On 19 December 2014, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) submitted to the European Commission draft implementing technical standards (ITS), pursuant to the Capital Requirements Regulation 575/2013, specifying a list of main indices and recognized exchanges. On 17 December 2015, the European Commission informed ESMA of its intention to amend the draft ITS by including two additional equity indices (the Russell 3000 Index and the Hang Send Composite Index). In an opinion (ESMA/2016/163), published on 29 January 2016, ESMA made recommendations in response to this intention.

ESMA argues that the Russell 3000 Index and the Hang Send Composite Index should not be included in the ITS on the grounds that these indices do not contain relatively liquid instruments in an EEA economy, given that they are mainly composed of US and Asian Stocks. Instead, ESMA suggests adding four other additional indices (Russell 1000 Index, Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300, the S&P BSE 100 Index and FTSE Nasdaq Dubai UAE 20 Index), and replacing the Nikkei 225 with the Nikkei 300 and the NZSE 10 with the S&P NZX 15 Index. ESMA’s opinion recognizes the value of incorporating a large number of indices as this will cast a wider net of eligible collateral that European banks can use.

Finally, given the frequency with which updates to ITS are needed, ESMA suggests that the Commission reviews the regime to avoid each modification requiring a full legislative cycle.