ESMA clarifies position on SFTR backloading

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

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

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

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

Here’s ISLA’s response:

ISLA’s understanding from the statement is that all backloading will not be prioritised for all phases of SFTR, effectively allowing all firms to no longer consider backloading as a requirement.

ISLA welcomes this swift and pragmatic clarification which we are sure will relieve the pressure on market participants during these unprecedented and difficult times.

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