On February 11, 2016, the European Commission asked ESMA for technical advice on potential delegated acts due under the proposed European Benchmark Regulation. The proposed Benchmark Regulation aims to ensure that benchmarks produced and used in the EU are robust, reliable, fit for purpose and free from manipulation. The Commission’s mandate requests technical advice from ESMA on matters including: (i) what constitutes administering arrangements for determining a benchmark, taking into account different existing business practices; (ii) what constitutes the issuance of a financial instrument for the purposes of defining the use of a benchmark; and (iii) the conditions under which a national regulator may decide that there is an objective reason for the provision of a benchmark or family of benchmarks in a third country. In response to the Commission’s request, ESMA published a discussion paper on the Regulation and its technical implementation. The proposed Regulation is expected to enter into force in June 2016. ESMA has been asked to provide its technical advice four months after the Regulation’s entry into force. Currently, the Benchmark Regulation and delegated acts are expected to apply 18 months after the Regulation enters into force.

The Commission’s request for technical advice is available at:

http://ec.europa.eu/finance/securities/docs/benchmarks/160211-mandate-esma-request_en.pdf.

The Commission’s covering letter to ESMA is available at: http://ec.europa.eu/finance/securities/docs/benchmarks/160211-mandate-esma-cover-note_en.pdf.

ESMA’s discussion paper is available at: https://www.esma.europa.eu/sites/default/files/library/2016- 288_discussion_paper_benchmarks_regulation.pdf