The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published its Annual Report, which reviews its achievements against its 2018 priorities and objectives in meeting its mission of enhancing investor protection and promoting stable and orderly financial markets in the European Union.
In 2018 ESMA’s key achievements and highlights included its work on:
- Promoting Supervisory Convergence
- Brexit preparations including the work of the Supervisory Convergence Network; and
- Product Intervention Measures – first use of ESMA’s powers to restrict the sale and marketing of CFDs to retail investors and ban binary options;
- Assessing risks to investors, markets and financial stability
- MiFID II/MiFIR Data Management – successful data collection, processing and analysis with publication of key calculations and data under MiFID II/MiFIR;
- EU Derivatives Market – first annual report estimate its size at €660 trillion notional;
- Retail Investment Products – first annual report on costs and returns of UCITS, alternative investment funds and structured retail products;
- Financial Innovation – provision of advice on initial coin offerings and crypto-assets;
- Completing a Single Rulebook for EU financial markets
- Securitisation – finalised draft RTS and ITS to implement the new regulatory framework for securitisations and help promote STS securitisations;
- Post Trading – developed rules on the clearing obligation to ensure a level playing field between covered bonds and securitisation in relation to the Securitisation Regulation;
- Prospectus Regulation – provided technical advice proposing simplifications aimed at maintaining high levels of investor protection while promoting new financing possibilities;
- Directly supervising specific financial entities
- Ensuring that credit rating agencies (CRAs) and trade repositories were properly prepared for Brexit including a no-deal scenario; and
- Enforcement action and fines for breaches of the CRA Regulation by several Nordic banks.
The priorities identified in the 2018 annual work programme were:
- Supervisory convergence: implementation of MiFID II/MiFIR, Brexit preparation;
- Assessing risks: enhancing analytical input into ESMA’s operational work;
- Single rulebook: Securitisation, Prospectus, Money Market Funds and EMIR Review;
- Direct supervision: supervision of CRAs and TRs and their ancillary activities.