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ESMA to revise accounting enforcement standards

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has launched a consultation to revise the standards on the enforcement of financial information disclosed by listed companies operating in the European Union (EU).

In its consultation paper ESMA is proposing a set of guidelines aimed at coordinating the oversight activity of the several EU enforcement authorities.

The guidelines launched for consultation apply to the enforcement activities of the financial information provided by issuers whose securities are admitted to trading on a regulated market.

According to ESMA the guidelines would apply to the information of issuers already listed on a regulated market; issuers who are applying for admission on a regulated market and issuers from third countries who use reporting frameworks declared equivalent to IFRS.

The guidelines also establish the types of enforcement actions that may be available to enforcers and how enforcement activities should be coordinated within ESMA.

ESMA is proposing that the coordination of European enforcers should involve:

  • The development of coordinated views on accounting matters prior to national enforcement actions;
  • The identification of common enforcement priorities;
  • And common responses to the accounting standard setter to ensure consistent application of the financial reporting framework.

"These proposed Guidelines, if applied consistently across the EU, will promote uniform application of the financial reporting standards, help avoid regulatory arbitrage by issuers and promote investor confidence in financial markets," ESMA chair Steven Maijoor said

The deadline to comment on ESMA's consultation is 15 October.

Related links

The European Securities and Markets Authority

ESMA Guidelines on the enforcement of financial information

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