The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published its 2019 Work Programme (WP), which sets out its priorities and areas of focus for 2019 in support of ESMA’s mission to enhance investor protection and promote stable and orderly financial markets.
ESMA, in line with its Strategic Orientation 2016-2020, will maintain its focus on its activities of supervisory convergence and assessing risks in financial markets. Additionally, ESMA will take on new direct supervisory responsibilities under the Securities Financing Transactions Regulation (SFTR) and the Securitisation Regulation. It will also support the Sustainable Finance Initiative through a set of priority actions, aiming to integrate environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations as part of the investment chain.
Preparations for the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union will continue to be a major focus for ESMA in 2019. This will require ESMA to be prepared to adapt and reprioritise the WP as needed. Further adaptation of ESMA’s work programme in 2019 could be required to take account of the potential revisions of ESMA’s mandate under the Review of the European System of Financial Supervision (ESAs’ Review) and EMIR 2.2.
Steven Maijoor, Chair, said:
“In 2019 ESMA will continue its focus on promoting supervisory convergence and assessing risks with a continued emphasis on the consistent implementation of MiFID II/MiFIR, but with an added focus on utilising the data gathered under this regime to assist us in meeting our stability, orderly markets and investor protection objectives.
“The transition to MiFID in 2018 has required us to be flexible and adaptable in managing the introduction of the regime and this will be invaluable to the organisation as we continue our preparations for the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union. This will make demands on ESMA, and NCAs, in terms of supervisory convergence work, financial stability work as well as third-country policies.
“Additionally, we continue to plan for possible changes to ESMA’s mandate under the ESAs and EMIR Reviews. We will be flexible in adapting and reprioritising the Work Programme to this changing environment while continuing to meet our responsibilities in enhancing investor protection and promoting stable and orderly markets.”
In 2019 the key areas of focus under ESMA’s activities of supervisory convergence, assessing risks, single rulebook and direct supervision will be:
- Supporting the consistent application of MiFID II and MiFIR along with the Prospectus Regulation and Securitisation Regulation by market participants and National Competent Authorities (NCAs);
- Utilising the data gathered under MiFID II/MiFIR to support its work on stable and orderly markets;
- Contributing to the implementation of the Capital Markets Union Action Plan and of the Fintech Action Plan; and
- Enhancing the effectiveness of its supervisory activities for credit rating agencies (CRA) and trade repositories (TR), while preparing for the registration and supervision of new entities under the Securitisation Regulation and SFTR.