EBA and ESMA
The regulations applicable to investment firms are largely determined at European level. Both the European Banking Authority (EBA) and the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) are relevant for investment firms.
They have as their main tasks:
- to contribute to the establishment of high-quality common regulatory and supervisory standards and practices;
- to contribute to the consistent application of EU regulations, in particular by contributing to a common supervisory culture by the national supervisory authorities and preventing regulatory arbitrage;
- to mediate and settle disagreements between EU supervisory authorities on the application of EU regulations.
To this end, they have power to set binding technical standards, guidelines and recommendations. Binding standards are endorsed by the European Commission, have direct application, and need not be implemented in national legislation and regulations. Guidelines and recommendations must be implemented nationally and operate on the “comply-or-explain” principle. In addition to binding technical standards, guidelines and recommendations, EBA also prepares the following Q&As.