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ESMA publishes 2019 Annual Report and updates 2020 Annual Work Programme

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The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the EU’s securities markets regulator, has published its Annual Report, which reviews the achievements from 2019 against its mission of enhancing investor protection and promoting stable and orderly financial markets in the European Union.

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 has also published a revised version of its 2020 annual Work Programme. The latter includes the Authority’s additional work on its immediate reaction to the crisis and indicates potential deprioritization regarding ongoing and future mandates.

Steven Maijoor, Chair, said:

“The past year has been a transformative year for ESMA and this Annual Report demonstrates not only the visible progress that we made on many fronts but also the determination and commitment of the staff.”

“Political agreement was achieved on the European Supervisory Authorities review, which will strengthen and expand our mandate. ESMA can take pride in its implementation of the EU Single Rulebook as well as supporting the development of the Capital Markets Union and Sustainable Finance. In addition, ESMA developed the stress simulation framework for investment funds and produced milestone reports on costs and past performance of retail investment productsFinally, the Authority continued to monitor, and respond to, possible risks related to Brexit.”

“ESMA has taken carefully calibrated regulatory actions during the COVID-19 crisis designed to ensure that markets remain stable and investors protected.”

Verena Ross, Executive Director, said:

“Last year, in order to prepare for its additional direct supervision responsibilities, the Authority restructured its organisation. ESMA also moved its headquarters, offering staff and visitors a new working environment.”

“In addition to the publication of the 2019 Annual Report, we have also released the revised 2020 annual Work Programme which reprioritises our work and deliverables in light of the various actions we are taking in the context of the COVID-19 crisis.”

ESMA’s 2019 key achievements include:

  • Transversal
    • Preparing for the expanded mandates given to ESMA by the revision of its founding regulation and EMIR 2.2
    • Brexit – monitoring Brexit-associated risks, including planning for a no-deal scenario, and using the Supervisory Coordination Network to ensure a consistent approach to authorising and supervising relocating firms
  • Promoting Supervisory Convergence
    • Product intervention – taking measures on binary options and contracts for difference
    • Investor Protection – publishing the first statistical report on costs and past performance of retail investment products
    • MiFID II – common supervisory action on appropriateness rules
  • Assessing risks to investors, markets and financial stability
    • Stress testing – stress simulation framework for investment funds
    • Annual statistical report series on EU AIF markets and EU derivatives markets
    • Ensuring quality of data reported to ESMA
  • Completing a Single Rulebook for EU financial markets
    • Sustainable Finance – technical advice on sustainability risks and factors in MiFID II, UCTIS and AIFMD, and on potential undue short-term pressures in securities markets
    • MiFID II / MiFIR reviews – on fair access to, and lowering the cost of, market data and on the consolidated tape
    • Bilateral margining – joint ESA work on draft amendments to the Delegated Regulation
  • Directly supervising specific financial entities
    • Enforcement – EUR 5 million in fines against three CRAs for infringements related to conflicts of interest
    • Sustainable Finance – technical advice on sustainability considerations in the credit-rating market
    • Fees – follow-up to the thematic report on fees charged by CRAs and TRs

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Regulator Information

Abbreviation: ESMA
Jurisdiction: ESMA

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