The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published a Discussion Paper seeking views on its policy orientations and initial proposals for the potential Level 2 measures under the Regulation on indices used as benchmarks in financial instruments and financial contracts (the Benchmarks Regulation).

The Discussion Paper seeks views in the following areas:

  • definition of benchmarks (Article 3 Benchmarks Regulation);
  • requirements for the benchmark oversight function (Article 5a Benchmarks Regulation);
  • requirements for the benchmark input data (Article 7 Benchmarks Regulation);
  • transparency of methodology (Article 7b Benchmarks Regulation);
  • code of conduct (Article 9 Benchmarks Regulation);
  • governance and control requirements for supervised contributors (Article 11 Benchmarks Regulation);
  • critical benchmarks (Article 13 Benchmarks Regulation);
  • significant benchmarks (Article 14c Benchmarks Regulation);
  • benchmark statement (Article 15 Benchmarks Regulation);
  • authorisation and registration of an administrator (Article 23 Benchmarks Regulation);
  • recognition and endorsement of third country administrators and benchmarks (Article 21a and 21b Benchmarks Regulation); and
  • transitional provisions (Article 39 Benchmarks Regulation).

ESMA also notes that the exact date when the Benchmarks Regulation will enter into force is still unknown as it has not yet been published in the Official Journal of the EU. The Discussion Paper is based on the version of the Benchmarks Regulation that was preliminary agreed by the European Parliament and the Council of the EU on 24 November 2015.

The consultation period for the Discussion Paper is fairly short with the deadline for comments being 31 March 2016.

ESMA will also hold an open hearing on the Discussion Paper on 29 February 2016 in Paris. It will use the responses to the Discussion Paper to develop detailed implementing measures on which it will publish a follow-up consultation in Q3 2016.

View ESMA consults on implementation of the Benchmarks Regulation, 15 February 2016