The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has published a consultation paper (CP20/12) in which it proposes to delay the introduction of the European Single Electronic Format (ESEF) requirements for annual reports in the UK.
Under the amended EU Transparency Directive, annual financial reports of companies which have securities listed on an EU regulated market must be published in accordance with the requirements of the ESEF for financial years beginning on or after 1 January 2020 (see our corporate update 2019/1). The FCA introduced DTR4.1.14R in the Transparency Rules to implement this requirement (see our corporate update 2020/1).
In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, the FCA is proposing to postpone the entry into force of the ESEF requirements by one year. Issuers would therefore be required to:
- publish their annual reports in XHTML web browser format and electronically tag their financial statements with effect from financial years beginning on or after 1 January 2021 (rather than 2020); and
- electronically tag the notes to financial statements for financial years beginning on or after 1 January 2023 (rather than 2022).
The proposals are contingent on the Brexit transition period ending on 31 December 2020, as it is only once the transition period ends that the FCA gains the ability to delay implementation.
The consultation closes on 28 August 2020.