03.26.2020

ESMA Clarifies Position On SFTR Backloading

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the EU’s securities markets regulator, has issued a revised version of its 19 March Public Statement on coordinated supervisory actions on the application of Securities Finance Transactions Regulation (SFTR).

The revised statement clarifies that SFTs concluded between 13 April 2020 and 13 July 2020 and SFTs subject to backloading under SFTR also fall within those issues in respect of which competent authorities are not expected to prioritise in their supervisory actions towards counterparties, entities responsible for reporting and investment firms in respect of their reporting obligations under SFTR or MiFIR and to generally apply their risk-based approach in the exercise of supervisory powers in their day-to-day enforcement of applicable legislation in this area in a proportionate manner.

ESMA has updated its statement in response to feedback received from financial market participants and stakeholders.

ESMA continues monitoring closely the implementation by the relevant market participants as well as the impact of the relevant measures taken with regards to COVID-19 to ensure alignment of SFT reporting requirements and supervisory practices in the EU.

Source: ESMA

ICMA said in a statement:

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.

Source: ICMA

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