Securities Markets Regulations Assessments

Relevant Legislation

  • European Union (Market Abuse) Regulations 2016       
    (“Market Abuse Regulations”);
  • Prospectus (Directive 2003/71/EC) Regulations 2005 as amended            
    (“Prospectus Regulations”);
  • Transparency (Directive 2004/109/EC) Regulations 2007 as amended     
    (“Transparency Regulations”);
  • European Union (European Markets Infrastructure) Regulations 2014 (“EMIR Regulations”)

(collectively referred to as the “Securities Markets Regulations”)  

Supplementary Rules

  • Market Abuse Rules
  • Prospectus Rules
  • Transparency Rules

(collectively referred to as the “Supplementary Rules”)

Parts 4 and 5 of the Market Abuse Regulations, Parts 14 and 15 of the Prospectus Regulations, Parts 9 and 10 of the Transparency Regulations and Parts 3, 4 and 5 of the EMIR Regulations provide the Central Bank with powers to investigate suspected prescribed contraventions of the Securities Markets Regulations and the Supplementary Rules and for applicable cases, apply an administrative sanctions procedure, called an “Assessment”.


The Assessment is conducted by one or more independent assessors appointed by the Central Bank who are selected from a panel of assessors. As soon as is practicable after the Central Bank appoints one or more assessors to conduct an Assessment, the assessors will give the assessee notice of their appointment which will set out the grounds for conducting the Assessment and give the assessee the opportunity to make submissions in writing and to request an opportunity to make oral submissions.

The assessors may conduct such investigations relating to the Assessment as the assessors consider appropriate before issuing a decision.

The principal steps involved in an Assessment are set out in the Process Flowchart


The sanctions which may be imposed by the Central Bank, if the assessors decide that a prescribed contravention has been committed (“Adverse Assessment”) are set out at Regulation 41 of the Market Abuse Regulations, Regulation 99 of the Prospectus Regulations, Regulation 67 of the Transparency Regulations and Regulation 32 of the EMIR Regulations.


An Adverse Assessment (including the sanctions imposed) may be appealed by the assessee to the High Court. The powers of the High Court in determining an appeal are set out at Regulation 40 of the Market Abuse Regulations, Regulation 98 of the Prospectus Regulations, Regulation 66 of the Transparency Regulations and Regulation 28 of the EMIR Regulations.


The Securities Markets Regulations also provide that where the Central Bank has reason to suspect that a person (a “relevant party”) is committing or has committed a prescribed contravention it may enter into an agreement in writing with the relevant party to resolve the matter at any time before an Assessment has been issued in respect of the relevant party. This is a written agreement between the Central Bank and the relevant party and may include terms under which the relevant party accepts the imposition of sanctions. 

Read more about the settlement agreement process