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In the framework of its mission to supervise securities markets, the CSSF is responsible for the control of financial information published by issuers of securities. This activity, generally referred to as enforcement, aims to ensure compliance of financial information with applicable accounting standards.
The CSSF fulfils its enforcement diligences in accordance with the Transparency Law conferring upon the CSSF the power to control financial information published by issuers of securities governed by said law. Enforcement is, thus, a control ex post of financial information published by issuers.
The powers and penalties available to the CSSF as regards enforcement are set out in Articles 22, 25 and 26 of the Transparency Law.
Beyond the legal and regulatory requirements, the examination of the financial information contributes to the investors’ protection and confidence in the financial markets.
The enforcement process set up by the CSSF and which complies with ESMA guidelines specifies the implemented selection methods and examination types as well as the characteristics of the decisions available to the CSSF.
The enforcement process begins with the selection of the issuers which will be examined in the context of enforcement. The selection model applied is based on a mixed model whereby a risk-based approach is combined with a sampling and rotation approach. The risk-based approach adopted by the CSSF considers the risk of misstatements and the possible impact of such a misstatement on the financial markets.
In the context of its examination process, the CSSF identifies the most efficient way to enforce financial information. The examination programme, defined every year for the selected issuers, includes:
These examinations include direct and repeated contacts (meetings, exchange of mails and conference calls) with representatives of the issuer and/or its external auditor in order to analyse the most sensitive problems and issues and obtain information, documents and other objective evidence required to perform the examination. Some examinations may also lead to on-site inspections at the issuers concerned.
Following the examinations described above, the CSSF may conclude that a specific accounting treatment does not comply with the relevant financial reporting framework. The CSSF must then determine whether the misstatement is a material or immaterial departure from the financial reporting framework and if any relevant enforcement decisions should be taken accordingly. In case of a material misstatement, the CSSF may take one of the following measures, as laid down in Article 22 of the Transparency Law:
The CSSF notifies its decisions to the issuer appropriately, namely in the form of injunctions, recommendations and follow-up measures of the corrections or improvements of financial information proposed by the issuer itself.