ESMA publishes 2014 annual report: ESMA published its 2014 annual report and announced its new strategy for 2016-20. The annual report outlines ESMA's achievements for the past year in relation to the following objectives:

  • financial stability;
  • financial consumer protection;
  • supervision;
  • single rulebook; and
  • supervisory convergence.

Under its new strategy ESMA will shift from rulemaking towards the implementation of rules and ensuring the convergence of supervisory practices. The new strategy focuses on three main objectives: investor protection, orderly markets and financial stability. In order to achieve these objectives ESMA will focus on the following activities:

  • assessing risks to investors and financial stability: by increasing its resources to strengthen its capabilities to identify and assess risks to investors, and financial stability in the EU;
  • promoting supervisory convergence: by committing more resources to promote supervisory convergence and targeting a number of specific areas where convergence is to be promoted;
  • direct supervision of specific financial entities: by strengthening its role as a direct supervisor, whilst intensifying its risk-based approach in order to achieve lasting impact; and
  • completing a single rulebook for EU financial markets.

The new ESMA strategy will be accompanied by some organisational changes such as merging of all supervisory activities in one department and bringing together most of ESMA’s data and risk analysis capacity, as well as streamlining its cooperation and stakeholder functions. (Source: ESMA Publishes 2014 Annual Report and New 2016-20 Strategy)

ESMA speaks on MiFID 2: Steven Majoor, Chair of ESMA, has spoken briefly on ESMA's work on implementing measures under the revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID 2) and Regulation (MiFIR). He addressed:

  • non-equity transparency: he reassured his audience that, while a perfect solution which will satisfy all market participants is not possible, ESMA is trying to find reasonable and workable compromises having taken responses to its consultation on board;
  • position limits: he urged his audience to bear in mind that the scope of the Level 1 requirements for position limits is extremely wide, capturing a range of contracts from highly liquid to completely illiquid. As such, a one-size-fits-all approach cannot be the solution; and
  • ancillary activity: he asked his audience to make allowances for the lack of high-quality data which has restricted ESMA's efforts. He reiterated that ESMA is working towards a pragmatic solution.

(Source: ESMA Speaks on Scrutiny of Delegated Acts and Implementing Measures)