10 July 2020: Regulatory responses to the market impact of COVID-19 by Charlotte Bellamy, ICMA.

Download the ICMA Asset Management and Investors Council COVID-19 Regulatory Grid focusing on measures relevant to the buy-side (last updated 22 May).

Jurisdictions (more to be added):

International

7 September 2020: FSB extends implementation timelines for securities financing transactions

The Financial Stability Board has announced extensions to the implementation timelines for minimum haircut standards for non-centrally cleared securities financing transactions (SFTs), to ease operational burdens on market participants and authorities, and thereby assist them in focusing on priorities from the impact of COVID-19. The Group of Central Bank Governors and Heads of Supervision decided in March 2020 to defer the implementation of the Basel III framework by one year to January 2023. Since the FSB framework for numerical haircut floors for bank-to-non-bank transactions is expected to be implemented through the Basel III framework in many jurisdictions, the FSB has therefore decided to also extend the implementation dates by one year for its policy recommendations related to minimum haircut standards for non-centrally cleared SFTs. For bank-to-non-bank transactions, the updated implementation date is January 2023 (instead of January 2022). For non-bank-to-non-bank transactions, the updated implementation date is January 2025 (instead of January 2024). This is in line with the re-prioritisation of the FSB’s work in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and will give market participants (both banks and non-banks) more time to prepare for the implementation of the framework of numerical haircut floors set out in minimum haircut standards.

15 July 2020: FSB sets out action to maintain financial stability during COVID

The Financial Stability Board (FSB) published a letter from the FSB Chair, Randal K. Quarles, to G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors, ahead of their virtual meeting on 18 July 2020. The FSB also delivered to the G20 a report on the financial stability implications of, and policy measures taken in response to, the COVID-19 pandemic.

Full press release

8 July 2020: G20/Paris Forum High-level Ministerial Conference

The Saudi G20 Presidency and the Paris Forum concluded a high-level ministerial virtual conference. The conference discussed challenges around international capital flows volatility – as exacerbated in emerging market economies by the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis – and possible policy responses to help restoring sustainable flows of capital and mobilizing robust financing for development.

Full press release

6 July 2020: Basel Committee reports on Basel III implementation progress

The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision issued the Eighteenth progress report on adoption of the Basel regulatory framework. Since the previous report, published in October 2019, member jurisdictions have made further progress in adopting the Basel III standards. In addition, members have taken a wide range of measures to respond to the financial stability priorities arising from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Press release
Eighteenth progress report on adoption of the Basel regulatory framework

17 June 2020: Basel Committee meets; discusses impact of Covid-19; reiterates guidance on buffers

The Basel Committee met on 10 and 16 June 2020 to discuss a range of policy issues and to review the impact to date of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic on the global banking system. The measures taken by the Committee at the onset of the pandemic have helped mitigate some of the short-term financial stability risks. All members reaffirmed their expectation of full, timely and consistent implementation of all Basel III standards based on the revised timeline endorsed by the Group of Governors and Heads of Supervision.

Full press release

8 June 2020: Meeting of the G20 Framework Working Group (FWG)

The G20 Framework Working Group (FWG) met virtually on June 8, 2020 to advance the G20 Action Plan – Supporting the Global Economy through the COVID-19 Pandemic –. The Action Plan was endorsed by the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors during their meeting on April 15, 2020.

Full press release

5 June 2020: FSB Americas group discusses financial vulnerabilities and the impact of COVID-19

The Financial Stability Board (FSB) Regional Consultative Group (RCG) for the Americas held a conference call to discuss global and regional macroeconomic and financial market developments and their potential impact on economies in the Americas.

Full press release

29 May 2020: IOSCO releases statement encouraging issuers’ fair disclosure about COVID-19 related impacts

The Board of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) issued a public statement highlighting the importance to investors and other stakeholders of having timely and high-quality information about the impact of COVID-19 on issuers' operating performance, financial position and prospects.

Full press release

28 May 2020: Saudi G20 Presidency joins United Nations in discussing solutions to advance financing for development in the era of COVID-19 and beyond

The event brought together heads of State and Government as well as Heads of international organizations and representatives from non-government organizations and the private sector to discuss challenges, opportunities and concrete solutions against six critical areas: global liquidity and financial stability, debt vulnerability, private sector creditors engagement, external finance and remittances for inclusive growth, illicit financial flows, and recovering better for sustainability and inclusion

Full press release

28 May 2020: FSB Europe group discusses financial vulnerabilities and responses to the COVID-19 pandemic

The Financial Stability Board (FSB) Regional Consultative Group (RCG) for Europe held a conference call to discuss global and regional macroeconomic and financial market developments and their potential impact on European economies. Members exchanged views on the latest financial stability implications of COVID-19, including the wide range of policy measures authorities have taken to sustain the supply of credit to the real economy, to support financial intermediation, and to preserve the functioning and resilience of the global financial system, as well as their effectiveness, among other agenda items.

Full press release

26 May 2020: Financial policymakers discuss responses to COVID-19 with the private sector

Financial policymakers and international standard setters met virtually with private sector executives to discuss international policy responses to COVID-19. Organised by the FSB's Standing Committee on Supervisory and Regulatory Cooperation (SRC), in cooperation with Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS), the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI), the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) and the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), the meeting brought together senior representatives from central banks, regulatory authorities and finance ministries as well as about 30 international banks, insurance firms, asset managers, market infrastructures and credit rating agencies. The meeting was chaired by Himino Ryozo, Chair of the SRC and Vice Minister for International Affairs, Japan Financial Services Agency.

Full press release

15 April 2020: Meeting of the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors

The G20 Leaders have held another virtual meeting on COVID-19 and issued a statement emphasising the need for a global response to ensure resilience in the financial system. G20 Leaders have asked Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors to develop an Action Plan in response to COVID-19.

Virtual Meeting Communique

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

24 July 2020: European Commission Coronavirus response: Making capital markets work for Europe's recovery

The European Commission adopted a Capital Markets Recovery Package, as part of the Commission's overall coronavirus recovery strategy. The package contains targeted adjustments to the Prospectus Regulation, MiFID II and securitisation rules. All of the amendments are at the heart of the Capital Markets Union project aimed at better integrating national capital markets and ensuring equal access to investments and funding opportunities across the EU.
 
Full press release
Questions and Answers


20 July 2020:
Conclusions of the special meeting of the European Council (17-21 July 2020)

The EU and its Member States have had to adopt emergency measures to preserve the health of the citizens and prevent a collapse of the economy. At the request of the Heads of State or Government, the Commission presented at the end of May a very wide-ranging package combining the future Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) and a specific Recovery effort under Next Generation EU (NGEU). It is a package combining the classical MFF with an extraordinary Recovery effort destined to tackle the effects of an unprecedented crisis in the best interest of the EU. NGEU and MFF go together.

The first part of these conclusions deal with the Recovery effort, which is significant, focused and limited in time. Significant because the effects of the crisis are far-reaching. Focused because it must target the regions and sectors that are most hit by the crisis. Limited in time because the MFF and the rules governing it remain the basic frame for the Union's budgetary planning and implementation. The additional funds generated by the EU's borrowing will be disbursed as grants and loans via the instruments and programmes of the MFF. This ensures consistency and coherence. Both NGEU and MFF will help transform the EU through its major policies, particularly the European Green Deal, the digital revolution and resilience. The second part looks at the 2021-2027 MFF. The approach is based on the February proposal, which has been adapted to respond to the COVID-19 crisis and in the light of the measures taken under NGEU.

2 July 2020: ESRB General Board publishes overview of meeting held 25 June 2020 and releases Risk Dashboard, July 2020 (Issue 32)

At its meeting on 25 June 2020, the General Board of the European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB) again focused on the consequences of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic for the EU’s economy and the financial system. An ESRB working group was set up to facilitate the implementation of the ESRB recommendations (27 May 2020).

The ESRB also released its latest risk dashboard. The dashboard is a set of quantitative and qualitative indicators of systemic risk in the EU financial system.

Full press release
ESRB risk dashboard

15 June 2020: ESMA publishes 2019 Annual Report and updates 2020 Annual Work Programme

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the EU’s securities markets regulator, published its Annual Report. The Annual Report sets out ESMA’s key actions taken in the previous year. In addition to that and amid the COVID-19 outbreak, the Authority’s work has been recently focusing on its response to the crisis. In order to reflect these challenging times for the financial markets, ESMA also published a revised version of its 2020 annual Work Programme, including the Authority’s additional work on its immediate reaction to the crisis and indicates potential deprioritisation regarding ongoing and future mandates.

Annual Report 2019

2020 Annual Work Programme - revised
Full press release

8 June 2020: ESRB takes second set of actions in response to the coronavirus emergency at its extraordinary meeting on 27 May 2020

Continued efforts by the European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB) to address the exceptional challenges stemming from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and its potential impact on the financial system of the European Union (EU) have led to a second set of actions agreed by its General Board. These macroprudential actions, which refer to the five priority areas identified by the ESRB, together with reinforced coordination, both across authorities responsible for different segments of the financial sector and across borders, are aimed at ensuring that the European financial system is able to withstand the shock and thus prevent an even sharper loss of economic capacity and jobs.

The General Board also adopted a Recommendation that introduces minimum requirements for national monitoring and establishes a framework for reporting to the ESRB.

Full press release

27 May 2020: EC publishes Working Document Europe's moment: Repair and Prepare for the Next Generation

The European Commission has put forward its proposal for a major recovery plan. To ensure the recovery is sustainable, even, inclusive and fair for all Member States, the European Commission is proposing to create a new recovery instrument, Next Generation EU, embedded within a powerful, modern and revamped long-term EU budget. The Commission has also unveiled its adjusted Work Programme for 2020, which will prioritise the actions needed to propel Europe's recovery and resilience.

Full press release

14 May 2020: ESRB publishes issues note on liquidity in the corporate bond and commercial paper markets and recommendations on liquidity risks in investment funds

Following its meetings on 2 April 2020 and 6 May 2020, the General Board of the European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB) has published an issues note on liquidity in the corporate bond and commercial paper markets, the procyclical impact of downgrades and implications for asset managers and insurers. The ESRB also published its recommendations on liquidity risks in investment funds.

Full issues note
ESRB recommendations
Full press release

14 May 2020: ESMA supports ESRB actions to address COVID-related systemic vulnerabilities

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published a statement supporting the recommendations issued by the General Board of the European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB). These recommendations are part of a set of actions to address the Coronavirus emergency from a macroprudential perspective.

Full statement

6 May 2020: ESMA publishes statement reminding firms of conduct of business obligations under MiFID II

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) highlights the risks for retail clients when trading under these highly uncertain and unprecedented market circumstances. ESMA reminds firms of their obligation to act honestly, fairly and professionally in accordance with the best interests of their clients when providing investment or ancillary services and to comply with all relevant MiFID II conduct of business and related organisational requirements.

28 April 2020: Commission adopts banking package to facilitate lending to households and businesses, releases Interpretative Communication and addresses questions on package

The Commission adopted a banking package to help facilitate bank lending to households and businesses throughout the European Union. The aim of the package is to ensure that banks can continue to lend money to support the economy and help mitigate the significant economic impact of the Coronavirus. It includes an Interpretative Communication on the EU's accounting and prudential frameworks, as well as targeted “quick fix” amendments to EU banking rules.

The Commission also addressed questions on the banking package in the form of an FAQs page. The Commission may periodically update these FAQs and, therefore, please check the website for new FAQs or revisions to a previously issued FAQ.

Commission Interpretative Communication
Full list of FAQs

9 April 2020: ESMA postpones publication dates of the annual transparency calculations for non-equity instruments

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) in cooperation with the NCAs will postpone the publication of transparency calculations which include the liquidity assessment and the determination of the pre-trade and post-trade large in scale and size specific to the instrument thresholds from 30 April 2020 to 15 July 2020 and their application from 1 June 2020 to 15 September 2020. Until and including 14 September 2020 the transitional transparency calculations (TTC) will continue to apply.

Full statement

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

26 August 2020: Federal Reserve, FDIC, OCC issue 3 final rules

The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) finalized three rules, which are either identical or substantially similar to interim final rules currently in effect that were issued earlier this year. They include:
  • A final rule that temporarily modifies the community bank leverage ratio, as required by the CARES Act;
  • A final rule that makes more gradual, as intended, the automatic restrictions on distributions if a banking organization's capital levels decline below certain levels; 
  • and A final rule that allows institutions that adopt the current expected credit losses or "CECL" accounting standard in 2020 to mitigate the estimated effects of CECL on regulatory capital for two years.
Joint press release

10 August 2020: Federal Reserve Board announces individual large bank capital requirements

Following its stress tests earlier this year, the Federal Reserve Board on Monday announced individual large bank capital requirements, which will be effective on October 1.

Under its framework for large banks—those with more than $100 billion in total assets—capital requirements are in part determined by stress test results, which provide a risk-sensitive and forward-looking assessment of capital needs. The below table shows the total common equity tier 1, or CET1, capital requirements for each large bank, which is comprised of several components, including:
  • Minimum capital requirements, which are the same for each firm and are 4.5 percent;
  • The stress capital buffer, or SCB, which is determined from the stress test results, and is at least 2.5 percent; and
  • If applicable, a capital surcharge for global systemically important banks, or GSIBs, which is at least 1.0 percent.
Full press release

24 April 2020: SEC Forms Cross-Divisional COVID-19 Market Monitoring Group

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced the formation of an internal, cross-divisional COVID-19 Market Monitoring Group. This temporary, senior-level group will assist the Commission and its various divisions and offices in (1) Commission and staff actions and analysis related to the effects of COVID-19 on markets, issuers, and investors—including its Main Street investors, and (2) responding to requests for information, analysis and assistance from fellow regulators and other public sector partners.

Full press release

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

27 August 2020: PRA publishes update to the temporary approach to VAR back-testing exceptions to mitigate the possibility of excessively pro-cyclical market risk capital requirements

In light of the amendments to the Capital Requirements Regulation (CRR) in response to the Covid-19 outbreak (the CRR ‘Quick Fix’) the PRA has decided to terminate its temporary approach to VAR back-testing exceptions from Wednesday 30 September 2020. From Thursday 1 October 2020 onwards, firms should no longer apply any commensurate reduction in RNIV capital requirements. This follows the PRA’s ‘Statement on VAR back-testing exceptions temporary approach on Monday 30 March 2020.

Full press release

27 May 2020:
FCA publishes Market Watch 63: Newsletter on market conduct and transaction reporting issues

In this Market Watch, the FCA set out expectations of market conduct in the context of increased capital raising events and alternative working arrangements due to coronavirus.

13 May 2020: Further statement from the Working Group on Sterling Risk-Free Reference Rates (RFRWG) on the impact of Coronavirus on the timeline for firms’ LIBOR transition plans

Due to coronavirus, the PRA and FCA suspended transition data reporting at the end of Q1 for dual regulated firms, and cancelled some Q1 firm meetings. In light of the developments since, including the FSR statement on LIBOR published on 7 May 2020, the PRA and FCA decided to resume full supervisory engagement with these firms on their LIBOR transition progress from 1 June 2020, including data reporting at the end of Q2.

Full statement

7 May 2020:
Financial Services Regulatory Initiatives Forum publishes Regulatory Initiatives Grid

The new Grid from the Financial Services Regulatory Initiatives Forum sets out the regulatory pipeline. This is so the financial services industry and other stakeholders can understand – and plan for – the timing of the initiatives that may have a significant operational impact on them. This will help in any environment. But it’s especially necessary during the current coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis. The Forum members have worked closely with firms to coordinate their response and part of this has been to cancel or delay several initiatives to reduce operational burdens on firms.

7 May 2020: Statement by the Prudential Regulation Authority on prioritisation in light of Covid-19

Further to the joint announcement on Friday 20 March 2020 from the Bank of England (‘Bank’) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (‘PRA’), setting out a number of measures aimed at alleviating operational burdens on PRA-regulated firms (‘firms’), the PRA announced further details of its plans to support firms and enable them, and the PRA, to focus their resources on the highest priority work. The Prudential Regulation Committee and the Financial Policy Committee agreed to re-prioritisation in PRA’s work within climate change, LIBOR transition, Insurance Stress Test 2019 and Stressed VAR.

Full statement

7 May 2020: FPC publishes Interim Financial Stability Report

The interim Financial Stability Report sets out the FPC’s view of the performance of the financial system through the Covid-19-related disruption and outlook for UK financial stability, including its assessment of the resilience of the UK financial system. This Report is also the record of the judgements contained in the Report taken by the Financial Policy Committee at its meeting held on 5 May 2020

Interim Financial Stability Report May 2020

30 April 2020:
FCA publishes summary on delayed activities and regulatory change due to coronavirus (COVID-19)

The FCA stated it is reviewing its work plans so it can delay or postpone activity that is not critical to protecting consumers and market integrity in the short-term. The summary includes an overview of delayed consultations, call for inputs, publications, implementation of rules and other activity.

29 April 2020: Working Group on Sterling Risk-Free Reference Rates publishes statement on impact of Coronavirus on LIBOR transition plans


Further to the initial joint statement (25 March 2020), the Working Group on Sterling Risk-Free Reference Rates (RFRWG) released a statement on the impact of Coronavirus on the timeline for firms’ LIBOR transition plans, in which it recognises that it will not be feasible to complete transition away from LIBOR across all new sterling LIBOR linked loans by the original end-Q3 2020 target, and makes associated recommendations. The statement also says that the FCA, the Bank of England and the Chair of the RFRWG will support the delivery of the RFRWG workplan in key areas that will continue the momentum on LIBOR transition.

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

25 March 2020: FCA, Bank of England and Working Group on Sterling Risk-Free Reference Rates issue statement on the impact of COVID-19 on firm’s LIBOR transition plans

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.


Switzerland

19 May 2020: FINMA Guidance: extension or discontinuation of exemptions due to the COVID-19 crisis

In its Guidance 06/2020, FINMA published further guidance in the context of the COVID-19 crisis containing adjustments to the periods for various exemptions already granted and specifying in more detail how the net stable funding ratio (NSFR) is calculated.

14 April 2020: FINMA Guidance: additional exemptions for supervised institutions due to the COVID-19 crisis

In its Guidance 04/2020, FINMA announces further exemptions in the context of the COVID-19, including granting exemptions in the model approach to market risk intended to mitigate the volatility-induced pro-cyclicality. This follows FINMA’s previous Guidance 03/2020 published 7 April 2020.

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.


India

13 April 2020: Securities and Exchange Board of India: Relaxation in adherence to prescribed timelines issued by SEBI due to Covid-19

In wake of the current nationwide lock down of 21 days as directed by Government of India due to issue of Covid-19, a need has been felt to extend the timelines for processing of various investor requests pertaining to physical securities and Compliance and disclosures to be made under SEBI Regulations and various SEBI circulars.


Philippines

25 August 2020: SEC issues framework for corporate debt vehicles to support firms' liquidity amid pandemic

The Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) has approved the regulatory framework of new investment companies that will primarily invest in corporate debt papers.


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

26 August 2020: FSC decides to extend part of temporary deregulatory measures

The FSC announced its decision to extend some of the interim deregulatory measures introduced on April 17 in order to continue to support the financial sector amid a protracted pandemic situation. See press release for full details.

Full press release

24 July 2020: FSC Announces Financial Policy Direction for Post-pandemic Era
 
Vice Chairman Sohn Byungdoo presided over a meeting of the financial development review committee on July 24 and discussed the government’s financial policy direction for the post pandemic era. The financial policy for the second half of the year will focus on supporting the steady growth of the real economy and innovative firms, improving the regulatory environment to facilitate the development of new and innovative business models, and closely managing risk factors in the financial sectors, among other items.
 
Full press release

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

27 April 2020: MAS addresses questions on relief measures relating to COVID-19

In the format of a FAQs page MAS provided clarifications on the relief measures and other queries received from financial institutions on the licensing and conduct requirements for intermediaries under the SFA relating to COVID-19 situation.
MAS may periodically update these FAQs and, therefore, please check the website for new FAQs or revisions to a previously issued FAQ.

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


Thailand

7 April 2020: Bank of Thailand publishes additional measures to assist SMEs affected by COVID-19 and to stabilize corporate bond market

In order to stabilize the corporate bond market by providing liquidity backstop to ensure its continued functioning, the BOT and the Ministry of Finance see the need to establish the Corporate Bond Stabilization Fund (BSF) to provide bridge financing to high-quality firms with bonds maturing during 2020-2021, at higher-than-market ‘penalty’ rates.

Eligible corporate bonds/issuers must meet a number of criteria including (i) be at least an investment grade, (ii) have raised the majority of their funding needs through other means such as bank loans or capital increase, (iii) have a clear long-term financing plan, and (iv) meet other conditions as set out by the BSF’s investment committee. In addition, if the issuers simultaneously offer secured bonds to the general public, the bonds that the BSF will invest in must also be secured with collaterals no inferior than those pledged on the bonds sold to the general public.

Full press release
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