ESMA Launches Consultation

Posted on October 2, 2015 by Dave Nitchman

As part of the amended EU Transparency Directive, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) is seeking public comment on aspects of the European Single Electronic Format (ESEF), which will be required for the preparation of annual reports for all issuers in regulated markets as of 1 January 2020. ESMA has released a consultation paper that  includes a wealth of information and data from National Competent Authorities on securities reporting in EU countries, and explores ways forward with regard to the establishment of an ESEF, including the assessment of multiple standard and taxonomy options.One thing that’s clear from the document is that there is still a  lot of paper filing going on (see page 28), mostly in the form of .pdfs. What’s also clear is ESMA’s belief that the inability to manipulate or extract data from “electronic paper” is of little benefit to users of financial information and that a program based on structured data is the preferred route.

Based on global acceptance, extensibility and a number of other factors, both XBRL and iXBRL are being considered as the ESEF standard, with ESMA calling them the “most advanced, tested and/or used options in some of the main jurisdictions in the EU and abroad”. The paper (tentatively) concludes that “XBRL and iXBRL are the most beneficial options and are better aligned with the objectives of the TDA in terms of information improvement and technological facility. Therefore, the adoption of XBRL or iXBRL is supposed to foster the achievement of the objectives of the TDA and result in an enhancement of the attractiveness of EU capital markets and an increase in investment flows”.

XBRL Europe is setting up an Adhoc Committee as to prepare an answer to the consultation. Stakeholders are encouraged to both cooperate with XBRL EU and to submit responses of their own. The deadline is the 24th of December. Learn more.
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