The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published a consultation paper on the regulatory technical standards on the European Single Electronic Format (ESEF).

The ESEF relates to a requirement in the Transparency Directive for issuers with securities listed on regulated markets to provide investors with annual financial reports (AFR). The Transparency Directive requires issuers to prepare the AFR in an ESEF with effect from 1 January 2020 and empowers ESMA to specify the electronic reporting format that should be implemented.

ESMA’s consultation paper includes an assessment of current electronic reporting, an analysis of the policy objectives included in the Transparency Directive and explores ways forward with regards to the establishment of an ESEF by taking into account technical developments in financial markets and telecommunication technologies.

The consultation paper is structured in the following way:

  • section 2 provides background information;
  • section 3 discusses the policy objectives of ESEF;
  • section 4 describes the current practices regarding the publication and filing;
  • section 5 describes possible options and scenarios to move toward the implementation of electronic reporting in the EU and a description of the various options available; and
  • section 6 provides for the preferred option based on the preliminary cost benefit analysis included in Annex III.

The deadline for comments to the consultation paper is 24 December 2015.

View ESMA consults on the European Single Electronic Format, 25 September 2015