The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published a webpage setting out its recommendations to financial market participants in relation to COVID-19 issues. The webpage provides links to relevant publications from ESMA on issues such as tick sizes and telephone recording.
ESMA's recommendations relate to:
Business continuity planning: financial market participants are expected to be ready to apply contingency/continuity plans to ensure operational continuity in line with regulatory obligations.
Market disclosure: issuers need to disclose as soon as possible any relevant significant information concerning the impacts of COVID-19 on their fundamentals, prospects or financial situation in accordance with their transparency obligations under the Market Abuse Regulation.
Financial Reporting: issuers should provide transparency on the actual and potential impacts of COVID-19 in their 2019 year end financial report, if these have not yet been finalised, or otherwise in their interim financial reporting disclosures.
Fund Management: asset managers should continue to apply the requirements on risk management, and react accordingly.
The recommendations do not provide detailed guidance, but the webpage operates as a useful point of reference for firms, with easy access to recent ESMA publications. Firms should also monitor national competent authority webpages (for example, the UK's Financial Conduct Authority page for updates as to their position.
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), together with National Competent Authorities (NCAs), is closely monitoring the situation in view of the continuing impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on financial markets in the European Union (EU).