On 8 October 2021, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published a speech by Natasha Cazenave (Executive Director, ESMA) in which she discussed the European Supervisory Authority’s  priorities for 2022 including data.

ESMA’s priorities for 2022 include: aiming to respond to challenges faced by the EU, its capital markets, and its investors; supporting three major cross sectoral projects; supporting the development of European capital markets; and contributing towards building a comprehensive sustainable finance framework. 2022 will also be a year of change for ESMA as a supervisor. In addition to credit rating agencies, trade and securitisation repositories, and systemic third country central counterparties, it will become the supervisor of critical benchmarks administrators and data reporting service providers.

There are three key priorities regarding data which ESMA intends to focus on – cost and effectiveness, quality of data, and new technology.

ESMA believes that high quality data is something that all stakeholders will benefit from, however, several entities have raised concerns over cost. Thus, ESMA will seek to address these concerns by proposing changes that can be implemented.

Despite there being an improvement in the quality of data, ESMA recognises that issues continue to arise such as, data not reported by counterparties, timeliness of reporting, reporting of valuations and reconciliation. These issues will be a key area of focus for ESMA and they will continue to prioritise monitoring and updating data quality.

The rise in new technology brings new potential for data and could possibly help address issues relating to cost. Machine readable and executable regulation; distributed ledger technology (DLT); Big Data and Artificial Intelligence are new technologies that ESMA will continue to observe. ESMA has also started work on a new data strategy so that it can thoroughly consider what objectives it needs to set, what actions it needs to undertake and what capabilities it needs to improve to ensure that it can explore the full potential of data reported to authorities.