and procedures for cooperation between competent authorities under the MAR

Under the MAR National Competent Authorities (NCAs) are required to exchange information and render assistance to each other and the draft Implementing Technical Standards (ITS) set out how they should cooperate. The ITS' set out that the NCAs should designate a point of contact for submitting information and put in place procedures dealing with requests for assistance. The ITS' also set out specific procedural aspects relating to particular type of assistance and the relevant forms to be used by NCAs.

European Banking Authority consults on Draft Guidelines on security measures for operational and security risks of payment services under the second Payment Services Directive (EU) 2015/2366

The EBA, with the assistance of the ECB, have developed draft guidelines on the security measures for operational and security risks of payment services and they have now launched a consultation on the Guidelines. The draft guidelines include provisions on governance, including on the operational and security risk management framework, the risk management and control models, and outsourcing; risk assessment, including the identification, classification and risk assessment of functions, processes and assets as well as the protection of the integrity of data, systems and confidentiality, physical security and asset control. The consultation closes on 7 August 2017.

European Banking Authority publishes final draft Technical Standards under the Payment Accounts Directive (EU) 2014/92 to enhance transparency and comparison of payment account fees

The final report contains draft Technical Standards, as mandated by the Payments Account Directive, setting out the standardised position in relation to:

  • terminology for the most common services linked to a payment account;
  • the presentation format of the Fee Information Document (FID) and its common symbol; and
  • the presentation format of the statement of fees (SOF) and its common symbol.

Eight standardised terms for services linked to a payment account are being introduced by the Technical Standards and these will have to be used in the pre-contractual FID and post-contractual SOF.

Corrigendum to Delegated Regulation (EU) 2017/653 on Key Information Documents published

On 11 May 2017, a corrigendum (corrections document) to Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2017/653 was published in the Official Journal of the EU. The Delegated Regulation sets regulatory technical standards on the presentation, content, review and revision of key information documents required under Regulation (EU) No 1286/2014. The Corrigendum amends certain of the formulae in Annexes II and IV to the Delegated Regulation.

European Commission refers Ireland to the Court of Justice of the EU over failure to transpose the Accounting Directive (EU) 2013/34

The European Commission has referred Ireland to the Court of Justice of the European Union for failing to transpose the Accounting Directive into national law. Member states had until 20 July 2015 to transpose the Directive and now Ireland, following the referral, may be subject to sanctions for failing to do so. The Directive aims to reduce the administrative burden for small companies and improve the quality and comparability of the information disclosed in financial reports.