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29 July 2020 / news

Initiatives taken by international, European and Belgian banking, investment and insurance supervisors in the context of the coronavirus crisis

The corona crisis is having a major impact on banks, insurers and financial markets. The shortage of liquidity is described as unprecedented. Regulators are in the forefront trying to mitigate the negative effects of the crisis by adopting supportive measures and recommendations for the sectors. The list below provides a chronological summary of these measures based on texts published by official sources.

Initiatives taken by European and Belgian regulatory authorities in the context of the coronavirus

Updated 29 July 2020

Each Thursday, the overview below will be updated with recent official announcements published during the preceding week.

BCBS: Basel Committee on Banking Supervision / IAIS: International Association of Insurance Supervisors / IOSCO: International Organization of Securities Commissions / EBA: The European Banking Authority / ECB: European Central Bank / EIOPA: European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority / ESMA: European Securities and Market Authority / FSMA: Financial Services and Markets Authority / NBB: National Bank of Belgium / NCA: National Competent Authorities

International (standard setting) bodies

Date

Authority

Action taken

Summary

Link

29 May 2020

IOSCO

IOSCO encourages issuers’ fair disclosure about COVID-19 related impacts

IOSCO has issued a public statement highlighting the importance to investors and other stakeholders of having timely and high-quality information about the impact of the coronavirus crisis on issuers´ operating performance, financial position and prospects. The pandemic and the uncertainty it has caused have material implications for financial reporting and auditing, including issuers’ disclosures of current and reliable information material to investment decisions. Current circumstances may make disclosures outside the financial statements more challenging and hence make high quality disclosures that much more important. In light of the coronavirus crisis, IOSCO confirms its commitment to the development, consistent application and enforcement of high-quality reporting standards and disclosure regulations, which are critical to the proper functioning of the capital markets.

Link

28 May 2020

IOSCO

IOSCO consults on outsourcing principles to ensure operational resilience

IOSCO requests feedback on proposed updates to its principles for regulated entities that outsource tasks to service providers. Since the publication of IOSCO´s earlier principles on outsourcing for market intermediaries and for markets, developments in markets and technology have increased regulatory attention on risks related to outsourcing and the need to ensure the operational resilience of regulated entities.

Link

7 May 2020

BCBS

Effects of the coronavirus crisis on the banking sector: market's assessment

Banks' performance on equity and debt markets since the coronavirus outbreak has been on a par with that experienced after the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008. During the initial phase, the market sell-off swept over all banks, which underperformed significantly relative to other sectors. Still, markets showed some differentiation by bank nationality, and credit default swap (CDS) spreads rose the most for those banks that had entered the crisis with the highest level of credit risk. The subsequent stabilisation, brought about by forceful policy measures since mid-March, has favoured banks with higher profitability and healthier balance sheets. Less profitable banks saw their long-term rating outlooks revised to negative. And the CDS spreads of the riskiest banks continued increasing even through the stabilisation phase.

Link

29 April 2020

BCBS

Public guarantees for bank lending in response to the coronavirus pandemic

Governments have launched guarantee programmes to support bank lending to companies, especially small and medium-sized enterprises. This is essential to avoid a sharp contraction in bank credit that would exacerbate the pandemic's adverse impact. The design of such programmes needs to strike a difficult balance between responding promptly to the pandemic and maintaining a sufficient level of prudence. Key features of a sample of programmes (e.g. target beneficiaries, coverage of the guarantee, loan terms, length of the programme) reflect this tension. Incentives were created for the banks to join these programmes by exploiting flexibility in existing prudential requirements, while central banks have often provided liquidity support. Programmes are, however, subject to operational challenges and, ultimately, fiscal capacity limits.

Link

24 April 2020

BCBS

Buffering coronavirus losses - the role of prudential policy

By allowing banks to run down some of their buffers, policymakers are sending a strong signal about their resolve to lessen the economic fallout from the pandemic. Such prudential measures complement the main policy levers: monetary and fiscal instruments. To avoid a reduction in credit to the real economy, authorities need to ensure that banks have the capacity and willingness to make use of the flexibility afforded by the buffer release. Payout restrictions on banks and risk-sharing between banks and the public sector will be key. For banks to continue playing a positive role in the supply of funding during the recovery, they should maintain usable buffers for a long period, as losses from a severe recession will take time to materialise.

Link

23 April 2020

BCBS

Insurance regulatory measures in response to the coronavirus crisis

Currently, insurers are more likely to experience losses from financial market volatility than from higher insurance claims arising from the coronavirus crisis. Few NCAs have seen a need to strengthen or adjust prudential requirements to insulate insurers from current financial market uncertainties. So far, NCAs have responded mainly by taking measures to provide operational relief to insurers from regulatory and supervisory requirements so that they can continue providing insurance services. These measures will also help insurers to enhance risk monitoring of their coronavirus financial exposures. Some NCAs have set out expectations for insurers to conserve capital through prudent exercise of dividend and variable remuneration policies. The aim is to enhance their resilience against huge uncertainties from potential coronavirus fallout. Other capital-related measures should relieve supervisory pressures and reduce the tendency of insurers to manage their investments in a procyclical manner. These measures include: extending the supervisory intervention ladder, triggering the countercyclical lever and recalibrating capital requirements. The far-reaching impact of the coronavirus crisis calls for sustained vigilance by both supervisors and insurers. In the post-pandemic phase, the extraordinary measures currently warranted will need to be unwound through a carefully crafted exit strategy that preserves sound risk management practices and protects policyholders’ interests.

Link

15 April 2020

BCBS

Reflections on regulatory responses to the coronavirus crisis

Some key take-aways of the report are: (i) regulatory policy responses should seek to support economic activity while preserving the financial system's soundness and ensuring transparency; (ii) the recommendation for banks to make full use of capital and liquidity buffers should go hand in hand with restrictions on dividends and bonuses and clarity concerning the process for rebuilding them; (iii) flexibility in loan classification criteria for prudential and accounting purposes should be complemented with sufficient disclosure on the criteria banks use to assess creditworthiness; and (iv) the publication of detailed guidance on the application of expected loss provisioning rules, combined with sensible transitional arrangements, may constitute a balanced approach to mitigating the unintended effects of the new accounting standards.

Link

8 April 2020

IOSCO

Working Program

IOSCO will pause or delay some of its work in 2020 in order to redirect its resources to focus on the multiple challenges securities markets regulators are addressing as a result of the coronavirus crisis. Resources are redeployed to focus primarily on matters that are directly impacted. IOSCO will, however, proceed with its work on good practices for deference, as well as other projects that are near completed and will also examine any specific investor protection issues, market integrity or conduct risks that may arise in the context of the coronavirus crisis.

 Link

3 April 2020

BCBS

Guidance

The guidance relates to: (i) the exceptional measures introduced by governments and banks to alleviate the impact of the coronavirus disease; and (ii) expected credit loss (ECL) accounting. The objective is to ensure that banks reflect the risk-reducing effect of the exceptional measures when calculating their capital requirements. Also set out are the amended transitional arrangements for the regulatory capital treatment of ECL accounting, which will provide jurisdictions with greater flexibility in how to phase in the impact of ECL on regulatory capital.

 Link

3 April 2020

IOSCO

Statement on the application of Accounting Standards

The IOSCO reiterates its objectives and states that the application of accounting standards must result in issuers providing clear, reliable, transparent and useful information to allow investors to make informed investment decisions. The responsibility for developing and maintaining high quality standards resides with the International Accounting Standards Board. The IOSCO supports the recent educational materials that address the application of accounting for expected credit losses (ECL) in accordance with IFRS 9 Financial Instruments during the period of economic uncertainty arising from the coronavirus crisis. Furthermore, the IOSCO formulates some considerations, relevant for issuers that extend credit and are subject to IFRS 9 impairment requirements, encompassing banks, non-bank financial institutions and other entities that have provided loans and/or credit.

Link 

3 April 2020

IOSCO & BCBS

Extension of deadline

The BCBS and IOSCO have agreed to extend the deadline for completing the final two implementation phases of the margin requirements for non-centrally cleared derivatives, by one year. This extension will provide additional operational capacity for firms to respond to the immediate impact of the coronavirus and at the same time, facilitate covered entities to act diligently to comply with the requirements by the revised deadline. The final implementation phase will therefore take place on 1 September 2022.

Link 

27 March 2020

IAIS

Steps to address coronavirus impact on insurance sector

The IAIS acknowledges the essential role of insurance during the coronavirus crisis, providing protections to individuals, households and businesses. The IAIS member supervisors remain vigilant in terms of the financial soundness and operational resilience of insurers, in support of the protection of policyholders and the maintenance of financial stability. The IAIS supports the implementation of various measures will continue to facilitate the sharing of information on supervisory measures being taken or planned. The IAIS adjusts its work programme to provide operational relief to member supervisors, insurers and other stakeholders, while continuing to further a global, coordinated supervisory response in support of policyholder protection and the maintenance of financial stability.

Link 

25 March 2020

IOSCO

Press release

Members of the IOSCO will closely cooperate on their responses to the disruption in the capital markets caused by the macro-economic impact of the coronavirus on the global economy. The IOSCO emphasizes its roll to ensure well-functioning capital markets while properly dealing with the consequences of the coronavirus. The IOSCO Board and IOSCO Regional Committees will host regular calls to share information and coordinate responses as necessary

Link

20 March 2020

BCBS

Press release

The BCBS supports the measures taken by member jurisdictions and notes that members have flexibility to undertake further measures if needed. The Committee continues to assess and address the banking & supervisory implications of the coronavirus, and coordinates with the Financial Stability  Board and other standard setting bodies on cross-cutting financial system issues.

Link

13 March 2020

IAIS

Announcement of survey on the coronavirus’ impact

 

The IAIS announces its intention to closely monitor the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The IAIS plans to:

-          launch a survey on the observed impact of the coronavirus in insurance sectors in the Member’s respective jurisdictions, and to understand the different supervisory measures that have been put in place or are under consideration;

-          facilitate ongoing information sharing and cooperation among supervisors in light of the evolving situation; and

-          hold an extraordinary ExCo conference call at the end of March to discuss the survey results, as well as the impact of the coronavirus on the IAIS' workplan for 2020.

Link

European supervisory authorities

Date

Authority

Action taken

Summary

Link

28 July 2020

ECB

No dividends until January 2021 and clarification timeline to restore buffers

The ECB recommends that until 1 January 2021 no dividends are paid out and no irrevocable commitment to pay out dividends is undertaken by credit institutions for the financial years 2019 and 2020 and that credit institutions refrain from share buy-backs aimed at remunerating shareholders.

In addition, the ECB expects institutions to adopt extreme moderation with regard to variable remuneration payments until 1 January 2021, especially to identified staff (so-called “material risk takers”), insofar as these payments may result in a deterioration in the amount or quality of total capital for your institution. While doing so, your institution should duly take into account the need to preserve or rebuild a sound capital base, in light of the possible consequences of the coronavirus pandemic. Therefore, we would expect that institutions consider the extent to which it is possible to reduce the payment of variable remuneration.

Link

Link

28 July 2020

ECB

ECB analysis: Euro area banking sector resilient to stress caused by coronavirus,

The ECB today published the aggregate results of its vulnerability analysis of banks directly supervised within the Single Supervisory Mechanism. The exercise assessed how the economic shock caused by the coronavirus outbreak would impact 86 euro area banks and aimed to identify potential vulnerabilities within the banking sector over a three-year horizon. Overall, the results show that the euro area banking sector can withstand the pandemic-induced stress.

Link

28 July 2020

ESMA

Postponement CSDR settlement discipline

The ESMA is working on a proposal to possibly delay the entry into force of the CSDR settlement discipline regime until 1 February 2022. This is due to the impact of the pandemic on the implementation of regulatory projects and IT deliveries by CSDs and came as a request from the European Commission.

Link

27 July 2020

EIOPA

Options for shared resilience solutions

The paper recognizes that private insurance solutions alone will not be sufficient to protect society against the financial consequences of future pandemics. Solutions will require both public and private sector involvement, and build on the following four key elements: (i) proper risk assessment; (ii) risk prevention and adaptation measures; (iii) appropriate product design; and (iv) risk transfer. The options include different insurance models and coverage, for example whether cover should be mandatory, and whether payouts should be based on a pre-agreed parameter or index. The options also include different ways the public and private sectors could work together.

Link

Link

23 July 2020

EBA

Guidelines on a pragmatic and flexible approach to the 2020 supervisory review and evaluation process in light of the pandemic

The risk-driven approach put forward by these Guidelines builds on the existing requirements of the Capital Requirements Directive (CRD) and the SREP Guidelines and adapts them to the exceptional circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, while ensuring the exercise of supervisory judgement to the greatest possible extent.

These Guidelines are addressed to competent authorities and elaborate on the key aspects of SREP for the year 2020: (i) focus of the pragmatic SREP; (ii) overall SREP assessment and scoring; (iii) supervisory measures; and (i) conduct of the SREP in cross-border contexts.

Link

21 July 2020

EBA

Overview of public guarantee schemes issued in response to the pandemic

The list provides an overview of the 47 public guarantee schemes, of which 43 are from EU Member States and 4 from EEA members, which, to the EBA’s knowledge, have been issued in response to the pandemic. The list includes factual information about the guarantor, the region or district covered by the scheme. In addition, the list clarifies whether the scheme is targeted to new lending or to existing exposures, the type of obligors or exposures covered by the scheme, as well as the level of coverage of exposures by the guarantee. A link to additional documentation for each scheme is also provided.

Link

21 July 2020

ESMA

Supervisory coordination on accounting for coronavirus-related rent concessions

The ESMA has issued a Public Statement recommending coordination of supervisory action with regards to issuers’ accounting for coronavirus-related rent concessions.

Due to the pandemic, issuers encounter difficulties in accounting for the large volumes of lease modifications which have been granted in many jurisdictions. In order to address such difficulties, the International Accounting Standards Board issued in May 2020 an amendment to IFRS 16 providing a practical relief for lessees.

Provided that the European Parliament and the Council do not object to the endorsement of the IFRS 16 amendment, the ESMA recommends that NCAs do not prioritize supervisory actions on the application of the lease modification requirements contained in IFRS 16 as currently endorsed by the EU to coronavirus-related lease modifications which would fall within the scope of the IFRS 16 amendment.

Link

21 July 2020

EIOPA

Statement on the Solvency II recognition of schemes based on reinsurance with regard to the coronavirus and credit insurance

According to the information available to the EIOPA, national schemes implemented with regard to credit insurance have significant differences. Some interact directly with the seller/exporter covering their transactions or providing guarantees to their loans, while others provide indirect support through schemes closer to reinsurance which allow credit insurers to keep the previous coverage limit. To support supervisory convergence, the EIOPA shares its supervisory view on the treatment for Solvency II purposes of schemes based on reinsurance implemented by Member States within the Temporary Framework.

Link

17 July 2020

EIOPA

Impact of ultra-low yields on the insurance sector, including first effects of COVID-19 crisis

One of the major concerns for the insurance market currently is the exceptionally ultra-low/negative level of interest rates. The lockdowns implemented in an attempt to contain the virus outbreak have had a significant economic impact and led to the depreciation of economic outlooks for the following period. These forecasts have been surrounded by fundamental uncertainty regarding the length of the lockdowns, the confinement measures still necessary in the period ahead and the effectiveness of the policy response, hence leading to particularly large downside risks. Insurers are significantly challenged in terms of asset allocations, profitability, solvency and business model adaption. The low interest rate environment was and still is, also after the crisis, one of the main issues for the insurance market.

Given this context, the report assesses the risks and implications of the ultra-low/negative yields on the investment behaviour of insurers, considers how challenged are the profitability and solvency positions of the European insurance market and describes the impact on the insurance business models and consumers.

Link

13 July 2020

ESMA

Stress testing CCP

The ESMA has published the results of its third stress test exercise regarding Central Counterparties (CCPs) in the EU which confirm the overall resilience of EU CCPs to common shocks and multiple defaults for credit, liquidity and concentration stress risks. The exercise was completed while the EU experienced a major and unprecedented crisis with the coronavirus outbreak, which led to sharp and extreme market movements for instruments across most asset classes. The ESMA, in coordination with the NCAs, closely monitored the impact on EU CCPs, which remained resilient through the crisis, despite the increased market volatility and operational risk. The ESMA’s stress scenarios were found to be overall of comparable severity with the most recent stress events.

Link

9 July 2020

EBA

Statement on resolution planning

Resolution authorities should take into account the impact of the coronavirus on banks and their business models when taking decisions on resolution plans and on the minimum requirement for own funds and eligible liabilities (MREL). In addition, resolution authorities should use and test resolution colleges as the main fora to exchange information and share decisions in these times of stress.

Link

8 July 2020

EIOPA

Supervisory expectations on product oversight and governance requirements in the context of the coronavirus

It is vitally important that insurance companies place the fair treatment of customers at the heart of their response to the pandemic.

Insurance manufacturers are asked to identify products whose main features, risk coverage or guarantees have been materially affected by the pandemic. If such products no longer offer value to the target market, insurers should assess whether there is the risk of possible unfair treatment. The assessment should be on a medium to longer term basis, to take into account product lifecycles and the evolution of the impacts of the pandemic.

Where there is a possibility of unfair treatment, the EIOPA expects remedial measures to be taken. These measures should be proportionate to potential unfair treatment and take account of legal requirements in national civil and insurance law.

Link

Link

7 July 2020

EBA

Implementation of the prudential framework in the context of the coronavirus crisis

The EBA provided clarifications on the application of the prudential framework that have been raised as a consequence of the pandemic. The report is part of the EBA’s wider monitoring of the implementation of COVID-19 policies as well as of the application of existing policies under these exceptional circumstances. Clarity is provided on the implementation of the Guidelines on payment moratoria by addressing a number of interpretative questions and presents an overview of the general payment moratoria in place in the EU based on notifications sent to the EBA. In addition, the report also includes considerations on the coronavirus issues, which can arise in applying the operational risk framework, by setting out common criteria that aim at providing clarity on the supervisory and regulatory expectations regarding the treatment of coronavirus operational risk losses in the capital requirement calculations.

Link

18 June 2020

EBA

Extended deadline: guidelines payment moratorium to 30 September

Acknowledging the crucial role played by banks in providing financing to European businesses and citizens during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the EBA has decided to legally extend the application date of the Guidelines by three months. In granting this extension, the EBA is highly aware of the trade-off faced in making the extension, as persistent liquidity shortages under the current circumstances may develop into solvency issues that need to be properly assessed by banks on a case-by-case basis.

Link

11 June 2020

ESMA

Renewal of decision requiring net short position holders to report positions of 0.1% and above.  

The ESMA considers that its renewed measure will maintain the ability of NCAs to deal with any threats to market integrity, orderly functioning of markets and financial stability at an early stage, allowing them and the ESMA to timely address such threats in case of signs of market stress. The pandemic continues to have serious adverse effects on the real economy in the EU with any outlook for a future recovery remaining uncertain. The measure applies from 17 June 2020 for a period of three months. The temporary transparency obligations apply to any natural or legal person, irrespective of their country of residence. They do not apply to shares admitted to trading on a regulated market where the principal venue for the trading of the shares is located in a third country, market making or stabilisation activities.

Link

11 June 2020

ESMA

Statement on MiFIR open access and Covid-19

The ESMA is issuing a public statement to clarify the application of the MiFIR open access provisions (OAP) for trading venues (TVs) and central counterparties (CCPs) in light of the recent adverse developments related to the coronavirus crisis.

Link

10 June 2020

ECB

Banks’ lending standards improvement

The ECB has published a report on banks’ credit underwriting standards, which highlights some weaknesses in the way banks have granted and priced new loans in recent years. In times of economic downturn or stress such as the current crisis caused by the coronavirus, adequate lending standards and risk-based pricing become even more important as losses materialise. In focusing on loan origination practices, ECB Banking Supervision aims to strengthen banks’ resilience, which is one of its supervisory priorities. The ECB considers proper credit underwriting essential to the stability of banks.

Link

9 June 2020

ESMA

Extension of deadline regarding consultation on EMIR REFIT

The ESMA has decided, in view of the effects of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic on stakeholders and market participants, to extend the response date for the consultation on the technical standards on reporting, data quality, data access and registration of Trade Repositories under EMIR REFIT to 3 July 2020. The decision has been taken in recognition of market participants’ current focus on crisis work and their operational constraints, as well as taking into account the high number and the technical complexity of issues on which feedback is requested.

Link

8 June 2020

EBA

Bank-by-bank data

The EBA published today the seventh EU-wide transparency exercise. This additional data disclosure comes as a response to the outbreak of the coronavirus and provides market participants with bank-level data as of 31 December 2019, prior to the start of the crisis. The data confirms the EU banking sector entered the crisis with solid capital positions and improved asset quality, but also shows the significant dispersion across banks.

Link

2 June 2020

EBA

Guidelines to address gaps in reporting data and public information in the context of COVID-19

These Guidelines follow the implementation of a broad range of measures, such as legislative moratoria on loan repayments and public guarantees in Member States, with the aim to support the operational and liquidity challenges faced by borrowers. The Guidelines have been developed to address data gaps associated with such measures to ensure an appropriate understanding of institutions’ risk profile and the asset quality on their balance sheets both for supervisors and the wider public.

Link

2 June 2020

ECB

Press release: Pandemic increases risks to financial stability

The ppandemic greatly amplified existing vulnerabilities of the financial sector, corporates and sovereigns. Policy responses to pandemic are essential to preserve financial stability. The Euro area banks, although now better capitalised, are likely to face significant losses and further pressure on profitability

Link

25 May 2020

EBA

COVID-19 is placing unprecedented challenges on EU banks

With the global economy facing unprecedented challenges, banks entered the health crisis with strong capital and liquidity buffers and managed the pressure on operational capacities activating their contingency plans. The crisis is expected to affect asset quality and, thus, profitability of banks going forward. Nonetheless, the capital accumulated by banks during the past years along with the capital relief provided by regulators amounts on average to 5p.p. above their overall capital requirements (OCR). This capital buffer should allow banks to withstand the potential credit risk losses derived from a sensitivity analysis based on the 2018 stress test.

Link

20 May 2020

ESMA

ESMA calls for transparency on Covid-19 effects in half-yearly financial reports

The ESMA addresses the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on the half-yearly financial reports of listed issuers. The ESMA provides recommendations on its areas of focus. The statement deals with (i) the importance of providing relevant and reliable information; (ii) the importance of updating the information included in the latest annual accounts to adequately inform stakeholders of the impacts of COVID-19; (iii) the need for entity-specific information on the past and expected future impact of COVID-19 on the strategic orientation and targets, operations, performance of issuers as well as any mitigating actions put in place to address the effects of the pandemic. The ESMA’s statement also applies to financial statements in other interim periods when IAS 34 Interim Financial Reporting is applied. It calls on the management, administrative and supervisory bodies, including audit committees, of issuers and, where applicable, their auditors, to take due consideration of the recommendations included within the statement. The ESMA further emphasises the role of audit committees in promoting high-quality half-yearly financial reports at this difficult junction in time.

Link

18 May 2020

EIOPA

Update Risk Dashboard based on the fourth quarter 2019 Solvency II data.

The results show that the risk exposures of the European Union insurance sector increased as the outbreak of Covid-19 strongly affected the lives of all European citizens with disruptions in all financial sectors and economic activities.

Link

18 May 2020

ESMA

Non-renewal and termination of short selling bans by NCAs

The ESMA notes the non-renewal of the emergency restrictions on short selling and similar transactions by the following national competent authorities (NCAs): Finanzmarktaufsicht (FMA) of Austria; Financial Securities and Markets Authority (FSMA) of Belgium; Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) of France; Hellenic Capital Market Commission (HCMC) of Greece; and Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores (CNMV) of Spain. It also notes the early termination of the emergency restrictions by the Commissione Nazionale per le Società e la Borsa (CONSOB) of Italy, that was due to expire on 18 June 2020. The ESMA has coordinated the recent emergency restrictions renewals and has contributed to this aligned action. In coordination with NCAs, it continues to monitor developments in financial markets and is prepared to use its powers to ensure the orderly functioning of EU markets, financial stability and investor protection.

Link

14 May 2020

ESMA

ESMA sees potential decoupling of financial market performance and underlying economic activity

The ESMA publishes the first complete risk dashboard for 2020 and highlights the very high risks in all areas of the ESMA’s remit.  The assessment remains at the same level as the separate risk update published on 2 April.

Link

14 May 2020

ESMA

ESMA supports ESRB actions to address Covid-related systemic vulnerabilities

The ESMA has published a statement supporting the recommendations issued by the General Board of the ESRB.  These recommendations are part of a set of actions to address the coronavirus emergency from a macroprudential perspective. The ESMA expresses its support to the ESRB Recommendation, which suggests that relevant NCAs across the EU, coordinated by the ESMA, undertake focused supervisory engagement with investment funds that have significant exposures to less liquid assets, focusing on corporate debt and real estate. In this context, the ESMA also welcomes the ESRB public communication around the importance of the timely use of liquidity management tools by investment funds and insurers with exposures to less liquid assets.

Link

6 May 2020

ESMA

ESMA reminds firms of conduct of business obligations under MiFID II.

ESMA issues a public statement on the risks for retail investors when trading under the highly uncertain market circumstances due to the COVID-19 pandemic. ESMA also reminds investment firms of the key conduct of business obligations under MiFID when providing services to retail investors.

Link

4 May 2020

ESMA, EBA and EIOPA

Joint RTS on amendments to the bilateral margin requirements under EMIR

In response to the coronavirus crisis, the European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs) have published joint draft Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS) to amend the Delegated Regulation on the risk mitigation techniques for non-centrally cleared OTC derivatives (bilateral margining), under the European Markets Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR), to incorporate a one-year deferral of the two implementation phases of the bilateral margining requirements.

Link

24 April 2020

EIOPA

Consumer guide on insurance coverage

EIOPA published a consumer guide to provide information to consumers related to their insurance coverage during the coronavirus outbreak.

Link

22 April 2020

EBA

Guidance on the use of flexibility in the coronavirus crisis

Following up on its communications during March and April, the EBA provides further clarity on how additional flexibility will guide supervisory approaches in relation to market risk, the Supervisory Review and Evaluation Process (SREP), recovery planning, digital operational resilience and ICT risk and securitisation. At the same time, the EBA notes the need for stringent attention by supervisors and financial institutions in relation to key risks in these areas.

Link

20 April 2020

ESMA

ESMA newsletter 

The ESMA has launched a new page on the coronavirus crisis as it continues to closely monitor the situation in view of the impact the virus is having on EU financial markets. A closer a look is taken at the full list of publications and at some important statements delivered by Steven Maijoor, the ESMA's Chair, on the measures the ESMA has taken to address the effects of the pandemic.

Link

17 April 2020

ESMA

Q&A on alternative performance measures in the context of the coronavirus crisis

The ESMA has issued a Q&A to provide guidance to issuers on the application of the Guidelines on Alternative Performance Measures (APM Guidelines) in the context of the coronavirus crisis. The Q&A highlights the main principles of the APM Guidelines; encourages issuers to use caution when adjusting APMs and when including new APMs to address the coronavirus crisis impact; invites issuers to provide narrative information regarding the modifications made, the assumptions used and the impact of the crisis; information on measures taken or expected to be taken by issuers to address the impact that the coronavirus outbreak may have in their operations and performance.

Link

17 April 2020

EIOPA

Principles to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus crisis on the occupational pensions sector

The EIOPA has been closely monitoring the coronavirus developments in relation to the occupational pensions sector. As long-term investors IORPs can play a stabilising role in current volatile markets. The IORP II Directive sets minimum prudential rules for IORPs in the EU and, in consequence, prudential regulation varies considerably between Member States. In addition, occupational pension arrangements depend on national social and labour law, resulting in differences in the extent to which risks are borne by members and beneficiaries, the IORP itself, sponsors and pension protection schemes. Recognising this diversity, considering the current coronavirus situation, and to mitigate the impact on IORPs and their members and beneficiaries, as well as to avoid pro-cyclical effects on the real economy and financial system, EIOPA expects NCAs to adhere to the following principles using a risk-based and proportionate approach.

Link

15 April 2020

ECB

ECB supports macroprudential policy actions

The ECB supports the measures taken by euro area macroprudential authorities to address the impact of the coronavirus crisis on the financial sector. The ECB has assessed the notifications submitted for each proposed measure provided for in the CRR and CRD and has issued a non-objection decision, thereby endorsing the measures taken to reduce capital requirements, including the countercyclical capital buffer. The measures will free up more than €20 billion of Common Equity Tier 1 capital held by euro area banks. They include releases or reductions of the countercyclical capital buffer, systemic risk buffer and buffers for other systemically important institutions. In addition, some authorities have postponed or revoked earlier announced measures to avoid placing pressure on banks to accumulate capital buffers in a downturn.

Link

15 April 2020

ESMA

Positive opinions on short selling bans

The ESMA has issued opinions agreeing to the renewal of the emergency restrictions on short selling and similar transactions by the Finanzmarktaufsicht (FMA) of Austria, the FSMA of Belgium, the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) of France, the Hellenic Capital Market Commission (HCMC) of Greece and the Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores (CNMV) of Spain. All five NCAs had imposed restrictions in March 2020 which were due to expire in April, and all five decided to renew those restrictions. Following coordination by ESMA, the renewal process has been aligned and the renewal decisions will all be in place until 18 May with the possibility of a further renewal. ESMA also aimed for further alignment of exemptions applicable to the restrictions which should facilitate the coherent implementation of the restrictions by market participants.

Link

9 April 2020

ESMA

Postponement of publication dates for annual non-equity transparency calculations and quarterly SI data

The ESMA postpones the application of the annual non-equity transparency calculations and the calculations for the systematic internaliser test for derivatives, ETCs, ETNs, emission allowances and structured finance products (SFPs) under MiFID II. The ESMA, together with the NCAs, is taking this approach in recognition of the difficulties encountered by market participants in complying with an update of the transparency calculations for non-equity instruments, in a situation where they already face significant challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Link

9 April 2020

ESMA

Coordinated action regarding benchmarks external audit requirements

The ESMA promotes coordinated action by NCAs regarding the timeliness of fulfilling external audit requirements for interest rate benchmark administrators and contributors to interest rate benchmarks. Due to the coronavirus crisis, the ESMA expects NCAs not to prioritise supervisory actions against administrators and supervised contributors relating to the timeliness of fulfilling those audit requirements where the audits are carried out by 30 September 2020. The ESMA further encourages NCAs to generally apply a risk-based approach in the exercise of supervisory powers in their day-to-day enforcement of the BMR in a proportionate manner concerning the timeliness of fulfilling those audit requirements.

Link

9 April 2020

ESMA

MiFID II / MiFIR transparency review report consultation

In recognition of market participants’ focus on crisis work, their operational restraints, and the complexity of the report, the ESMA decides to further extend the response date for the consultation on the MiFID II/MiFIR review report on the transparency regime for non-equity instruments and the trading obligation for derivatives to 14 June 2020.

Link

9 April 2020

ESMA

Supervisory expectations on publication of investment funds periodic reports

The ESMA is aware that the confinement measures taken by Member States to prevent coronavirus contagion present significant difficulties and challenges for Fund Managers and auditors in preparing their periodic reports for a publication within the regulatory deadlines. While it is important that periodic reports are disclosed, the burdens on Fund Managers associated with the current crisis should be taken into account by the NCAs. Therefore, the ESMA expects NCAs to adopt a risk-based approach and not prioritise supervisory actions against these market participants in respect of the upcoming reporting deadlines.

Link

7 April 2020

ECB

Eurozone’s rescue deal

 

The ECB announces package of temporary collateral easing measures by (i) adopting a large set of collateral measures to mitigate the tightening of financial conditions across the euro area, (ii) temporarily increasing in the Eurosystem’s risk tolerance in order to support credit to the economy, (iii) easing the conditions for the use of credit claims as collateral, (iv) adopting a general reduction of collateral valuation haircuts, (v) waiving to accept Greek sovereign debt instruments as collateral in Eurosystem credit operations, and (vi) by assessing further measures to temporarily mitigate the effect on counterparties’ collateral availability from rating downgrades.

Link

2 April 2020

EIOPA

Statement on dividend distribution and variable remuneration

EIOPA urges (re)insurers to temporarily suspend all discretionary dividend distributions and share buy backs aimed at remunerating shareholders. To preserve an efficient and prudent allocation of capital within insurance groups and the proper functioning of the Single Market, the EIOPA urges (re)insurance groups to apply this approach at the consolidated level and also regarding significant intra-group dividend distributions or similar transactions, whenever these may materially influence the solvency or liquidity position of the group or of one of the undertakings involved. This prudent approach should also be applicable to the variable remuneration policies. (Re)insurers are excepted to review their current remuneration policies, practices and rewards and ensure that they reflect prudent capital planning and are consistent with/reflective of the current economic situation. (Re)insurers that consider themselves legally required to pay-out dividends or large amounts of variable remuneration should explain the underlying reasons to their NCA.

Link

2 April 2020

EBA

Guidelines on the treatment of public & private moratoria

The EBA published detailed guidance on the criteria to be fulfilled by legislative and non-legislative moratoria applied before 30 June 2020. The EBA sees the payment moratoria as effective tools to address short-term liquidity difficulties caused by the limited or suspended operation of many businesses and individuals resulting from the impact of the coronavirus crisis. The guidelines clarify that payment moratoria do not trigger classification as forbearance or distressed restructuring if the measures taken are based on the applicable national law or on an industry or sector-wide private initiative agreed and applied broadly by the relevant credit institutions. Still, institutions must continue to adequately identify situations where borrowers may face longer-term financial difficulties and classify exposures in accordance with the existing regulation. The requirements for identification of forborne exposures and defaulted obligors remain in place.

Link

 2 April 2020

ESMA

 Update risk assessment

 The ESMA updates it risk assessment to account for the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, which has led to large equity market corrections since mid-February, driven by a sharp deterioration in the outlook for consumers, businesses and of the economic environment. Corporate bond, government bond markets and a number of investment funds show signs of stress. Market infrastructures have continued to function in an orderly manner despite significant surges in trading activity, the use of circuit breakers and increases in derivatives margins.

Link 

1 April 2020

EIOPA

Mitigate the impact of coronavirus on consumers

The scale and depth of the disruption caused by the coronavirus outbreak could undermine trust in the sector if the fair treatment of consumers does not remain at the heart of the sector’s responses. It is critical that insurers and intermediaries continue focusing on ensuring business continuity and the fair treatment of consumers. The EIOPA encourages insurers and intermediaries to take into consideration various practical implications of the coronavirus for the day-to-day activities of consumers who may not be able to fulfil contractual obligations or may be forced to change their normal behaviour. For example, they may not be able to submit a claim within a prescribed timeframe or carry out a check (e.g. a car check-up or a medical check-up). EIOPA expects all market participants to continue to act in the best interests of consumers, throughout the lifecycle of their relationship with the consumer.). EIOPA has several guidelines for insurers and intermediaries, inter alia, to provide clear and timely information to consumers on contractual rights; to treat consumers fair and to be explicit in communications; …

Link

31 March 2020

EBA

Actions to mitigate financial crime risks in the coronavirus crisis

While the EBA has clarified efforts to alleviate the immediate operational burden on banks by making use of the flexibility embedded in the relevant regulatory frameworks, it underlines that the need for safeguarding the integrity of financial markets is a shared objective of the EU’s anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) and prudential frameworks. It is essential to preserve the effectiveness and stability of the EU’s financial system. The EBA reminds credit and financial institutions that it remains important to continue to put in place and maintain effective systems and controls to ensure that the EU’s financial system is not abused for money laundering or terrorist financing (ML/TF) purposes whilst asking NCAs to support them in this regard.

Link

31 March 2020

EBA

Supervisory reporting and Pillar 3 disclosures in light of the coronavirus crisis

As institutions may face increasingly difficult conditions in the immediate future, the EBA considers that they need to concentrate their efforts on monitoring and assessing the impact of the coronavirus outbreak as well as ensuring business continuity. At the same time, market participants and NCAs need access to reliable information, in order to understand institutions’ financial and prudential situations. The statement concerns the supervisory reporting and Pillar 3 disclosures.

Link

31 March 2020

EBA

Clarifications on measures to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus on the EU banking sector

Following its call for flexibility in the prudential framework and supervisory approaches to support lending into the real economy, the EBA clarified today its expectations in relation to dividend and remuneration policies, provided additional guidance on how to use flexibility in supervisory reporting and recalled the necessary measures to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing (ML/TF).

·         The EBA supports all the measures taken so far to ensure banks maintain a sound capital base and provide the needed support to the economy. It again asks institutions to refrain from the distribution of dividends or share buybacks for the purpose of remunerating shareholders and assess their remuneration policies in line with the risks stemming from the economic situation.

·         The EBA also provides details on its call for NCAs to offer leeway on reporting dates, and for flexibility in assessing deadlines of institutions’ Pillar 3 disclosures.

·         Finally, as measures to prevent money laundering (ML) and terrorist financing (TF) remain crucial, the EBA calls on competent authorities to support financial institutions’ ongoing efforts by sharing information on emerging ML/TF risks, setting clear regulatory expectations and using supervisory tools flexibly.

Link

31 March 2020

ESMA

Clarifications for best execution reports MiFID II by execution venues and firms

 The ESMA and NCAs are aware of difficulties encountered by execution venues  and firms in preparing these reports due to the coronavirus crisis. The ESMA recommends that NCAs consider the possibility that execution venues and firms might publish their reports after the deadline. Therefore, the ESMA encourages NCAs not to prioritise supervisory action against execution venues and firms in respect of the deadlines. NCAs are also encouraged to apply a risk-based approach in the exercise of supervisory powers in their day-to-day enforcement of these deadlines.

Link

30 March 2020

ESMA

Extended deadline for stakeholder group applications

The ESMA seeks applicants for its Securities and Markets Stakeholder Group. In light of the coronavirus crisis, and the need for potential applicants to focus on other issues, the ESMA extends the deadline to apply (the new deadline is 9 April 23.59 CET).

Link

27 March 2020

ECB

Recommendation to banks on dividend distributions

In order to boost banks’ capacity to absorb losses and support lending to households, small businesses and corporates during the coronavirus crisis, banks should not pay dividends for the financial years 2019 and 2020 until at least 1 October 2020. They should also refrain from share buy-backs aimed at remunerating shareholders. This recommendation does not retroactively cancel the dividends already paid out by some banks for the financial year 2019. However, banks that have asked their shareholders to vote on a dividend distribution proposal in their upcoming General Shareholders Meeting will be expected to amend such proposals in line with the updated recommendation.

Link

27 March 2020  

EBA

Final draft standards on key areas for FRTB implementation

The EBA published today its final draft Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS) on the new Internal Model Approach (IMA) under the Fundamental Review of the Trading Book (FRTB). These technical standards conclude the first phase of the EBA roadmap towards the implementation of the market and counterparty credit risk frameworks in the EU. In light of the current situation linked to the coronavirus crisis, these RTS will not impose a burden on the industry today.

Link

27 March 2020

ESMA

Transparency calculations for equity instruments: deadline 1 April 2020

The ESMA has been asked to postpone the date of application – required by MiFID II/MiFIR to apply from 1 April, due to the extraordinary market circumstances created by the coronavirus pandemic. Although the ESMA acknowledges the severity of the situation and attempts to alleviate market participants’ burden to the maximum extent possible, it considers that delaying the application of the new transparency results would in itself entail some risks and might even create additional operational burdens to all the market participants that have already planned for them. The deadline of 1 April 2020 remains unchanged

Link

27 March 2020

ESMA

Statement on the implications of the coronavirus on deadlines for financial reports of listed issuers

The ESMA acknowledges the difficulties encountered by issuers in preparing financial reports and the challenges faced by auditors in carrying out timely audits of accounts due to the coronavirus crisis which may impair the ability of issuers to publish within the legislative deadlines. ESMA recommends NCAs to apply forbearance powers towards issuers who need to delay publication of financial reports beyond the statutory deadline. Issuers should, however, keep their investors informed of the expected publication delay and that requirements under the Market Abuse Regulation still apply.

Link

26 March 2020

ESMA

Recommendation on supervisory flexibility regarding reporting of trade repositories

In response to feedback from financial market participants and stakeholders, the ESMA revises its 19 March statement on coordinated supervisory actions on the application of Securities Finance Transaction Regulation (SFTR). The ESMA 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.

Link

25 March 2020

EBA

Statement on consumer and payment

issues in light of the coronavirus

The EBA emphasises there is no flexibility in relation to consumer protection. The EBA calls on all lenders to act in the interest of consumer. In particular making sure that costumers fully understand the implications of taking up any measures, without hidden charges and that such new terms should not have automatic adverse impacts on the customers’ credit rating.

Link

25 March 2020

EBA

Guidance on the application of the prudential framework in light of the coronavirus measures

The EBA supports the measures taken and proposed by national governments and EU bodies to address the adverse systemic economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic in the form of general moratorium, payment holidays stemming from public measures or industry-wide payment relief initiatives taken by credit institutions (referred to as public and private moratoria in this statement). In this regard, the EBA sees the need to clarify a number of aspects on the functioning of the prudential framework, with the aim to provide clarity to the EU banking sector on how to handle in a consistent manner, aspects related to (i) the classification of loans in default, (ii) the identification of forborne exposures and (iii) the accounting treatment.

Link

25 March 2020

ESMA

Guidance on accounting implications of the coronavirus

The ESMA issues guidance on some accounting implications of the economic support and relief measures adopted by EU Member States in response to the coronavirus crisis.

 

The measures include moratoria on repayment of loans and have an impact on the calculation of expected credit losses in accordance with IFRS 9 [IFRS 9 specifies how an entity should classify and measure financial assets, liabilities and some contracts to buy or sell non-financial items; more info on https://www.ifrs.org/issued-standards/list-of-standards/ifrs-9-financial-instruments/. The Statement provides guidance to issuers and auditors on the application of IFRS 9 Financial Instruments, specifically as regards the calculation of expected credit losses and related disclosure requirements.

Link

20 March 2020

EIOPA  

Recommendation on supervisory flexibility regarding deadline of reportings

The EIOPA requests undertakings to concentrate their efforts on monitoring and assessing the impact of the coronavirus situation as well as ensuring business continuity. The Q1-2020 submission of information to competent authorities (CAs) will be of extreme importance both for (re-)insurance undertakings and CAs. By issuing recommendations, the EIOPA intends to foster convergence and consistent supervisory approaches across Member States when providing flexibility for supervisory reporting and public disclosure of insurance and reinsurance undertakings. The recommendations, which aim to offer operational relief and support business continuity, concern delays regarding (i) annual reporting  to CAs including ORSA (year end from 31/12/2019 to 1/4/2020); (ii) quarterly reporting (Q1 2020 ending before 30/06/2020); and (iii) the Solvency and Financial Condition Report (year end from 31/12/2019 to 1/4/2020).

Link

20 March 2020

ESMA

 

Extension for consultations

The ESMA decides to extend the response date for all ongoing consultations with a closing date on, or after, 16 March by four weeks. The concrete consultations can be found on the relevant page.

Link

20 March 2020

ESMA

Recommendation on  supervisory flexibility (MiFIR and IFR)

The ESMA ensures coordinated supervisory actions by national competent authorities on the application of the new tick-size regime for systematic internalisers under the MiFiR and IFR. Competent authorities are expected not to prioritise supervisory actions between 26 March and 26 June 2020 and to apply their supervisory powers in this area in a proportionate manner.

Link

20 March 2020

ESMA

Supervisory flexibility on call taping (MiFID II)

The ESMA clarifies issues concerning the application by firms of the MiFID II requirements on the recording of telephone conversations. Due to the coronavirus crisis, it might not be practical to record the relevant conversations as required by MiFID II. The ESMA expects firms that are unable to record voice communications to consider alternative steps to mitigate the risks attached to the lack of recording. From the earliest moment possible, the normal way of recording must be resorted.

Link

20 March 2020

ECB

 

Coordinated central banks’ supportive measures  to enhance liquidity

The European Central Bank, together with the Bank of Canada, the Bank of England, the Bank of Japan, the Federal Reserve, and the Swiss National Bank announces coordinated action to further enhance the provision of liquidity via the standing US dollar liquidity swap line arrangements. The following measures are taken:

-          Offering 7-day US dollar operations on a daily basis.

-          Operations with 84-day maturity continue to be offered weekly.

-          New frequency effective as of 23 March 2020, to remain in place for as long as appropriate to support smooth functioning of US dollar funding markets.

 

Link

19 March 2020

ESMA

Official Opinion -

Short selling prohibition (Belgium and Greece)

The ESMA agrees on emergency net short positions prohibitions by the Financial Securities Markets Authority (FSMA) of Belgium. The prohibition applies to:

-          all transactions that possibly constitute or increase net short positions on stocks admitted to trading on Euronext Brussels and Euronext Growth, as well as to all related instruments relevant for the calculation of the net short position;

-          transactions on a trading venue and over the counter ;

-          until 17 April 2020, unless it is lifted beforehand.

 

The ESMA agrees on emergency net short positions prohibitions by the Hellenic Capital Market Commission (HCMC) of Greece. The prohibition applies to:

-          all transactions that possibly constitute or increase net short positions on stocks admitted to trading on the Athens Stock Exchange, as well as to all related instruments relevant for the calculation of the net short position;

-          transactions on a trading venue and over the counter;

-          until 24 April 2020, unless it is lifted beforehand.

Link

19 March 2020

ESMA

Recommendation on supervisory flexibility regarding reporting of trade repositories

The ESMA ensures coordinated supervisory actions on the application of the Securities Finance Transactions Regulation especially on the requirements regarding the reporting start date, as well as the registration of trade repositories.

-          NCAs are expected not to prioritise supervisory actions towards entities subject to the Regulations’ reporting obligations from 13 April 2020 until 13 June 2020.

-          Trade repositories are expected to be registered sufficiently ahead of the next phase of the reporting regime (13 July 2020) for credit institutions, investment firms, CCPs and CSDs and relevant third-country entities to start reporting as of this date.

Link

18 March 2020

ECB

Supportive measures – Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme

The ECB launches the Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme (PEPP), having an envelope of EUR 750 billion. The programme allows the ECB to set up a new temporary asset purchase programme of private and public sector securities. Purchases will be conducted until the end of 2020 and will include all the asset categories eligible under the existing asset purchase programme (APP). Although the benchmark allocation across jurisdictions remains the capital key of national central banks, PEPP-purchases will be conducted in a flexible manner, in order to allow for fluctuations in the distribution of purchase flows over time, across asset classes and among jurisdictions.

Under PEPP, a waiver of the eligibility requirements for securities issued by the Greek government will be granted. Once the coronavirus crisis phase is over, the PEPP will end; in any case, it will last until the end of the year.

 

Furthermore, the ECB decides to:

-          expand the range of eligible assets under the corporate sector purchase programme (CSPP) to non-financial commercial paper, making all commercial papers of sufficient credit quality eligible for purchase under CSPP.

-          ease the collateral standards by adjusting the main risk parameters of the collateral framework. In particular, we will expand the scope of Additional Credit Claims (ACC) to include claims related to the financing of the corporate sector.

 

The ECB clarifies that,  to the extent that some self-imposed limits might hamper action that the ECB is required to take in order to fulfil its mandate, the Governing Council will consider revising them to the extent necessary to make its action proportionate to the risks that we face. The ECB will not tolerate any risks to the smooth transmission of its monetary policy in all jurisdictions of the euro area.

Link

18 March 2020

ESMA

Official Opinion - Short selling prohibition (France and Spain)

The ESMA agrees on an emergency short selling prohibition, for a period of one month, by the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) of France. The prohibition applies to:

-          all transactions that possibly constitute or increase net short positions on shares admitted to trading on Euronext Paris; Euronext Growth Paris; Euronext Access Paris, as well as to all related instruments relevant for the calculation of the net short position;

-          transactions on a trading venue and over the counter;

-          until 16 April 2020, unless it is lifted beforehand.

 

The ESMA has also issued a positive opinion on a short selling prohibition by the Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores (CNMV) of Spain. The prohibition applies to:

-          all transactions which might constitute or increase net short positions on shares admitted to trading on BOLSA DE MADRID, S.A., BOLSA DE BARCELONA, S.A., BOLSA DE VALENCIA, S.A., BOLSA DE BILBAO, S.A. and Mercado Alternativo Bursátil, S.A., as well as to all related instruments relevant for the calculation of the net short position;

-          until 17 April 2020, unless it is lifted beforehand.

Link

17 March 2020

ESMA

Official Opinion - Short selling prohibition (Italy)

The ESMA agrees on an emergency short selling prohibition, for a period of three months, by the Commissione Nazionale per le Società e la Borsa (CONSOB) of Italy. The prohibition applies to :

-          all transactions that possibly constitute or increase net short positions on all shares traded on the Italian MTA regulated market, as well as to all related instruments relevant for the calculation of the net short position.;

-          to transactions on a trading venue and over the counter;

-          until 18 June 2020, unless it is lifted beforehand.

Link

16 March 2020

ESMA

Decision – Notification of net short positions

The ESMA temporarily requires the holders of net short positions in shares traded on an EU regulated market to notify the relevant NCA in case the position reaches or exceeds 0,1 % of the issued share capital after the entry into force of the decision. By lowering the reporting threshold, the ESMA intends to address the current threat level to EU financial markets by allowing NCAs to adequately monitor developments in markets.

Link

15 March 2020

ECB

Coordinated central banks’ supportive measures  to enhance liquidity

The ECB, together with the Bank of Canada, the Bank of England, the Bank of Japan, the Federal Reserve, and the Swiss National Bank undertakes a coordinated action to improve the provision of liquidity via the standing US dollar liquidity swap line arrangements. The following measures are taken:

-          Offering weekly US dollar operations with 84-day maturity in addition to existing 1-week operations;

-          Pricing of all US dollar operations to be lowered to USD OIS rate plus 25 basis points;

-          New pricing and additional operations effective as of the week of 16 March, to remain in place for as long as appropriate to support smooth functioning of US dollar funding markets.

Link

12 March 2020

ECB

Supportive measures

The ECB’s Governing Council has decided the following measures:

-          More favourable operations to support bank lending to those affected most by the spread of the coronavirus, in particular small and medium-sized enterprises.

-          Interest rate on targeted longer-term refinancing operations (TLTRO) III reduced by 25 basis points and can be as low as 25 basis points below average deposit facility rate during period from June 2020 to June 2021 for all TLTRO III operations outstanding during that period.

-          Borrowing allowance raised to 50% of eligible loans.

-          Bid limit per operation removed on all future operations.

-          Lending performance threshold reduced to 0%.

-          Early repayment option available after one year from settlement starting in September 2021.

-          Modification accompanied by series of longer-term refinancing operations (LTRO) designed to bridge liquidity needs until settlement of fourth TLTRO III operation in June 2020, starting from next week.

Link

12 March 2020

ECB

Supportive measures to banks to enhance  liquidity

The ECB’s Governing Council has decided on additional longer-term refinancing operations (LTROs) with the aim of providing immediate liquidity support to banks and safeguarding money market conditions. These operations should provide an effective backstop if necessary.

The ECB has added an indicative calendar for the new longer-term refinancing operations conducted as of March 2020.

Link

12 March 2020

ECB

Monetary policy  measures  to enhance liquidity

The ECB’s Governing Council decided on a comprehensive package of monetary policy measures which will support liquidity and funding conditions for households, business and banks and will help to preserve the smooth provision of credit to the real economy. The Governing Council has decided to:

-          conduct, temporarily, additional longer-term refinancing operations (LTROs) - to provide immediate liquidity support

-          apply considerably more favourable terms from June 2020 until June 2021 to all TLTRO III operations outstanding during that same time

-          add a temporary envelope of additional net asset purchases of €120 billion until the end of the year

-          keep the key ECB interest rates unchanged

-          continue reinvesting, in full, the principal payments from maturing securities purchased under the APP for an extended period of time past the date when we start raising the key ECB interest rates

The ECB’s statement also provides for a useful Q&A.

Link

12 March 2020

ECB

Press release – measures to support banks

As the euro-zone supervisor, the ECB provides temporary capital and operational relief in reaction to the coronavirus. The ECB has taken the following measures:

-          Banks are allowed to operate temporarily below the level of capital defined by the Pillar 2 Guidance, the capital conservation buffer (CCB) and the liquidity coverage ratio (LCR).

-          Banks are allowed to partially use capital instruments that do not qualify as Common Equity Tier 1 (CET1) capital.

The ECB also considers individual measures, such as adjusting timetables, processes and deadlines.

 

Link

12 March 2020

EBA / ECB / NCAs

Decision to postpone EU-wide stress test exercise for banks and recommendation on supervisory flexibility  

The EBA, together with the NCAs and the ECB, coordinates a joint effort to alleviate the immediate operational burden for banks. Where appropriate, NCAs are required to make full use of flexibility embedded in the regulatory framework. EBA itself has decided to:

-          postpone the EU-wide stress test exercise to 2021, in order to allow banks to focus on/ensure continuity of their core operations, including customer support.

-          to carry out an additional EU-wide transparency exercise for 2020 in order to provide updated information on banks’ exposures and asset quality to market participants.

 

EBA recommends NCAs to flexibly plan supervisory activities, including on-site inspections, and to postpone those that are non-essential. Certain leeway could be given in respect of supervisory reporting, without lacking the crucial information.

Link

11 March 2020

ESMA

Recommendation

The ESMA recommends:

-          Financial market participants to apply their contingency plans to ensure operational continuity

-          Issuers to disclose as soon as relevant significant information on the impact of the coronavirus, taking into account requirements under the Market Abuse Regulation

-          Issuers to provide transparency on the actual/potential impacts of the coronavirus, to the extent possible based on relevant and recent business figures

-          Asset managers to continue to apply risk management requirements & react accordingly

Link

Belgian supervisory authorities

 

Date

Authority

Action taken

Summary

Link

22 July 2020

FSMA

The FSMA has the information on travel cancellation insurance on the websites of different insurers adapted

At the FSMA’s request, several insurers have updated their website to ensure consumers have correct information when claims are excluded from coverage if they are the result of an epidemic, pandemic or quarantine. The FSMA has found that certain insurers had adjusted the terms and conditions of their travel cancellation insurance to include exclusion clauses for claims resulting from an epidemic, pandemic or quarantine. These adjustments are clearly related to the corona crisis. The FSMA has also found that some insurers on their website, for example in a section with questions and answers about the corona crisis, state fairly indiscriminate terms that claims are excluded from coverage if they are the result of an epidemic, whereas that exclusion is not mentioned in the general insurance conditions. Such listings could discourage certain customers from making an insurance claim, and may also be misleading or deceptive.

Consumers are asked to pay attention to the general conditions of their possible travel cancellation insurance or of the accompanying insurance, such as baggage or assistance insurance. These conditions should clearly state not only the coverages, but also the exclusions. In the event of a claim, the policyholder may submit a request for compensation. If the terms and conditions rule out that claim, it is up to the insurer to prove it.

The FSMA also recalls that, if a trip is cancelled, part of the insurance risk associated with the trip may lapse, for example on-the-spot assistance or baggage insurance. In that case, the insurer must repay the part of the premium already paid for the coverage of those unused risks.

Link

25 June 2020

FSMA

Covid-19: updating of customer information where ongoing investment services are provided or IBIPs are sold

In order to maintain the quality of service in the interest of the client, it is very important to update information on time. For this reason, the FSMA calls on companies in the banking, investment and insurance sectors to pay additional attention to the possible tightening of their updating policy and its implementation.

The FSMA expects companies in the banking, investment and insurance sectors to have procedures and measures in place appropriate to their own organization and client base in the current market conditions. Furthermore, the FSMA expects these companies to consider in their updating policy, possible significant changes in the client situation as a result of the coronavirus crisis, implementing relevant changes in the provision of ongoing investment services of investment advice or asset management and the distribution of insurance with an investment component.

It does not suffice to wait until the periodic update or until a client informs the firm in the banking, investment and insurance sectors of its changed situation on its own initiative. There may be a need to approach a wide range of clients earlier and/or more frequently.

Link (NL)

 

Link (FR)

22 June 2020

FSMA

Q&A for listed companies concerning the half-yearly financial report during the covid-19 period

Most listed companies will soon be publishing their results for the first half of 2020. This will likely be their first mandatory periodic report to investors that provides a more comprehensive and detailed view of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their financial situation, their activities and their results. The FSMA wishes to set out a number of points that are to be taken into account in this regard, in the form of a Q&A.

Link (NL)

 

Link (FR)

11 June 2020

FSMA

Newsletter: solutions to covid-19 related difficulties for financial intermediaries

At the request of the FSMA, a Royal Decree (dated 8 June 2020) has been adopted, containing the following measures:

·         For PCPs undergoing training in the insurance sector: since there are only a limited number of examination sessions, and to avoid decisions being taken which would be detrimental to the PCPs concerned, it has been decided to grant an additional period of 4 months to each PCP in training for whom the lockdown falls in whole or in part within the period of one year. It concerns:

o   PCPs in training, who on 18 March 2020 had been employed for less than one year in that capacity;

o   PCPs in training appointed between 18 March 2020 and 30 June 2020 in those capacity.

·         For additional training: persons who need to attend further training may have difficulty attending the training, both during the lockdown and after the relaxation period. It has therefore been decided to set an additional deadline of 4 months to be granted to persons for whom the continuous training period expires on the end of 2020. Thanks to the extension of the period, these persons will be given the opportunity to undergo further training

Attention: although this further training period has been extended, this does not mean that the retraining obligations for the subsequent period have changed. For the next period of further training, the normal rules shall apply.

Link (NL)

 

Link (FR)

29 May 2020

FSMA

FAQ for intermediaries and credit providers - covid-19

The FSMA has published FAQs on its website to provide guidance to intermediaries and creditors under its supervision in order to help them in the current difficult situation of the coronavirus crisis to remain correct and to act in the interests of consumers. These FAQs provide answers to specific questions raised by the FSMA from intermediaries and lenders received. The advantage of FAQs is that they develop and allow to add and update information in function of the evolution of the COVID-19 epidemic, and of the measures taken in this context.

These FAQs are addressed to: (i) insurance, reinsurance and ancillary insurance intermediaries; (ii) intermediaries in banking and investment services; (iii) intermediaries and lenders in mortgage credit; and (iv) intermediaries and lenders in consumer credit.

Link (NL)

 

Link (FR)

28 May 2020

FSMA

FAQ on the consequences of the coronavirus crisis on supplementary pensions

This FAQ section contains a number of questions that specifically address the consequences of the coronavirus crisis for supplementary pensions and the associated death cover. The measures adopted by the government are also explained.

 

Link (NL)

 

Link (FR)

28 May 2020

FSMA

Distance contracts relating to investment services and insurance distribution

The FSMA’s brochure deals with the following subjects: financial undertakings are switching to remote services; existing and additional obligations when offering remote services; specific points of attention during the coronavirus crisis; the fact that a distance contract may trigger a right of withdrawal; the burden of proof; the right to terminate the agreement; the record keeping of data; and how to deal with complaints.

Link (NL)

 

Link (FR)

27 May 2020

FSMA

Press release on trading of shares

During the coronavirus crisis, Belgians traded up to five times more BEL 20 shares than in the period before the crisis. As well, many more shares were bought than sold. Young and infrequent investors were much more active during the crisis period. For the purposes of the study, the FSMA used the transaction reports it receives in accordance with the European Regulation on markets in financial instruments. The reports cover all transactions carried out via Belgian banks or investment firms, all transactions carried out on a Belgian regulated market, and all transactions that involve a financial instrument for which the FSMA is the competent authority, thus including shares listed on Euronext Brussels.

Link (ENG)

 

Link (NL)

 

Link (FR)

19 May 2020

FSMA

Opinion Supplementary Pensions Commission

At the request of the Minister for Pensions, the Commission has analysed the draft Royal Decree on the maintenance of the accrual of retirement pension and of insurance coverage linked to the occupational activities of salaried workers during temporary unemployment as a result of COVID-19 and the accompanying report to the King. The result of this analysis is set out in the Commission’s Opinion No. 39 (available in French or Dutch only). The text of the draft Royal Decree has now been incorporated as Chapter 3 into the Law of 7 May 2020 containing exceptional measures taken in the context of the coronavirus pandemic in the matter of pensions, supplementary pensions and other supplementary social security benefits (Belgian Official Gazette 18.05.2020, p. 35.756).

Link (NL)

 

Link (FR)

18 May 2020

FSMA

Suspension of ban on creating or increasing net short positions

On 18 March 2020, the FSMA imposed a ban on creating or increasing net short positions on shares admitted to trading on Belgian trading venues (see below). The FSMA has announced that, as of 19 May 2020, this measure will be suspended. For several reasons, the FSMA believes that the market situation has stabilized and that it is no longer necessary to further extend the ban. The FSMA continues, however, to remain vigilant and to monitor the markets closely in case changing market conditions should deem it necessary to act.

Link (ENG)

Link (NL)

 

Link (FR)

12 May 2020

FSMA

Covid-19: investment service providers are given extension 1/09/2020 to enter info on investment services required under MiFID

Each year, the companies subject to the MiFID regulation must provide the FSMA by 30 June with details of its risk model for conduct of business rules. Otherwise, sanctions are imposed (i.e. application of art. 36 and 37 of the Law of 2 August 2002 on the supervision of the financial sector and financial services). The FSMA is aware that it may be difficult to collect the requested data during and after the lockdown imposed by the Government. It will therefore not take action against companies that have not provided it with the data by 01/09/2020. Consequently, as an exceptional measure, firms will this year be granted an extension until 01/09/2020 to enter their MiFID cartography data. Of course, this postponement does not supersede the need for firms to comply with the MiFID conduct of business rules, to protect the interests of their clients and to answer specific questions posed by the FSMA.

Link (NL)

 

Link (FR)

5 May 2020

FSMA

FAQ on the consequences of the coronavirus crisis on supplementary pensions

This FAQ section contains a number of questions that specifically address the consequences of the coronavirus crisis for supplementary pensions and the associated death cover. The measures adopted by the government are also explained.

Link (NL)

 

Link (FR)

29 April 2020

FSMA

Q&A on the impact of the coronavirus crisis on the obligations of listed companies

The FSMA has published a Q&A addressed to listed companies which deals with the impact of the coronavirus crisis. On 9 April 2020, Royal Decree No. 4 was issued which includes several measures, incl. in the area of company law, in connection with the fight against the coronavirus crisis. Royal Decree No. 4 contains exceptional measures relating to the mandatory periodic information by listed companies and to the convocation and holding of general meetings of shareholders of companies. These measures were initially in effect until 3 May 2020. In the meantime, the end date has been extended to 30 June 2020. The Q&A deals with: (i) communication about the consequences of the coronavirus, (ii) compliance with the obligation to provide periodic information and (iii) the convocation and holding of general meetings of shareholders, and communication in that regard.

Link (NL)

 

Link (FR)

22 April 2020

NBB

Credit insurance: guarantee scheme

Following a protocol agreement between the Belgian federal government, Assuralia and private trade credit insurers, facilitated by the NBB, a support mechanism will be set up in form of a guarantee scheme. This will enable trade credit insurers to continue to pursue their mission of securing business-to-business (B2B) trade and to extend their support to the Belgian economy.

Link (NL)

 

Link (FR)


22 April 2020

FSMA

Warning on fraud in context of coronavirus crisis

The FSMA warns on fraudulent investment offers which are becoming more frequent and take on a variety of forms. Currently, fraudsters are not hesitating to exploit the coronavirus crisis to claim new victims. The internet is used regularly during the lockdown, and consumers are thus even more exposed to canvassing by fraudulent actors (emails, advertisements on the internet and social media, cold calling, etc.). If you wish to invest, the FSMA advises you to remain vigilant; if the promises made seem too good to be true, there usually are. The FSMA also makes recommendations to avoid the trap.

 

Link (ENG)

 

Link (NL)

 

Link (FR)

15 April 2020

FSMA

Press release on measures of insurance sector

Insurance companies takes several initiatives to mitigate the financial consequences of the coronavirus crisis. Assuralia, the federation of insurance companies, has announced a package of measures to provide some breathing space to natural persons and undertakings that are impacted by the crisis. The measures include, inter alia, adjustment and/or suspension of premiums, and a payment extension.

Link (NL)

 

Link (FR)

15 April 2020

FSMA

Press release on cyber security

The coronavirus crisis and the governmental lock-down measures change the life of various undertakings. This evolution increases the vulnerability of the financial sector with regard to cyber-attacks. The FSMA wants to draw attention to the necessity of increased vigilance as these risks can have massive consequences for the business continuity, which is already sub-optimal as a result of the coronavirus crisis. In October 2019, the FSMA had already published a communication to help undertakings implementing organizational and technical measures.

Link (NL)

 

Link (FR)

14 April 2020

FSMA

Q&A on the obligations of listed companies

The FSMA publishes a Q&A on the impact of the coronavirus crisis on the obligations of listed companies. The Q&A provides (i) a recapitulation of the FSMA’s position in its press release of 26 March 2020; and (ii) a number of points from the Royal Decree No. 4 which puts forth various exceptional measures, including in the area of company law, in connection with the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, such as exceptional measures relating to the mandatory periodic information by listed companies and to the convocation and holding of general meetings of shareholders of companies. These measures are in effect (for the moment) until 3 May 2020.

 

Link (ENG)

 

Link (NL)

 

Link (FR)

 

15 April 2020

FSMA

Press release on cyber security

The coronavirus crisis and the governmental lock-down measures change the life of various undertakings. This evolution increases the vulnerability of the financial sector with regard to cyber-attacks. The FSMA wants to draw attention to the necessity of increased vigilance as these risks can have massive consequences for the business continuity, which is already sub-optimal as a result of the coronavirus crisis. In October 2019, the FSMA had already published a communication to help undertakings implementing organizational and technical measures.

Link (NL)

 

Link (FR)

14 April 2020

FSMA

Q&A on the obligations of listed companies

The FSMA publishes a Q&A on the impact of the coronavirus crisis on the obligations of listed companies. The Q&A provides (i) a recapitulation of the FSMA’s position in its press release of 26 March 2020; and (ii) a number of points from the Royal Decree No. 4 which puts forth various exceptional measures, including in the area of company law, in connection with the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, such as exceptional measures relating to the mandatory periodic information by listed companies and to the convocation and holding of general meetings of shareholders of companies. These measures are in effect (for the moment) until 3 May 2020.

 

Link (ENG)

 

Link (NL)

 

Link (FR)

 

8 April 2020

 

FSMA

Communication to undertakings for collective investment (UCI)

The FSMA emphasises that it expects UCIs to (i) inform themselves on the evolution of government measures; (ii) continue to comply with the legal requirements, although the FSMA will demonstrate some flexibility depending on the situation. The FSMA will not take any initiatives that would make it more difficult for UCIs to operate. Lastly, the FSMA expects the government to take some measures that would support UCIs’ operation during the coronavirus crisis.

Link (NL)

 

Link (FR)

8 April 2020

NBB

Website article

The NBB and the national planning agency estimate that the gross domestic product of the Belgian economy could contract by 8 % in 2020. In 2021, a rebound is expected of 8,6 %, to the extent that the worst phase of the crisis (concentrated within the first half of 2020) does not permanently harm the production potential of the economy. The NBB and the agency expect that the measures taken to protect families’ income, lay the basis for a quick recovery of consumption during Q3 of 2020. From the analysis, it also appears that businesses’ liquidity is under a lot of pressure due to a decrease in turnover. The strength of the expected recovery during the second half of 2020 and during 2021 is based on the hypothesis that such pressure does not lead to solvability problems as a consequence of which plenty of enterprises could go bankrupt, and which could increase the level of unemployment.

Link (NL)

Link (FR)

 2 April 2020

FSMA 

Explanatory statement on MiFID II rules - telephonic conversations

 The FSMA reiterates the ESMA’s communication of 20 March 2020 (see above) in respect of the recording of telephone conversations. Like the ESMA, the FSMA underlines that because of the coronavirus crisis, it might not be practical to record the relevant conversations as required by MiFID II. The FSMA also expects firms that are unable to record voice communications to consider alternative steps to mitigate the risks attached to the lack of recording. From the earliest moment possible, the normal way of recording must be resorted.

Link (NL)

Link (FR)

1 April 2020

FSMA

Warning on fraudulent investment offers and scams

The FSMA was informed that malicious persons were using phishing methods to take advantage of the current coronavirus situation. Fake messages are currently circulating on the internet and via text messages, containing a.o., false offers of protective masks; fraudulent fundraising campaigns for victims of the virus; links to sites providing fake information; or false offers of vaccines. The FSM also discusses the techniques that appear to be most popular among fraudsters when making fraudulent offers via social networks and advises how to avoid being a victim of investment fraud on social media.

Link (ENG)

 

Link (NL)

 

Link (FR)

 

30 March 2020

FSMA

Communication to institutions for occupational retirement provision (IOPRs)

In light of the coronavirus crisis, the FSMA addresses the impact thereof on the functioning of institutions for occupational retirement provision (IORPs) and on the financial markets. IORPs should keep an eye on new government measures to combat the coronavirus pandemic and apply these measures immediately and in full, while still complying with the applicable rules. The FSMA is prepared, where possible, to show flexibility for the practical application of the rules. The FSMA will not unnecessarily burden IORPs. Still, the FSMA has to gather further information from IORPs in order to closely monitor the evolution of the financial situation of the IORPs as a result of the crisis, particularly in the context of its international obligations. The FSMA also discusses the organisation of board meetings and the upcoming deadline for annual reporting.

Link (NL)

 

Link (FR)

 

27 March 2020

FSMA

Warning on phishing attempts

The FSMA warns on the appearance of fraudsters 2.0, who use modern means of communication to engage in contacts with potential investors. Swindlers often use such emails, private messages and unsolicited phone calls to offer allegedly very lucrative and risk-free investments that are too good to be true, against which the FSMA regularly publishes warnings. This method is comparable to that of phishing, which is a technique used by many fraudsters, including in areas beyond that of investments. Apparently, malicious persons were using these same phishing methods to take advantage of the current coronavirus situation.

Link (ENG)

 

Link (NL)

 

Link (FR)

 

27 March 2020

FSMA

Warning on investment fraud

The FSMA warns consumers about the risk of investment fraud. Consumers are exposed to canvassing by fraudulent actors (emails, advertising, cold calling, etc.). The FSMA advises to be prudent.

Link (ENG)

 

Link (NL)

 

Link (FR)

26 March 2020

NBB

Supportive measures – insurance sector

Assuralia, the Belgian insurance federation, announces various measures to mitigate the negative impact of the coronavirus crisis on private individuals, households, self-employed persons and companies. Apart from allowing flexibility towards natural persons laid off temporarily because of the coronavirus, the measures are also directed towards companies hit by the coronavirus crisis: premiums will (automatically) be adjusted in the event of any reduction in business activity and companies having to suspend business activity, will be able to obtain payment deferral. As for loans, the insurers will follow the conditions set for the banking sector (see below, NBB – 22 March 2020).

Link (ENG)

 

Link (NL)

 

Link (FR)

 

26 March 2020

FSMA

Position on the publication of inside information, annual financial report and organization of general meetings

The FSMA is very closely following developments in the coronavirus crisis and is in constant dialogue with the various stakeholders in order to evaluate the impact of the crisis on the financial markets. The FSMA acknowledges the challenges that listed companies experience in respect of compliance with information obligations. Therefore, the FSMA sets out its position on (1) the publication of inside information, (2) the annual financial report, and (3) the organization of general meetings.

Link (ENG)

 

Link (NED)

 

Link (FR)

22 March 2020

NBB

Decision – support measures

The federal government, together with the NBB and the financial sector, have commonly agreed on the following measures to financially support natural persons, self-employed persons and companies:

·         The financial sector will grant to viable non-financial companies, self-employed persons and mortgage credit borrowers experiencing financial issues as a result of coronavirus, a payment extension until 30 September 2020, without charging any additional costs.

·         The federal government will arrange guarantees for all new credits and credit facilities with a maximum term of 12 months granted by banks to viable non-financial companies and self-employed persons in financial difficulties as a result of coronavirus. The guarantee arrangement has an overall envelope of EUR 50 billion, and will cover all additional credits and credit facilities with a maximum term of 12 months granted until 30 September 2020.

·         The NBB and Febelfin (the official Belgian federation of the financial sector) will set up a monitoring system to follow up on the above measures. 

 

Link (NL)

 

Link (FR)

19 March 2020

FSMA

Supervisory flexibility

The FSMA issues a newsletter containing special instructions for lenders and intermediaries under its supervision. At the regulator’s insistence, intermediaries and lenders must regularly check whether the government has taken any new measures to mitigate the coronavirus crisis, and apply such measures. The FSMA has also announced that it will not take any initiatives that render the activities of lenders and intermediaries more difficult (e.g. it will not present large-scale requests for information). Notwithstanding the above, the FSMA clearly underlines that despite the exceptional situation and difficulties, it expects continuous adherence to the applicable legal and regulatory provisions.

Link (ENG)

 

Link (NL)

 

Link (FR)

17 March 2020

FSMA

Short selling prohibition

The FSMA, prohibits short selling during one month for all shares traded on Euronext Brussels and Euronext Growth [compare with FSMA – 16 March 2020]

Given the continuous development of the consequences of the coronavirus crisis, including the adverse effects on the real economy and the financial markets, and given the measures that are taken on a national, supranational level around the globe, the FSMA decided to introduce a general short selling ban in respect of shares of companies listed on the aforementioned stock markets that lasts for one month, until 17 April 2020.

 

Link (ENG)

 

 

16 March 2020

FSMA

Short selling prohibition

The FSMA announces the prohibition of short selling and similar transactions on the regulated market of Euronext Brussels. The prohibition concerns a limited number of shares which took some blows. The prohibition takes effect for the entire trading day of 17 March 2020. The prohibition does not apply to market-making activities (i.e. members of trading venues (e.g. credit institutions and investment firms) that deal as a principal in a financial instrument in any of the two capacities (posting quotes/fulfilling orders).

 

Link (ENG)

 

 

16 March 2020

FSMA

Notification of net short positions

The FSMA reiterates the ESMA’s announcement (see above) on the lowering of the reporting threshold: holders of net short positions in shares are required to notify the FSMA in case the position reaches or exceeds 0,1 % (instead of 0,2 %) issued share capital after the entry into force of the decision. The measure shall last for three months, and can be extended (if necessary).

Link (ENG)

 

Link (NL)

 

Link (FR)

 

13 March 2020

NBB

Supportive  measures for banks

The NBB reiterates the measures taken by the ECB to the financial institutions for which the NBB functions as prudential supervisor. The measures concern (i) the possibility for banks to operate temporarily below the level of capital defined by the Pillar 2 Guidance, the capital conservation buffer (CCB) and the liquidity coverage ratio (LCR), and (ii) the possibility for banks to partially use capital instruments that do not qualify as Common Equity Tier 1 (CET1) capital.

 

Link (ENG)

 

Link (NL)

 

Link (FR)

Other useful references (legal doctrine; working papers; blog articles; …)

Date

Authority

Action taken

Summary

Link

July 2020

ECB

Article

De monetairbeleidsreactie van de ECB op COVID-19

Link

10 June 2020

ECB

Speech 

The ECB’s policy in the COVID-19 crisis – a medium-term perspective

Link

27 May 2020

ECB

Research Bulleting No 71

COVID-19 and non-performing loans: lessons from past crises

Link

1 May 2020

ECB

Blog article

Alternative scenarios for the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on economic activity in the euro area

Link

30 April 2020

BCBS

Speech

Teachable moments from the pandemic

Link

28 April 2020

ECB

Blog article

Beyond monetary policy – protecting the continuity and safety of payments during the coronavirus crisis

 Link

22 April 2020

ECB

Blog article

Improving funding conditions for the real economy during the coronavirus crisis: the ECB’s collateral easing measures

 Link

3 April 2020

ECB

Blog article

The ECB’s commercial paper purchases: a targeted response to the economic disturbances caused by the coronavirus crisis

 Link

24 March 2020

ECB

Working Paper

Real-time weakness of the global economy: a first assessment of the coronavirus crisis.

Link

24 March 2020

ECB

Blog article

Multinational enterprises, financial centres and their implications for external imbalances: a euro area perspective

Link



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