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COVID-19 Market Updates: Regulatory responses
Jurisdictions (more to be added):

International

8 April 2020: IOSCO reprioritizes its work program to address impact of COVID-19

The Board of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) agreed to pause or delay some of its work as set out in its 2020 annual work program in order to redirect resources to focus on the multiple challenges securities markets regulators are addressing as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. The Board agreed to redeploy resources to focus primarily on matters that are directly impacted by COVID-19, encompassing areas of market-based finance which are most exposed to heightened volatility, constrained liquidity and the potential for pro-cyclicality.

Full press release

3 April 2020: Basel Committee sets out additional measures to alleviate the impact of COVID-19

The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision set out additional measures to alleviate the impact of COVID-19 on the global banking system, including postponement of the revised G-SIB framework implementation by one year, from 2021 to 2022.

See full press release

3 April 2020: Basel Committee and IOSCO announce deferral of final implementation phases of the margin requirements for non-centrally cleared derivatives

BCBS and IOSCO have agreed to extend the deadline for completing the final two implementation phases of the margin requirements for non-centrally cleared derivatives, by one year. This extension will provide additional operational capacity for firms to respond to the immediate impact of Covid-19 and at the same time, facilitate covered entities to act diligently to comply with the requirements by the revised deadline.

The final implementation phase will take place on 1 September 2022, at which point covered entities with an aggregate average notional amount (AANA) of non-centrally cleared derivatives greater than €8 billion will be subject to the requirements. As an intermediate step, from 1 September 2021 covered entities with an AANA of non-centrally cleared derivatives greater than €50 billion will be subject to the requirements.

See full revised version of Margin requirements for non-centrally cleared derivatives


2 April 2020: FSB members take action to ensure continuity of critical financial services functions

Full press release

31 March 2020: Meeting of the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors

The G20 Leaders have held an extraordinary videoconference on COVID-19 and issued a statement emphasising the need for a global response.

Full press release

27 March 2020: BIS Governors and Heads of Supervision announce deferral of Basel III implementation to increase operational capacity of banks and supervisors to respond to COVID-19

The Basel Committee's oversight body, the Group of Central Bank Governors and Heads of Supervision (GHOS), has endorsed a set of measures to provide additional operational capacity for banks and supervisors to respond to the immediate financial stability priorities resulting from the impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on the global banking system. The measures endorsed by the GHOS comprise the following changes to the implementation timeline of the outstanding Basel III standards:
  • The implementation date of the Basel III standards finalised in December 2017 has been deferred by one year to 1 January 2023. The accompanying transitional arrangements for the output floor has also been extended by one year to 1 January 2028.
  • The implementation date of the revised market risk framework finalised in January 2019 has been deferred by one year to 1 January 2023.
  • The implementation date of the revised Pillar 3 disclosure requirements finalised in December 2018 has been deferred by one year to 1 January 2023.
26 March 2020: G20 Leaders' Statement

The G20 Leaders held an extraordinary videoconference on COVID-19 and issued a statement emphasising the need for a global response. Amongst other things, the leaders called on their Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors to coordinate on a regular basis to develop a G20 action plan in response to COVID-19 and work closely with international organisations to deliver the appropriate international financial assistance. They expressed their support for the extraordinary measures taken by central banks to support the flow of credit to households and businesses, promote financial stability, and enhance liquidity in global markets and welcomed the extension of swap lines that central banks have undertaken. They also support regulatory and supervisory measures taken to ensure that the financial system continues to support the economy and welcome the Financial Stability Board's (FSB's) announced coordination of such measures.

25 March 2020: ICMA co-sign ISDA-led industry letter to the BCBS and IOSCO

ICMA has co-signed the ISDA-led industry letter to the BCBS and IOSCO requesting a suspension of the current phase-in timeline for the Initial Margin (IM) requirements under the Final Framework on Margin Requirements for Non-Centrally Cleared Derivatives ("Uncleared Margin Rules").

25 March 2020: Securities regulators coordinate responses to COVID-19 through IOSCO

Members of the International Organization of Securities Commissions, who regulate over 95% of the world’s capital markets, are cooperating closely on their responses to the disruption in capital markets resulting from the macroeconomic impact of COVID-19 on the global economy.

The IOSCO Board and the IOSCO Regional Committees are hosting regular calls to share information and coordinate responses as necessary and are taking action to address issues arising from COVID-19. IOSCO is coordinating closely with the other Standard Setting Bodies and the Financial Stability Board, including sharing information on policies and regulatory actions being taken. Banking and securities regulators also continue to cooperate across jurisdictions to ensure adequate liquidity and funding options.

Full statement


24 March 2020: Statement of G7 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors

Consistent with the direction from G7 Leaders, we are taking action and enhancing coordination on our dynamic domestic and international policy efforts to respond to the global health, economic, and financial impacts associated with the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Collectively, G7 nations have already enacted a wide-ranging set of health, economic, and financial stability measures. We will do whatever is necessary to restore confidence and economic growth and to protect jobs, businesses, and the resilience of the financial system. We also pledge to promote global trade and investment to underpin prosperity.

Full statement

23 March 2020: Meeting of the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors

The G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors met virtually on Monday 23 March 2020, under the Saudi G20 Presidency, to discuss the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy and coordinate their efforts in response to this global challenge.

During the meeting, G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors agreed to closely monitor the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic, including its impact on markets and economic conditions and take further actions to support the economy during and after this phase. They also agreed to develop a joint G20 Action Plan in response to COVID-19, which will outline the individual and collective actions that G20 has taken and will be taking to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, G20 Finance Ministers and Governors discussed ways for stepping up coordinated efforts by bilateral and multilateral creditors to address the risks of debt vulnerabilities, especially in low-income countries, amid the COVID-19 pandemic. They also discussed the role of the IMF, working closely with the World Bank Group and other International Financial Institutions, to deploy all available resources and explore additional measures needed to support financial stability and alleviate liquidity constraints for emerging markets and developing economies.

Full press release

IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva’s Statement Following a G20 Ministerial Call on the Coronavirus Emergency

20 March 2020:
FSB coordinates financial sector work to buttress the economy in response to COVID-19

The FSB, representing a broad and diverse membership of national authorities, international standard setters and international bodies, is actively cooperating to maintain financial stability during market stress related to COVID-19.

The global financial system today is in a better position to withstand shocks, maintain market functioning and sustain the supply of financing to support the real economy as a result of post-crisis reforms, including the formation of international coordination mechanisms like the FSB. The FSB encourages authorities and financial institutions to make use of the flexibility within existing international standards to provide continued access to funding for market participants and for businesses and households facing temporary difficulties from COVID-19, and to ensure that capital and liquidity resources in the financial system are available where they are needed. Many members of the FSB have already taken action to release available capital and liquidity buffers, in addition to actions to support market functioning and accommodate business continuity plans.

FSB members, including the international standard setting bodies, are cooperating closely. They will continue to coordinate action, including financial policy responses in their jurisdictions, to maintain global financial stability, keep markets open and functioning, and preserve the financial system’s capacity to finance growth.

20 March 2020: Basel Committee coordinates policy and supervisory response to COVID-19

The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision held a conference call on 20 March 2020 to discuss the impact of the rapid worldwide spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on the global banking system.

Member jurisdictions are pursuing a range of regulatory and supervisory measures to alleviate the financial stability impact of COVID-19. These measures target the provision of lending by banks to the real economy and facilitate banks' ability to absorb losses in an orderly manner. The Committee supports the objectives of these measures and notes that members have flexibility to undertake further measures if needed.

Full statement


EU27

9 April 2020: ESMA extends MiFID II/MiFIR transparency review report consultation to 14 June 2020

In view of the effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on stakeholders and market participants, ESMA decided extend the response date for the consultation on the MiFID II/MiFIR review report on the transparency regime for non-equity TOD. The end of the consultation period is extended from 17 May to 14 June 2020.

Full press release

3 April 2020: ECB addresses questions on supervisory measures in reaction to the coronavirus

In the format of a FAQs page the ECB explains relief measures regarding NPLs, operational processes, and capital and liquidity requirements. The ECB may periodically update these FAQs and, therefore, please check the website for new FAQs or revisions to a previously issued FAQ.

31 March 2020: EBA Statement on supervisory reporting and Pillar 3 disclosures

The EBA issued a statement on actions to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 outbreak on the EU banking sector on 12 March 2020 outlining Supervisory Reporting and Pillar 3 disclosure flexibility. In particular, the EBA encourages competent authorities to be flexible when assessing the institutions’ compliance with the deadlines for the publication of their Pillar 3 reports as set out in accordance with Article 106 (1) CRD.

Full statement

31 March 2020: ESMA provides clarifications for best execution reports under MiFID II

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) issued a statement to clarify issues regarding the publication by execution venues and firms of the general best execution reports required under RTS 27 and 28 of MiFID II. The next general best execution reports are due to be published on the following dates:
  • For execution venues, 31 March 2020 in respect of RTS 27 reports on the quarterly information regarding the reporting period from 1 October to 31 December 2019; and
  • for firms, 30 April 2020 in respect of RTS 28 reports on the annual information regarding the reporting period of 2019, as indicated in Q&A 5 of the ESMA Questions and Answers on MiFID II Investor Protection and Intermediaries topics.
Full statement

31 March 2020: ICMA publishes summary of latest ESMA statements and their practical implications for reporting parties

ICMA has published a summary of the latest ESMA statements issued on 19 March (and updated on 26 March) and their practical implications for reporting parties. The conclusions set out in the note have been agreed with members of ICMA’s SFTR Task Force and are intended to provide additional clarity for member firms and other SFTR stakeholders. The conclusions already reflect a number of informal discussions with ESMA and some NCAs, with whom the note has been shared, even if neither ESMA nor the NCAs are in a position to officially endorse the note.

26 March 2020: ESMA clarifies position on backloading under SFTR

ESMA issued an updated version of their initial statement (published on 19 March) which granted a 3-month delay to the SFTR phase 1 go-live to 13 July. Responding to requests by ICMA and others, the updated statement clarifies some aspects of the initial statement which were not clear, specifically in relation to the implications for the backloading requirement. The updated statement clarifies that ESMA’s expectation that NCAs will not enforce reporting obligations between 11 April and 12 July also covers the back-loading provisions, for banks and credit institutions (phase 1), but also for all other firms that will eventually become subject to SFTR reporting obligations in the remaining three phases. In effect, this clarification allows all firms subject to SFTR reporting to no longer consider backloading as a requirement.

ICMA welcomes this clarification and the rapid and pragmatic response by ESMA. Complementing ESMA’s statement, a number of NCAs have already or are planning to publish additional updates confirming their specific plans to align with ESMA’s guidance.  
 
Related announcements:
UK: FCA approach
NL: AFM approach

25 March 2020: ESMA has issued a Public Statement on some accounting implications of the economic support and relief measures adopted by EU Member States in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The measures include moratoria on repayment of loans and have an impact on the calculation of expected credit losses in accordance with IFRS 9.

Full statement

23 March 2020: EU ministers of finance approve escape clause of the Stability and Growth Pact in light of COVID-19 crisis

Ministers of Finance of the Member States of the EU agreed with the assessment of the Commission, as set out in its Communication of 20 March 2020, that the conditions for the use of the general escape clause of the EU fiscal framework – a severe economic downturn in the euro area or the Union as a whole – are fulfilled. The use of the clause is intended to ensure the needed flexibility to take all necessary measures for supporting our health and civil protection systems and to protect our economies, including through further discretionary stimulus and coordinated action, designed, as appropriate, to be timely, temporary and targeted, by Member States.

20 March 2020: FAQs on ECB supervisory measures in reaction to the coronavirus, covering the following topics, amongst others:
  • Relief measures regarding asset quality deterioration and non-performing loans
  • Relief measures regarding the operational aspects of supervision
  • Relief measures regarding capital and liquidity requirements
Full list of FAQs

20 March 2020: ESMA issued a public statement to clarify issues regarding the application by firms of the MiFID II requirements on the recording of telephone conversations, reminding firms of the requirements in this area. Considering the exceptional circumstances, ESMA recognises that some scenarios may emerge where, notwithstanding steps taken by the firm, the required recording of relevant conversations may not be practicable.  Under these exceptional scenarios ESMA expects firms to consider what alternative steps they could take to mitigate the risks related to the lack of recording. Firms are expected to deploy all possible efforts to ensure that the above measures remain temporary and that recording of telephone conversations is restored as soon as possible.

20 March 2020: ESMA issued a public statement to ensure coordinated supervisory actions by NCAs on the application of the new tick-size regime for SIs under MiFIR and the IFR, responsive to developments related to the COVID-19 pandemic and the related actions taken by the EU Member States. ESMA expects NCAs not to prioritise their supervisory actions in relation to the new tick-size regime, from 26 March, the application date, until 26 June 2020, and to generally apply their risk-based supervisory powers in their day-to-day enforcement of applicable legislation in this area in a proportionate manner.

20 March 2020: ESMA announced its decision to extend the response date for all ongoing consultations with a closing date on, or after, 16 March by four weeks, recognising that COVID-19 has impacted significantly the activities of all market stakeholders. This announcement concerns seven specified consultations and the revised dates are reflected on the relevant page where the respective answers must be uploaded.
 
20 March 2020: ECB Banking Supervision announced that it was providing further flexibility to banks in reaction to COVID-19.  In particular it is (i) giving banks further flexibility in prudential treatment of loans backed by public support measures; (ii) encouraging banks to avoid excessive procyclical effects when applying the IFRS 9 international accounting standard; and activating the capital and operational relief measures, announced on 12 March – the capital relief amounts to €120 billion and could be used to absorb losses or potentially finance up to €1.8 trillion of lending.

20 March 2020: EIOPA issued recommendations addressed to NCAs on supervisory flexibility regarding the deadline of supervisory reporting and public disclosure in light of COVID-19, in order to allow undertakings to concentrate their efforts on monitoring and assessing the impact of the COVID-19 situation as well as ensuring business continuity during these difficult times. The recommendations aim to offer operational relief in allowing for delays in reporting and public disclosure in relation to annual reporting, and solvency and financial condition reports for year-end 31 December 2019; and for Q1 2020 reporting.

19 March 2020: Joint Trade Association letter to EC and ESMA regarding MIFID Consultations

A joint letter from multiple Trade Associations to the EC and ESMA requested the extension of several consultation deadlines in view of the exceptional current COVID-19 situation across Europe and the still unfolding developments in financial markets. The letter includes examples of significant challenges the COVID-19 pandemic is causing to members’ ability to respond prior to current deadlines.

19 March 2020: ESMA issued a public statement on Actions to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the EU financial markets – postponement of the reporting obligations related to securities financing transactions under the Securities Financing Transactions Regulation and under Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation. It effectively postpones the first phase of the SFTR reporting go-live applicable to banks and investment firms by 3 months, from 11 April to 13 July.

16 March 2020: ICMA/ISLA joint letter to ESMA requesting delay to the SFTR reporting go-live date, due on 11 April 2020. The letter includes concrete examples of the significant challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic and the related measures pose to members’ SFTR implementation projects.

12 March 2020:
ECB Banking Supervision provides temporary capital and operational relief in reaction to coronavirus

The European Central Bank (ECB) today announced a number of measures to ensure that its directly supervised banks can continue to fulfil their role in funding the real economy as the economic effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) become apparent.
  • Banks can fully use capital and liquidity buffers, including Pillar 2 Guidance
  • Banks will benefit from relief in the composition of capital for Pillar 2 Requirements
  • ECB to consider operational flexibility in the implementation of bank-specific supervisory measures
Full press release


US

7 April 2020: SEC Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations Publishes Risk Alerts Providing

Advance Information Regarding Inspections for Compliance with Regulation Best Interest and Form CRS
The Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) has issued two risk alerts: Examinations that Focus on Compliance with Regulation Best Interest and Examinations that Focus on Compliance with Form CRS. These risk alerts provide broker-dealers and investment advisers with advance information about the expected scope and content of the initial examinations for compliance with Regulation Best Interest and Form CRS.

Full press release

1 April 2020: The Federal Reserve Board announces temporary change to its supplementary leverage ratio rule to ease strains in the Treasury market resulting from the coronavirus and increase banking organizations’ ability to provide credit to households and businesses
 
The Board is providing the temporary exclusion in the interim final rule to allow banking organizations to expand their balance sheets as appropriate to continue to serve as financial intermediaries, rather than to allow banking organizations to increase capital distributions, and will administer the interim final rule accordingly.
 
The supplementary leverage ratio generally applies to financial institutions with more than $250 billion in total consolidated assets. It requires them to hold a minimum ratio of 3 percent, measured against their total leverage exposure, with more stringent requirements for the largest and most systemic financial institutions. The change would temporarily decrease tier 1 capital requirements of holding companies by approximately 2 percent in aggregate.

22 March 2020: SEC Provides Conditional Regulatory Relief for Registered Transfer Agents and Certain Other Persons Affected by the Coronavirus

The SEC announced that it is providing conditional regulatory relief for registered transfer agents and certain other persons with regulatory obligations under the federal securities laws. the Commission has issued an order that, subject to certain conditions, provides registered transfer agents and certain other persons with exemptive relief for certain regulatory obligations under the federal securities laws through May 30, 2020.  Importantly, however, transfer agents at all times continue to be subject to the requirements of Exchange Act Rule 17Ad-12, which requires transfer agents to ensure that they adequately safeguard securities and funds in their possession or custody.

Full press release

21 March 2020: SEC Enables Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change to Facilitate NYSE Electronic Auctions in Light of Temporary Closure of Physical Trading Floor

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission noticed for immediate effectiveness a proposed rule filing submitted by New York Stock Exchange LLC (NYSE) to facilitate electronic auctions in light of its decision to temporarily close its New York trading floor. NYSE announced that it will temporarily close its trading floor effective Monday, March 23, as a precautionary measure in response to COVID-19.  The NYSE rule filing modifies certain rules to set wider price parameters, and to remove volume limits, within which NYSE designated market makers (DMMs) can facilitate auctions in an electronic trading environment.

Full press release


14 March 2020: Cboe Options Exchange Temporarily Shifts to Fully Electronic Trading

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission noticed for immediate effectiveness a proposed rule filing submitted by Cboe Exchange, Inc. to facilitate the continued operation of Cboe's options exchange in light of Cboe's decision to temporarily suspend open outcry trading on its Chicago trading floor.   

Full press release


UK

8 April 2020: FCA publishes additional primary market measures to aid listed companies


The FCA announced a series of measures to help companies raise new funding while retaining an appropriate degree of investor protection. The package includes a combination of temporary policy interventions and reminders of some existing options for companies and their current and prospective shareholders.

Full press release

24 March 2020: The FCA, Bank of England and Working Group on Sterling Risk-Free Reference Rates issued a statement on the impact of COVID-19 on firm’s LIBOR transition plans. The central assumption that firms cannot rely on LIBOR being published after the end of 2021 has not changed and end-2021 should remain the target date for all firms to meet. The full statement is available on the Working Group on Sterling Risk-Free Reference Rates' website and the FCA website.

23 March 2020: FCA Statement on UK markets (including short selling)

The FCA is working with international counterparts in the US, EU and elsewhere so that markets can remain open and orderly, and so they can continue to perform their essential role in supporting businesses, governments, jobs and the broader economy.

Some European countries have introduced short selling bans, and, in line with our standard practice, we have followed those bans, where requested, in respect of shares for which relevant European National Competent Authorities (NCAs) are responsible. The FCA has not introduced such a ban. Most European NCAs have not introduced such bans. Nor has the United States or any other major financial market.

The FCA continues closely to monitor market activity, including short selling activity. Aggregate net short selling activity reported to FCA is low as a percentage of total market activity and has decreased in recent days. It will continue to fluctuate, but there is no evidence that short selling has been the driver of recent market falls.

A great many investment and risk management strategies rely on the ability to take 'long' and 'short' positions. These benefit a wide range of ordinary investors including the pension funds for employees of companies and local government. The FCA also notes that short selling is a critical underpinning of liquidity provision. The loss of these benefits would need to be carefully balanced before determining that any intervention to prevent short selling was appropriate.

The FCA will continue to co-ordinate with their international partners and take all actions within their power where necessary to safeguard orderly markets.

23 March 2020: The Bank of England, the Prudential Regulation Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority have released a memorandum announcing a number of policies to mitigate the challenges faced by the UK financial services sector as a result of the coronavirus outbreak and to clear the ground for firms to focus on leading the economic fight against the crisis. The memorandum provides an overview of the policies adopted to date, which cover a range of policy areas such as regulatory capital, bank stress tests, IFRS 9, responding to distressed consumers and market trading and reporting. Further measures are anticipated and there are plans to update the memorandum as the situation evolves.


France


23 March 2020: Filing of universal registration documents and permanent information rules in the context of the Covid-19 crisis

The AMF recalls and completes its communication February 28, 2020. Issuers are invited to regularly reassess the need to communicate on the known and / or anticipated impact of this health crisis on their activities, their financial situation and their prospects. It is reminded that if they have precise, non-public information likely to have a significant influence on the price of financial instruments, issuers must communicate it to the market as soon as possible. This reassessment must be carried out systematically when the Universal Registration Document (URD) is submitted, which mainly takes place between mid-March and the end of April.

Full press release

19 March 2020: The AMF states its expectations on market activities continuity during the coronavirus pandemic

In order to fully accompany financial market professionals in the current context, the AMF reminds the financial industry of the various requirements arising from the European texts. Where possible, for example in the case of non-critical requirements, the Authority has decided to grant participants time extensions. AMF's remarks relate to the concepts of authorised place of work, audit trail and voice-recoding obligations, EMIR and MIFID II transaction reporting (where participants must ensure that the transmission of reports remains steady, of good quality and is carried out within the regulatory timelines), SFTR reporting, RCSI Annual questionnaire, other questionnaires or reports to be submitted to the AMF, and, the interaction with the AMF.

Full press release

17 March 2020: The AMF announces a short selling ban for one month until 16 April 2020 at midnight

In the light of the outbreak of Coronavirus and its consequences on the economy and financial market in France, the AMF financiers has decided to ban the creation or increase of short net positions with immediate effect. Given that the current exceptional circumstances represent a serious threat to market confidence, the AMF Chairman has decided this ban pursuant to Article L 421-16 II of the code monétaire et financier and Article 20 of the European Short Selling Regulation, for an initial period of 20 days. The AMF Board has already decided to extend this period for a further 10 days, which leads to a ban for 30 days in all.

Full press release

28 February 2020: The Autorité des Marchés Financiers underlines certain disclosure rules that apply to listed companies in the light of the coronavirus epidemic

AMF has been holding discussions with several listed companies over the past few weeks, prior to the publication of their year-end financial results with the objective of inviting listed companies to assess the consequences of the current situation and to consider appropriate and timely communication. AMF stated that Any knowledge of the epidemic’s significant impact on the activity, performance or outlook must therefore be disclosed without delay and that issuers periodically re-assess its estimated and anticipated impact on their company’s activity and outlook with respect to its materiality and/or amount. AMF also provided guidance on the disclosure of the pandemic's impact in annual reports and financial statements.

Full press release


Germany

Bafin maintains COVID-19 related FAQs on banking supervision and securities supervision. Responses address the following topics, amongst others:


Banking supervision:
  • Implementation timelines of CRR II / CRD V
  • Capital requirements (eg capital buffer, LCR)
  • Reporting
  • Credit risk
  • Accounting standards (IFRS 9) and risk assessment
  • Covered bonds
Securities supervision:
  • Information for issuers regarding the public disclosure of inside information under Article 17 of the Market Abuse Regulation (MAR)
Long version in German, short version in English, at the bottom of the page.

24 March 2020: BaFin clarifies amended supervisory requirements

BaFin is adapting its supervisory practice and measure during the COVID-19 crisis. "The existing framework allows for a significant degree of supervisory flexibility which we are making use of", said BaFin president, Felix Hufeld. "We lessen the burden on banks where it doesn’t adversely impact financial stability". BaFin is following the recommendations by the European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs) and international standard setting bodies. [Translation by ICMA. ICMA does not take any responsibility for any errors or omissions].

Full press release (in German)

19 March 2020: BaFin publishes in­for­ma­tion re­gard­ing the scope of pro­hi­bi­tions on short-sell­ing im­posed by oth­er au­thor­i­ties in the EU

The following information serves to provide clarification with regard to the prohibitions on establishing and increasing net short positions imposed by the Spanish National Securities Markets Commission (CNMV) on 17 March 2020, the Italian National Commission for Companies and the Stock Exchange (CONSOB) on 18 March 2020, the French Securities Supervisory Authority (AMF) on 18 March 2020, the Belgian Financial Services and Markets Authority (FMSA) on 18 March 2020, the Greek Hellenic Capital Market Commission (HCMC) on 18 March 2020 and the Austrian Financial Market Authority (FMA) on 18 March 2020:

Instruments related to the indices Euro STOXX 50®, STOXX® Europe 600, MSCI Europe and MSCI EMU are exempt from the short-selling prohibitions; trading in these instruments is therefore possible and is not covered by the prohibitions.

Full press release


Italy

19 March 2020: Consob suspends until May 15th the deadline for paying supervisory fees for 2020 and until April 15th the terms of proceedings to the referee for financial disputes

Consob has suspended until May 15, 2020 the deadline, already set for April 15, for the payment of supervisory contributions for 2020 due by Italian and foreign supervised entities (resolution no.21305 of March 18, 2020). Consob has also decided to further extend, from March 22 to April 15, 2020, the suspension of all the terms of the proceedings in progress at the Referee for Financial Disputes (ACF), already suspended once from March 12 to 22 (resolution 21308 of 18 March 2020, only in italian version). Both resolutions were adopted, taking into account the epidemiological emergency from Covid-19.
 
Full statement

17 March 2020: Consob prohibits short selling and adopts an enhanced transparency regime on investments in listed companies. The measures will be in force for three months starting on 18 March 2020

Consob has adopted two measures aimed, on the one hand, to contain the volatility of the financial markets and, on the other hand, to strengthen the transparency of the holdings in the Italian companies listed on the Stock Exchange. Firstly, Consob introduced a prohibition of net short positions (short selling and other bearish operations) (Resolution n. 21303 of March 17, 2020) pursuant to Article 20 of Regulation (UE) 236/2012, in accordance with the positive opinion of ESMA. Accordingly to the ban, which follows other measures already adopted for the Stock Exchange sessions of 13 and 17 March, any form of bearish speculative operation is prohibited, even if carried out through derivatives or other financial instruments. Bearish intraday trades are also prohibited. Consob also decided to introduce a temporary regime of enhanced transparency on the shares held by investors in the Italian companies of largest capitalization and widespread shareholding, listed in the Stock Exchange Market.

Full press release


Spain


16 March 2020: The CNMV bans the creation or increase of net short positions on shares for one month

The CNMV has decided to ban during a month the entering into transactionson securities and financial instruments which entail the creation or increase of a net short position on Spanish shares admitted to trading on Spanish trading venues (Stock Exchanges and Mercado Alternativo Bursátil –MAB-) for which the CNMV is the competent authority. The decision entered into force on 17th of March before the beginning of trading session. The ban covers any transaction on shares or indexes, including cash transactions, derivatives traded on trading venues or OTC derivatives which create or increase a net short position, even intra-day.

Full press release

10 March 2020: Considerations of the CNMV on general shareholders meetings of listed companies

In light of the situation brought about by the COVID-19 virus, the CNMV encourages shareholders to attend general meetings by proxy rather than in person and to  maximise the use of remote attendance and remote voting mechanisms for shareholders, including by means of telepresence systems or real-time telematic connection or any other means provided for in articles of association or general shareholders meeting rules and regulations.  

Full press release


Switzerland

31 March 2020: FINMA Guidance: temporary exemptions for banks due to the COVID-19 crisis

In FINMA Guidance 02/2020, FINMA provided banks with clarifications for dealing with the COVID-19 credits with federal guarantees within the framework of the capital and liquidity requirements, and on temporary exemptions relating to the leverage ratio and on risk diversification requirements.

19 March 2020: Corona crisis: FINMA sees banks well prepared, operationally and financially

Against the backdrop of the corona crisis, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA notes that the operations of financial institutions and the financial market infrastructure in Switzerland are continuing to function well. The institutions are also well equipped to deal with extreme stress scenarios. […]

Simplified rules for the trading room:
FINMA will apply the rules concerning the physical and electronic environment of a trading room such that working from home (remotely) is also broadly possible here. The necessary surveillance procedures can be implemented electronically. Due to the current situation, FINMA will grant institutions longer periods to collect data on securities trading. It will not insist on receiving data in journal form within three working days.

Operations secured and supervisory work tailored: FINMA is taking a risk-oriented and countercyclical approach to its supervisory work. Certain deadlines and routine control activities may therefore be postponed so that the companies can use their management capacity more flexibly.

Full press release


China

12 March 2020: PBOC and SAFE announced that they will raise the macro-prudential adjustment parameter from 1 to 1.25

The parameter is used in a formula to calculate the maximum amount of outstanding foreign debt a Chinese issuer can have. With the increase, Chinese corporations will be allowed to borrow 25% more foreign debt than before.

26 February 2020: PBOC increases re-lending, re-discount quota by 500 billion yuan to support small businesses

Among the RMB 500 billion, RMB 300 billion will be allocated to small firms, RMB 100 billion yuan to agricultural firms, and the re-discount quota will be RMB 100 billion yuan.

7 February 2020:
PBOC arranges RMB 300 billion special fund to support lending to corporates involved in epidemic control

PBOC set a upper limit of 3.15% for the interest rate of these special bank loans to corporates. The Ministry of Finance will subsidy half of the actual loan interest rate for an effective financing cost of less than 1.6%.


Australia

23 March 2020: Australian Securities and Investments Commission recalibrates its regulatory priorities to focus on COVID-19 challenges

In coordination with the Council of Financial Regulators, ASIC will focus its regulatory efforts on challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Until at least 30 September 2020, the other matters that ASIC will afford priority are where there is the risk of significant consumer harm, serious breaches of the law, risks to market integrity and time-critical matters.

ASIC has immediately suspended a number of near-term activities which are not time-critical. These include consultation, regulatory reports and reviews, such as the ASIC report on executive remuneration, updated internal dispute resolution guidance and a consultation paper on managed discretionary accounts. Stakeholders will shortly be notified of deferred consultation and publications relevant to them.

23 March 2020: Australian Prudential Regulation Authority adapts 2020 agenda to prioritise COVID-19 response

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has suspended the majority of its planned policy and supervision initiatives in response to the impact of COVID-19.

APRA is suspending all substantive public consultations and actions to finalise revisions to the prudential framework that are currently underway or upcoming, including consultations on prudential and reporting standards. It will keep the situation under review, but presently does not plan to recommence consultation on any non-essential matters before 30 September 2020.


Malaysia

27 March 2020: Additional Measures to Further Support SMEs and Individuals Affected by the COVID-19 Outbreak

In its efforts to cushion the impact of disruptions caused by COVID-19 outbreak, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) announces additional measures including a reduction of interest rate (IRCC) and profit rate (PRCC) stress factor caps applied under the Risk-Based Capital Framework for Insurers and Risk-Based Capital Framework for Takaful Operators (Frameworks), respectively.

25 March 2020: Measures to Assist Individuals, SMEs and Corporates Affected by COVID-19

Bank Negara Malaysia announces a number of regulatory and supervisory measures in support of efforts by banking institutions to assist individuals, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and corporations to manage the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak.


Republic of Korea

30 March 2020: Financial Services Commission: Basel III credit risk framework to be adopted in Q2 2020

The FSC and the FSS announced the early adoption of the credit risk framework of Basel III beginning in late June this year, more than one year and a half prior to the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision’s recommendation of adoption by 2022. With the early adoption of Basel III rules, the government expects that the banks with high proportions of business lending will see their BIS capital adequacy ratios increase, thus enabling banks to boost capital reserves to provide more funding to businesses.

Full press release

24 March 2020: Financial Services Commission outlines measures to stabilize financial markets

Key measures include financing support for businesses; establishment of a bond market stabilization fund; financing for corporate bond issuance; liquidity measures for the repo and commercial paper markets; and a stock market stabilization fund.


Singapore

7 April 2020: MAS Takes Regulatory and Supervisory Measures to Help FIs Focus on Supporting Customers

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced it will adjust selected regulatory requirements and supervisory programmes to enable financial institutions (FIs) to focus on dealing with issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic and supporting their customers during this difficult period. This includes adjustment of bank capital and liquidity requirements and deferred implementation of Basel III reforms and other new regulations, among measures.

Full press release