ESMA publishes MiFID compliance tables: ESMA has published tables showing the national authorities that have told it they comply or intend to comply with its guidelines on the MiFID compliance function and suitability requirements. Of the EU Member States only Croatia has not confirmed compliance or intended compliance but this is because ESMA has not yet published the Croatian translation of the guidelines. (Source: Compliance Table  Compliance Guidelines and Compliance Table  Suitability Guidelines

ESMA publishes funds ITS: ESMA has published draft implementing technical standards (ITS) for the Commission to consider in relation to the Regulations on European Social Entrepreneurship Funds (EuSEF) and European Venture Capital Funds (EuVECA). The ITS set out the format for notifications of the relevant funds. (Source: Draft EuSEF Notification ITS and Draft EuVECA Notification ITS)

ESMA updates on AIFMD MoUs: ESMA has published a spreadsheet showing which third countries have signed memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with which EU Member States in relation to the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD). (Source: ESMA Updates on AIFMD MoUs)

ESMA publishes CRA annual report: ESMA has published its Annual Report 2013 on its regulation and supervision of credit rating agencies (CRAs). It welcomes improvements in the quality of policies and practices and in the importance given to the compliance function, but also notes areas that require further work and will therefore be the focus of ESMA's activity during 2014:

  • validation of rating methodologies;
  • independence of the internal review function; and
  • information security controls and protection of confidential information.

Specific supervisory projects on these three areas will be carried out along with the assessment of compliance with the CRA 3 Regulation. In 2014 ESMA will also complete ongoing reviews into CRAs' monitoring of structured finance ratings and into small and medium-sized CRAs. (Source: ESMA Sets Out CRA Supervision Focus for 2014

ESMA reorganises consolidated registers: ESMA has created a one-stop shop for the consolidated registers of regulated investment information that it needs to maintain. The consolidated registers provide lists of:

  • MiFID investment firms; 
  • UCITS management companies;
  • alternative investment fund managers;
  • sanctions; and
  • prospectuses.

(Source: Welcome to ESMA Registers

ESMA speaks on liquidity and nature of Q&As: Verena Ross, ESMA's Executive Director, has spoken at the European Market Liquidity Conference organised by the Association of Financial Markets in Europe (AFME) in London. She focused on ESMA's work under the MiFID 2 package, which includes around 100 technical standards or pieces of advice to the Commission. She recognised that consulting the public on ESMA's proposals will be challenging given the tight deadline for delivering standards and advice. Regarding the trade-off between transparency and liquidity, ESMA acknowledged regulatory standards may alter liquidity risk, but said that ESMA sees the MiFID 2 mandate as one aimed at increasing transparency without damaging the market. She went on to discuss the impact of transparency requirements on bond and derivative markets, concluding that different liquidity does not mean lower liquidity and that one should not imply that transparency requirements will be more lenient on bonds or derivatives. Finally, she mentioned ESMA's guidance on the trade reporting obligation under EMIR. Noting that the experience of other jurisdictions has shown it takes time to have the trade reporting system running, she felt sure that national authorities will be conscious of the scale of the project and will work alongside supervised firms and ESMA. She also stressed that ESMA Q&As are not binding, but that their importance and peer pressure effect should not be underestimated. (Source:Liquidity and New Financial Market Regulation)