On 20 December, the Joint Committee of the European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs) published a final report containing revised joint guidelines on the prudential assessment of acquisitions and increases of qualifying holdings in the financial sector. In 2008 the former three Level-3 Committees developed non-binding guidelines for the prudential assessment of acquisitions. The ESAs jointly reviewed and updated those guidelines.

In February 2013, the European Commission published a report on the application of Directive 2007/44/ EC regarding procedural rules and evaluation criteria for the prudential assessment of acquisitions and increase of holdings in the financial sector. The report identified several key issues with the Directive including: the lack of a harmonised definition of `indirect qualifying holding' and `persons acting in concert' between the relevant Directives, Regulations and guidelines; the lack of consensus on whether the notion of a `decision to acquire' should be applicable or not in situations where the acquirer has crossed a threshold without taking a conscious decision to do so; and the need to enhance the coherent application of the proportionality principle to ensure that national supervisory authorities properly apply it to both the information required and the assessment procedure. These and the other issues raised in the report informed the drafting of the new guidelines.

The guidelines will be translated into the official European Union languages and published on the websites of the ESAs. Two months after the publication of the translations is the deadline for competent authorities to report whether they comply with the guidelines. The guidelines will apply from 1 October 2017.

A link to the guidelines is here.