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The Committee of European Securities Regulators (CESR) Guidelines on a common definition of European money market funds (CESR/10-049) (Guidelines on Money Market Funds or Guidelines) set out a common definition of European Money Market Funds, with the objective to improve investor protection in this area. In particular, the Guidelines distinguish between two categories of money market fund: a) Short-Term Money Market Funds (STMMF), and b) Money Market Funds (MMF). For both categories, CESR established a list of criteria with which funds must comply if they want to use the label “Money Market Fund”. In February 2012, ESMA published Questions and Answers aimed at promoting common supervisory approaches and practices in the application of the Guidelines by providing responses to questions posed by the general public and competent authorities (ESMA/2012/113).
The Guidelines apply to collective investment undertakings under the UCITS Directive (2009/65/EC) as well as to non-harmonised collective investment undertakings regulated under the national law of a Member State and which are subject to supervision and comply with risk-spreading rules.
The European Central Bank has referred to the CESR Guidelines in its Regulation No. 883/2011 (ECB/2011/12), adopted on August 25, 2011 and amending Regulation (EC) No 25/2009 concerning the balance sheet of the monetary financial institutions sector (ECB/2008/32). In particular, the above-mentioned Regulation has introduced new identification criteria in relation to MMFs for European System of Central Banks statistical purposes aligned with those provided by the CESR Guidelines expected to apply for supervisory purposes.
In December 2011, the ESMA Board of Supervisors mandated the Review Panel to carry out a peer review on the application of the Guidelines. The proposal for this work stream followed the input received from ESMA’s Securities and Markets Stakeholder Group and is in line with ESMA’s objective to promote convergence of supervisory outcomes.
In line with the Review panel methodology (ESMA/2012/33), the peer review was conducted in two phases: the first phase was a self-assessment in which Members answered a number of questions on the implementation and application of the Guidelines. The questions were developed against a set of benchmarks. The questionnaire is enclosed hereto under Annex 1. The second stage was the peer review assessment which involved each Member’s self-assessment being reviewed by peers.