ESMA publishes its 2017 annual report that provides an overview of the enforcement and regulatory activities of ESMA and the accounting enforcers in the EU, when examining compliance of financial information provided by issuers, under IFRS, in 2017. It also provides an overview of the main activities performed at European level, quantitative information on enforcement activities in Europe, and contribution of ESMA to the development of the single rulebook in the area of corporate reporting.
In 2017, ESMA and European Enforcers continued to engage in regular supervisory convergence activities on IFRS. Moreover, considering the new standards IFRS 9 Financial Instruments and IFRS 15 Revenue from Contracts with Customers, in October 2017, ESMA published the results of a separate fact-finding exercise on the transitional disclosures regarding these standards. ESMA also conducted a peer review on the application of its Guidelines of Enforcement of Financial Information by the national competent authorities. During 2017, national enforcers reviewed the financial statements of about 1,100 issuers (approximately 19% of issuers of securities listed on EU regulated markets), which led to action against 328 (32%) of the issuers examined. Among those, for the purpose of assessing compliance with the 2016 European Common Enforcement Priorities, EU enforcers scrutinized the financial statements of 204 listed issuers. The examinations resulted in enforcement actions against 56 issuers (27%) related to the enforcement priorities assessed. The other areas where most infringements were identified by European enforcers remained the same comparing with 2016 and 2015 and related mainly to presentation of financial statements, accounting for financial instruments, and impairment of non-financial assets.
In 2018, the accounting enforcers will focus on the disclosure of the expected impact of the implementation of the new standards IFRS 9 Financial Instruments and IFRS 15 Revenue from Contracts with Customers in the period of their initial application. Furthermore, in light of the emphasis on transitioning to a sustainable financial system in the EU and the new requirements on the disclosure of non-financial information, ESMA will coordinate the enforcement activities related to both non-financial and corporate governance information.
Keywords: Europe, EU, Securities, Accounting, Enforcement Activities, IFRS 9, Reporting, Supervisory Convergence, ESMA
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