During the past few days, there has been a disarming increase in the spread of the Coronavirus throughout the EU, which has led to many novel situations that businesses have never faced prior to the spread of the virus.
It is only natural that enterprises are currently facing many unclear situations, and certain questions arise that are not in the normal course of business. Within the financial sector, the issue of on-going work with financial regulators has been raised in multiple governmental levels and also on the EU level.
The EU Commission has issued guidelines that are divided into the medical, mobility, and economic sphere.
Within the economic guidelines, the overall baseline is that companies that are under a Member State Regulatory Framework (EMIs, Crypto Exchanges, PIs, EMDs…) are obliged to continue their financial reporting to the Regulator regardless of the virus outbreak.
This guideline is also applicable to on-going reporting on suspicious transactions to local FIUs and for application forms for licenses. Deadlines should be met, and currently, there are no new instructions on allowing mitigated and extended deadlines.
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ESMA has yet to issue specific financial guidelines on the impact of the outbreak of the virus in the EU, despite many issues that have not been clarified within the sector. The sector is in dire need of specific guidelines on how to deal with the unchartered regulatory waters, which can be regarded as the first health-related crisis that impacts the advancement of the 4th Industrial Revolution within the new decade.
Currently, as for technical and logistical questions, the local Member State Regulators are still anticipating instructions from ESMA.
It is in these troublesome times that the most inevitable question begs the inescapable conclusion – in the era of globalization, regulatory institutions are not able to simply follow their own specific sector, and collaboration on a grander scale is needed between the European Medicines Agency (EMA), European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) and the EU Commission, for the better safeguarding of the economic union.
Ella Rosenberg is an EU Law Regulatory Consultant at the Porat Group and CEO of the Israel-EU Chamber of Commerce and Industry