ICMA’s Asset Management and Investors Council (AMIC) publishes its response to the EC consultation on improving resilience of financial services against cyberattacks.Based on the ESA’s opinion issued in April 2019, the EC is considering introducing changes to the sectorial legislation (e.g. UCITS, AIFMD) to enhance cyber-resilience. In our response we argue that the regulatory framework already allows us to address cyber-risk in the asset management industry.
Amidst the escalating COVID-19 pandemic, ICMA and ISLA have sent a joint letter on March 16 to ESMA to ask for a delay to the SFTR reporting go-live date, due on 11 April 2020. Following our letter, ESMA published a statement effectively postponing it by 3 months, from 11 April to 13 July (see below).
ICMA has responded on March 18 to the European Commission's consultation on an EU framework for markets in crypto-assets, solely in relation to selected aspects of EU legislation applying to “security tokens”, defined by the European Commission as “crypto-assets issued on a DLT and that qualify as transferable securities or other types of MiFID financial instruments”.
ICMA Asset Management and Investors Council (AMIC) Regulatory Update
Regulatory delay (Covid-19)
19 March 2020 ESMA sets out approach to SFTR implementation
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has issued a Public Statement to ensure coordinated supervisory actions on the application of Securities Finance Transactions Regulation (SFTR), in particular, on the requirements regarding the reporting start date, as well as the registration of Trade Repositories (TRs).This approach is needed in response to the effect of current adverse developments events as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
19 March 2020 FCA information for firms on Covid-19
In a statement on the impact of Covid-19, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) stated that "it stands ready to take any steps necessary to ensure customers are protected and markets continue to function well" and confirmed the delay of several regulatory/policy initiatives including among others the consultations on climate-related disclosures by listed issuers and on ETF listing.
20 March 2020 BoE annouces supervisory and prudential policy measures to address the challenges of Covid-19
The Bank of England (BoE) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) have announced a number of measures aimed at alleviating operational burdens.
These measures include: (i) cancellation of the Bank’s 2020 annual stress test – the annual cyclical scenario; (ii) amendments to the biennial exploratory scenario timetable; (iii) consideration of the potential interaction of Covid-19 with IFRS9, including through discussion with relevant bodies domestically and internationally, and with further guidance expected to be provided; and (iv) postponement of the joint Bank/FCA survey into open-ended funds.
Fund management (Covid-19)
18 March 2020 FCA issues statement on property fund suspensions
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) issued a statement on property fund suspensions, indicating its understanding that certain Standing Independent Valuers have determined that there is currently material uncertainty over the value of commercial real estate (CRE); and that, in such situations, a fair and reasonable valuation of CRE funds cannot be established. As a result, some managers of open-ended CRE funds have temporarily suspended dealing in units of these funds and others are likely to follow for the same reason, which is in line with their obligations under applicable regulations and, in these circumstances, likely to be in the best interests of fund investors.
Central Banks (Covid-19)
18 March 2020 ECB annouces 750 € billion Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme (PEPP)
The European Central Bank (ECB) has announced that they are launching a 750€ billion Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme (PEPP). Purchases will be conducted until the end of 2020 and will include all the asset categories eligible under the existing asset purchase programme (APP).
19 March 2020 BoE cuts rates and increases QE in light of Covid-19 impacts
The BoE at a special meeting on 19 March voted to cut Bank rate to 0.1% and increase its holdings of UK government and corporate bonds by £200 billion.
Insurance sector (Covid-19)
17 March 2020 EIOPA statement on actions to mitigate the impact of Coronavirus/COVID-19 on the EU insurance sector
The European Issurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA)
issued a statement on actions to mitigate impact of COVID-19 son the EU insurance sector, including recommendations on business continuity and capital requirements.
19 March 2020 FCA sets out expectations for general issurance firms
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has set out expectations for general insurance firms and provided information for consumers about what they should see from their insurance provider during the coronavirus pandemic.
Short-selling ban/reporting (Covid-19)
16 March 2020 ESMA requires net short position holders to report positions of 0.1% and above
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has issued a decision temporarily requiring the holders of net short positions in shares traded on a European Union (EU) regulated market to notify the relevant national competent authority (NCA) if the position reaches or exceeds 0.1% of the issued share capital after the entry into force of the decision.
17 March 2020 ESMA issues positive opinion on short selling ban by Italian CONSOB
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has issued an official opinion agreeing to an emergency short selling prohibition, for a period of three months, by the Commissione Nazionale per le Società e la Borsa (CONSOB) on all transactions which might constitute or increase net short positions on all shares traded on the Italian MTA regulated market, for which CONSOB is the relevant competent authority as well as to all related instruments relevant for the calculation of the net short position.
18 March 2020 ESMA issues positive opinion on short selling ban by French AMF
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has agreed to an emergency short selling prohibition, for a period of one month, by the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) of France on all transactions which might constitute or increase net short positions on shares admitted to trading on French trading venues (Euronext Paris, Euronext Growth Paris, Euronext Access Paris), for which the AMF is the relevant competent authority as well as to all related instruments relevant for the calculation of the net short position.
19 March 2020 ESMA issues positive opinions on bans on net short positions by Belgian and Greek HCMC
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has issued official opinions agreeing to emergency net short positions prohibitions by the Financial Securities and Markets Authority (FSMA) of Belgium and the Hellenic Capital Market Commission (HCMC) of Greece.
13 March 2020 AMF publishes a first policy on investor information for sustainable funds
The Authorité des Marchés (AMF) has published their first policy on investor information for sustainable funds. Funds that wish to emphasise this consideration of non-financial criteria as a central component of their communication or that include it in the fund’s name will have to comply with minimum standards set out in this policy and in particular have an approach based on a significant engagement. Funds will have to include measurable objectives for their consideration of non-financial criteria in regulatory documents such as the prospectus.
These measurable objectives will have to be significant to ensure a real distinction between the approaches. For the best-in-class approaches that are often used by fund managers, for example, quantitative thresholds derived from the French SRI label will be used as a reference to judge whether the commitment is significant. information.
18 March 2020 European Commission publishes draft legal text
The European Commission has published a draft legal agreement for the future EU-UK partnership. It translates into a legal text the negotiating directives approved by Member States in the General Affairs Council on 25 February 2020, in line with the Political Declaration agreed between the EU and the UK in October 2019.