The next AMIC conference will take place on 27 November in London and will be hosted by BlackRock. The conference will feature panel discussions led by industry practitioners on the development of the STS Securitisation market, the pension gap, PEPP and the effect of negative interest rates and a discussion on the possibility of an EU Ecolabel for funds. All market participants are welcome to attend for free however registration in advance is essential.
Upcoming ICMA Courses
6-8 November: Financial Markets Foundation Qualification (FMFQ)
21-22 November: Fixed Income Portfolio Management
25 November: Portfolio Construction
- (15.10.2019) FCA updates the market on the closing down of the LF Woodford Equity Income Fund
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has updated its note on the LF Woodford Equity Income Fund to highlight that the recent announcement that the fund will not seek to re-open the WEIF and instead, it will look to wind-up the fund as soon as practicable.
- (15.10.2019) Speech by Colm Kincaid (CBI) on their Regulatory Philosophy and Priorities in Funds
Speech by Colm Kincaid, Director of Securities and Markets Supervision at the Central Bank of Ireland (CBI), on the CBI's work on investment funds in the context of their Strategic Plan 2019-2021 and their supervisory priorities flowing from that Plan.
The speech covered the themes of Brexit; Strengthening Resilience; Strengthening Consumer (including Investor) Protection; Enhancing Organisational Capability; and Engaging and Influencing.
- (17.10.2019) ESAs consult on changes to the key information document for PRIIPs
The European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs) have issued a Consultation Paper on amendments to existing rules underpinning the Key Information Document (KID) for Packaged Retail and Insurance-based Investment Products (PRIIPs).
The aims of the review are to:
-Address issues that have been identified by stakeholders and supervisors since the implementation of the KID in 2018; and
-Make specific changes to allow the rules to be applied to investment funds that are expected to have to prepare a KID from 1 January 2022 onwards.
The consultation paper proposes changes relating to the following topic areas:
-Illustrations of what the retail investor might receive in return from their investment (performance scenarios);
-Information on what the costs of the investment are;
-Specific issues for different types of investment funds; and
-Specific issues for PRIIPs offering a range of options for investment (so-called "Multi-Option Products").
The deadline for submission of feedback is 13 January 2020.
- (11.10.2019) European Commission launches a public consultation on the review of the EU benchmark regulation
The European Commission has launched a public consultation on the review of the EU benchmark regulation.
The objective of this consultation is to gather stakeholders’ feedback on the functioning of the EU benchmarks regime, two years after its entry into application. The consultation focuses primarily on a number of topics the Benchmark Regulation itself puts forward for review, such as the regime for critical benchmarks and the effectiveness of the mechanism for authorisation and registration of EU benchmark administrators. At the same time, a couple of broader topics are explored, such as the categorisation of benchmarks and the rules for third country benchmarks.
- (11.10.2019) Speech by Steven Maijoor (ESMA) on building the EU CMU while fostering global financial markets
Speech by Steven Maijoor, Chair of the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), on the importance of building the Capital Markets Union (CMU) and global financial markets.
In his speech, said how well-developed financial markets can help to achieve fundamental shifts to the benefit of everyone’s life by investing in sustainable finance. The speech also covered the importance of new technologies for the financial industry in driving further efficiencies while adequately complemented with regulatory and supervisory measures in order to avoid any unnecessary risk or consumer detriment.
- (14.10.2019) FSB Updates on the Work on Market Fragmentation
The Financial Stability Board (FSB) has published a report which provides progress updates for the ongoing work on market fragmentation.
In its previous report in June on market fragmentation, the FSB identified four areas for further work to address market fragmentation: (i) deference; (ii) pre-positioning of capital and liquidity; (iii) regulatory and supervisory coordination and information-sharing; and (iv) market fragmentation as part of the evaluation of reforms, starting with the FSB’s ongoing “too-big-to-fail” evaluation.
Since then, the FSB has identified steps to be taken in each of these four areas. The update provides information on current plans, and steps already taken, to implement the work in the four areas.
- (15.10.2019) Speech by Steven Maijoor (ESMA) on the quality of corporate governance
Speech by Steven Maijoor, Chair of the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), on the importance of corporate governance especially in light of EU’s Capital Markets Union initiative.
- (14.10.2019) Speech by Jon Cunliffe (BoE) on Financial Stability and Low for Long
Speech by Jon Cunliffe, Deputy Governor at the Bank of England (BoE), on he impact of low, long-term interest rates on financial stability, and what it means for monetary policy.
In his speech he said that "low for long" rates pose the following challenges:
-pressure on the resilience of the financial sector;
-increased leverage among households and businesses; and
-a risk of more severe economic downturns.
- (15.10.2019) FSB publish 2019 Progress Report on Implementation of OTC Derivatives Market Reforms
The Financial Stability Board (FSB) has published their 2019 Progress Report on Implementation in OTC Derivatives Market Reforms. The report notes the following progress:
-Trade reporting: 23 out of 24 member jurisdictions have comprehensive requirements in force;
-Central clearing: Eighteen jurisdictions have in force comprehensive standards/criteria for determining when standardised OTC derivatives should be centrally cleared;
-Margin requirements: Sixteen jurisdictions have in force comprehensive margin requirements for non-centrally cleared derivatives;
-Higher capital requirements for non-centrally cleared derivatives: Interim higher capital requirements for non-centrally cleared derivatives are in force in 23 of the 24 FSB member jurisdictions;
-Platform trading: Comprehensive platform trading requirements are in force in 13 jurisdictions;
-Cross-border coordination and issues: one jurisdiction started exercising deference during the reporting period with regard to foreign jurisdictions’ regimes. Several other jurisdictions extended deference to further jurisdictions.
- (16.10.2019) BoE and FCA publish key findings of survey on Machine Learning
The Bank of England (BoE) and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) have conducted a joint survey in 2019 to better understand the current use of Machine Learning (ML) in UK financial services.
The key findings of our survey are:
-ML is increasingly being used in UK financial services. Two thirds of respondents report they already use it in some form.
-In many cases, ML development has passed the initial development phase, and is entering more advanced stages of deployment. One third of ML applications are used for a considerable share of activities in a specific business area. Deployment is most advanced in the banking and insurance sectors.
-From front-office to back-office, ML is now used across a range of business areas. ML is most commonly used in anti-money laundering (AML) and fraud detection as well as in customer-facing applications (eg customer services and marketing). Some firms also use ML in areas such as credit risk management, trade pricing and execution, as well as general insurance pricing and underwriting.
-Regulation is not seen as a barrier but some firms stress the need for additional guidance on how to interpret current regulation. The biggest reported constraints are internal to firms.
-Firms thought that ML does not necessarily create new risks, but could be an amplifier of existing ones.
-Firms use a variety of safeguards to manage the risks associated with ML. The most common safeguards are alert systems and so-called ‘human-in-the-loop’ mechanisms.
-Firms mostly design and develop ML applications in-house. However, they sometimes rely on third-party providers for the underlying platforms and infrastructure, such as cloud computing.
-The majority of users apply their existing model risk management framework to ML applications. In order to foster further conversation around ML innovation, the BoE and the FCA have announced plans to establish a public-private group to explore some of the questions and technical areas covered in this report.
- (16.10.2019) IMF publishes semi-annual Global Financial Stability Report
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has published the latest edition of its semi-annual Global Financial Stability Report, Lower for Longer, which identifies the current key vulnerabilities in the global financial system as the rise in corporate debt burdens, increasing holdings of riskier and more illiquid assets by institutional investors, and growing reliance on external borrowing by emerging and frontier market economies.
The report proposes that policymakers mitigate these risks through stricter supervisory and macroprudential oversight of firms, strengthened oversight and disclosure for institutional investors, and the implementation of prudent sovereign debt management practices and frameworks for emerging and frontier market economies.
The chapters in this report are:
(i) Global Financial Stability Overview: Lower for Longer;
(ii) Global Corporate Vulnerabilities: Riskier Business;
(iii) Institutional Investors: Falling Rates, Rising Risks;
(iv) Emerging and Frontier Markets: Mind the Debt;
(v) Banks’ Dollar Funding: A Source of Financial Vulnerability; and
(vi) Sustainable Finance: Looking Farther.
- (16.10.2019) FCA announces future work on climate change and green finance
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has published a feedback statement setting out its proposals to improve climate change disclosures by issuers and information to consumers on green financial products and services.
The Statement identifies a number of priorities, which will provide a foundation for the FCA’s future work on climate change and green finance. These include issuers’ climate change disclosures, regulated firms’ integration of climate change risk and opportunities into their decision-making and consumers’ access to green financial products and services.
- (16.10.2019) IMF publishes semi-annual Fiscal Monitor
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has published the latest edition of its semi-annual Fiscal Monitor emphasizes the environmental, fiscal, economic, and administrative case for using carbon taxes, or similar pricing schemes such as emission trading systems, to implement climate mitigation strategies.
At the international level, the report calls for a carbon price floor arrangement among large emitters, designed flexibly to accommodate equity considerations and constraints on national policies. The report estimates the consequences of carbon pricing and redistribution of its revenues for inequality across households. Strategies for enhancing the political acceptability of carbon pricing are discussed, along with supporting measures to promote clean technology investments.
- (16.10.2019) EIOPA consults on technical advice for the 2020 review of Solvency II
The European Insurance and Occupational Pension Authority (EIOPA) has launched a public consultation on an Opinion that sets out technical advice for the 2020 review of Solvency II. The Opinion will respond to the call for advice of the European Commission of 11 February 2019 on the 2020 review of Solvency II.
The call for advice comprises 19 separate topics. Broadly speaking, these can be divided into three parts.
-Firstly, the review of the long term guarantee measures. These measures were always foreseen as being reviewed in 2020, as specified in the Omnibus II Directive. A number of different options are being consulted on, notably on extrapolation and on the volatility adjustment.
-Secondly, the potential introduction of new regulatory tools in the Solvency II Directive, notably on macro-prudential issues, recovery and resolution, and insurance guarantee schemes. These new regulatory tools are considered thoroughly in the consultation.
-Thirdly, revisions to the existing Solvency II framework including in relation to freedom of services and establishment; reporting and disclosure; and the solvency capital requirement.
The deadline for submission of feedback is Wednesday, 15 January 2020.
- (16.10.2019) EU Commission adopts Delegated Regulation on disclosure-related technical standards under the SR
The EU Commission has adopted a Delegated Regulation setting out disclosure-related technical standards under the Securitisation Regulation (SR) (EU) 2017/2402.
The Delegated Regulation is based on draft regulatory technical standards (RTS) submitted by the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) specifying the information and the details of a securitisation to be made available by the originator, sponsor and securitisation special purpose entity (SSPE) to various parties.
The Regulation will enter into force on the twentieth day following its publication in the Official Journal.
- (17.10.2019) European Union and United Kingdom agree on Revised Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration
The European Commission has published the revised Brexit Withdrawal Agreement and a revised text of the Political Declaration setting out the framework for the future relationship between the European Union and the United Kingdom.
- (17.10.2019) ECB publishes report on the risk management implications of the transition from EONIA to the €STR and the introduction of €STR-based fallbacks for EURIBOR
The European Central Bank's (ECB's) working group on euro risk-free rates has published a report on the risk management implications of the transition from the current euro overnight index average (EONIA) to the ECB’s euro short-term rate (€STR) and the inclusion of fallback rates for EURIBOR based on a €STR-based term structure methodology.
The report focuses mainly on the risk management implications for banks, but also touches on additional challenges facing the asset management and insurance sectors.
- (17.10.2019) ESMA issues peer review into supervisory actions aiming at enhancing the quality of data reported under EMIR
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published a peer review into supervisory actions aiming at enhancing the quality of data reported under EMIR.
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