On 15 June 2020, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published its 2019 Annual Report, which included a revised version of its 2020 Annual Work Programme and a review of its key actions from 2019.
Revised 2020 Annual Work Programme
ESMA highlighted the additional work it had undertaken in response to the COVID-19 crisis and indicated that this may lead to a potential re-prioritisation of its ongoing and future mandates. As part of the activities undertaken through the work programme, ESMA has re-iterated its intention to:
- Drive initiatives for financial innovation, concentrating on the regulation and supervision of initial coin offerings and crypto assets, innovative fintech business models, national innovation hubs and regulatory sandboxes as well as cyber security.
- Work with national competent authorities to ensure a coordinated European response to the COVID-19 crisis. As part of this effort, ESMA will continue to conduct necessary supervisory convergence work including the continued use of peer reviews and Q&As.
- Co-operate with the EBA on the development of technical standards and other legal acts required under the new prudential framework for investment firms. This will include the drafting of regulatory and implementing technical standards as well as required work on the changes to the third country regime for the provision of investment services by third country firms.
- Improve the disclosure of information by manufacturers of sustainable financial products and financial advisors. ESMA will develop, jointly with European Banking Authority (EBA) and European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA), the implementing and regulatory technical standards on the disclosure provisions for sustainable investments, with these standards expected to be delivered in January 2021.
- Monitor the implementation of the requirements related to the European Single Electronic Format (ESEF) and consider if there is a need to provide further assistance to market participants to ensure the highest possible convergence across all EU jurisdictions.
These initiatives align with ESMA’s key priorities for 2020 which include the implementation of its new supervisory mandates, the strengthening of supervisory convergence, the development of the single rulebook, the promotion of cooperation and improved statistics in relation to risk assessments and its ongoing direct supervision of credit rating agencies, trade repositories and entities under the Securitisation Regulation.
As part of its re-prioritisation exercise, ESMA also noted that it would extend the consultation period for some consultations, in order to allow market participants to be able to provide responses during the pandemic.