Esma: Better data will make us a 'key part' of market infrastructure

Verena Ross

Verena Ross

Verena Ross, who is in her second five-year term as executive director of the European Securities and Markets Authority, on October 20 told attendees at a conference in Norway that high-quality data was a “prerequisite” to the risk analysis and supervisory tasks facing both Esma and national regulators.

Esma’s challenge is that it starts from a much lower base than other regulators – such as those in charge of banking supervision – Ross told an audience in Oslo. The first steps have been taken but Esma still requires better data about securities markets, she added.

Ross, who began her career at the Bank of England and later became a director at the UK Financial Services Authority’s international division, said data was an area where Esma was “gradually stepping up”.

She added the effort to improve data quality has taken Esma to completely new ground on at least one front – in implementing Mifid II, the region’s new trading rulebook set to come into force in January 2018, national competent authorities have for the first time entrusted Esma with two major data-related IT projects, Ross said.

That will see the provision, by Esma, of a central facility for “reference and trading data and the calculation of the comprehensive Mifir transparency parameters”.

Ross said: “This project will allow us to collect data in a more efficient and harmonised manner across Europe, thereby achieving important economies of scale and lowering costs for industry and taxpayers, and publish all transparency parameters and reference data on financial instruments in a one-stop shop.”

The project will see Esma connect to hundreds of trading venues across the EU and is set to go live in tandem with the implementation of Mifid II in January next year. The aim is to improve market transparency and the quality of data across Europe.

Ross said the move would make Esma a “key part” of European market infrastructure for its role in providing firms with data and information spanning the whole of the European Union.

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