The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published a joint position paper from its various stakeholder group: the Banking Stakeholder Group, the Insurance and Reinsurance Stakeholder Group, the Occupational Pension Schemes Stakeholder Group and the Securities and Markets Stakeholder Group on their opinion on the upcoming change of the composition of the stakeholder groups (SGs).
The European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) has published its 2019 Consumer Trends Report outlining major developments in the insurance and pensions sectors affecting European consumers.
Improvements in disclosure practices have been seen and digitalisation remains a broadly noteworthy trend, showing that financial innovations can bring benefits for both insurers and consumers, so long as they are adequately designed and properly implemented.
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published a follow-up report to its 2018 thematic report which reviewed how credit rating agencies (CRAs) and trade repositories (TRs) had implemented the fees provisions in the CRA Regulation and the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR).
The follow-up report examines developments in industry practices and highlights good practices that have been implemented as well as areas where further improvements are needed to ensure compliance with the fees provisions of the CRA Regulation and EMIR.
The Austrian Financial Market Authority (FMA) has published its Report on the State of the Austrian Insurance Industry (German only). As of 30 June 2019, Austrian insurance manage assets amounting to EUR 132 billion. Generally they hold conservative portfolios dominated by bonds, which by and large service the long-term commitments in relation to life insurance. Approximately EUR 68 billion, i.e. Approximately 60% of total managed assets were invested in government and corporate bonds as well as bond funds. Unlike other European countries, the Austrian insurance industry invests more strongly in corporate debt (26%) than in government debt (21%). In contrast, the home market share of the bond portfolio, of only 25%, is below the European average.
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has announced that it has extended the recognition decisions for the three central counterparties (CCPs) established in the United Kingdom (UK) to reflect the extension of the expiry date of the Implementing Decision (EU) 2018/2031 of the European Commission on the equivalence of the UK CCP legal framework. The recognition decisions would take effect on the date following Brexit date, under a no-deal Brexit scenario.
The European Securities and Markets Authorty (ESMA), the EU's securities markets regulator, has published updated ISO 20022 XML Schemas to be used for reporting under the Securities Financing Transactions Regulation (SFTR).
The news release also announces that an updated set of validation rules will be published in early January, but are silent on any news in respect of the final guidelines.
The Technical Expert Group on Sustainable Finance (TEG), a stakeholder group designed to assist the EU Commission in developing elements of green finance policy, has published a handbook on climate transition benchmarks, Paris-aligned benchmark and benchmarks' environmental, social and governance (ESG) disclosures.
The handbook is intended to answer frequently asked questions that the TEG encountered in relation to EU climate benchmarks and it provides clarification on:
-the 7% reduction trajectory;
-data sources and estimation techniques;
-related classifications; and
-ESG disclosure matters.
The German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht, BaFin) has published a guidance notice on dealing with sustainability risks (German only).
The objective of the guidance notice is to provide entities supervised by BaFin with guidance on dealing with the increasingly important issue of sustainability risks. The principles and processes set out in the guidance notice are intended as good practice guidelines with which entities can align their in-house handling of sustainability risks including with regard to the supervisory review and evaluation process. Supervised entities are, however, free to choose alternative or additional approaches if they lead to adequate risk handling.
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the EU’s securities markets’ regulator, has today published updated reporting instructions and XML schema for the templates set out in the technical standards on disclosure requirements.
The Luxembourg Commission for Financial Sector Surveillance (CSSF) has issued a Communication in which it draws attention to the fact that the transitional provisions provided for by the Benchmark Regulation1 have been extended until 31 December 20212 with respect to the use of benchmarks provided by third country administrators and benchmarks which have been declared as critical by the European Commission.
The EU Commission has launched two consultations on digitalisation in the financial sector.
The first consultation is on the suitability of the existing regulatory framework for cryptoassets. It seeks views from stakeholders on:
-whether and how to classify cryptoassets;
-whether there is a need to establish an EU regulatory framework for cryptoassets that currently fall outside the scope of EU financial services legislation;
-issues relating to the regulation of those cryptoassets that currently fall within the scope of EU legislation, such as the Prospectus Regulation, MiFID2 and the Central Securities Depositories Regulation (CSDR); and
-regulatory barriers to the use of distributed ledger technology in financial services.
The second consultation is on the development of a potential EU cross-sectoral digital operation resilience framework in the area of financial services. The EU Commission is seeking views in particular on:
-how to strengthen the digital operational resilience of the financial sector, in particular with regard to the aspects related to information and communications technology (ICT) and security risk;
-the main features of its proposed enhanced legal framework; and
-the potential impact of the proposed framework.
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