EACT complaint to EU Ombudsman regarding main ESMA stakeholder group

EACT filed an official complaint to the European Ombudsman in March 2014 concerning the composition of the European Securities and Markets Authority's (ESMA) main stakeholder group, the Securities and Markets Stakeholder Group (SMSG). The SMSG helps facilitate consultation by ESMA with stakeholders in areas relevant to ESMA's tasks such as the development of technical standards and guidelines. The SMSG is composed of 30 individuals expected to represent ESMA's key stakeholder constituencies such as academics, consumers, financial market participants and users of financial services. The essence of our complaint is that the EACT believes the composition of the current SMSG does not adequately reflect ESMA's real stakeholder constituencies, as non-financial companies have not been included whilst other stakeholder groups seem to be over-represented. Non-financial companies are important users of financial services and are subject to and materially impacted by a number of legislative measures being dealt with by ESMA. The Ombudsman has accepted the complaint for handling and forwarded it for comment by ESMA. The latter made a formal response and the EACT has now written to the Ombudsman; we reiterate some of our initial concerns and comment additionally on how ESMA seeks to defend its actions. The EACT's letter is here. It is expected that it could take at least one year for the Ombudsman to reach a decision on the complaint.

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