Although U.S. financial services regulators have generally been faster to address the regulatory gaps uncovered during the recent financial crisis, Europe's regulators are quickly catching up. And like their American counterparts, European regulators have made the regulation of swaps transactions a priority.
The European Securities and Markets Authority ("ESMA") published a discussion paper on the standards E.U. member countries should adopt to implement provisions of the European Markets Infrastructure Regulation ("EMIR") for the central clearing of over-the-counter ("OTC") derivatives. Comments on that discussion paper should be submitted on or before September 12, 2013. ESMA Notice.
Separately, ESMA addressed the application of EMIR's OTC derivatives provisions to non-E.U. member counterparties located in jurisdictions that are not considered to have equivalent regulatory regimes, as well as attempts to evade the regulatory requirements. Comments on this ESMA proposal should be submitted on or before September 16, 2013. ESMA Notice.
The European Banking Authority published proposed standards that would require central counterparties to disclose their capital requirements on a quarterly basis. Comments on the proposed standards should be submitted on or before September 30, 2013.
Looking toward other issues, ESMA has sent a final report to the European Commission which proposes an amendment to Article 5 of the Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No.1247/2012 (ITS on reporting) on the format and frequency of reporting to trade repositories under EMIR. The amendment relates specifically to the reporting of exchange traded derivatives ("ETDs") and proposes postponing the reporting start date by one year to January 2015. ESMA believes that a delay in the reporting date for ETD transactions will allow time for the development of relevant guidelines and their implementation by counterparties, trade repositories and regulators.
Another recent ESMA research report examined the sale of complex financial products to consumers, focusing on alternative and structured retail products.
The European Parliament recently adopted several new disclosure directives addressing financial reporting by limited liability companies, new disclosure requirements for the extractive industry, and new notification thresholds for acquirers when they reach a certain stake in a listed company.
And the European Banking Authority published draft rules that would limit the types of securities banks can issue to executives as bonuses. Comments on the proposal should be submitted on or before October 29, 2013.