The joint committee of the three European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs) has launched a public consultation paper on draft updated guidelines for the prudential assessment of acquisitions and increases of qualifying holdings in the financial sector. Together, the European Banking Authority, the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority and the European Securities and Markets Authority, reviewed and updated the existing guidelines drawn up in December 2008 by the three former EU financial committees (CEBS, CESR and CEIOPS).

The guidelines are intended to bring into line the supervisory practices in the financial sector throughout the EU and further clarify the position of proposed acquirers in relation to notifying the competent supervisory authorities that they are responsible for the prudential supervision of the undertaking. Common procedures are defined to assist supervisory authorities in the assessment process as laid out in EU legislation.

Details of the changes to the 2008 guidelines have not been provided. However, there is some suggestion that the ESAs have attempted to clarify the concept of indirect acquisitions of qualifying holdings and the meaning of “acting in concert”.

A public hearing on the draft guidelines will be held by the ESAs in London on the 20 August 2015 at the premises of the European Banking Authority. The deadline for responses to the consultation is the 2 October 2015.