Article 25i — Procedural rules for taking supervisory measures and imposing fines
- Where, in carrying out its duties under this Regulation, ESMA finds that there are serious indications of the possible existence of facts liable to constitute one or more of the infringements listed in Annex III, ESMA shall appoint an independent investigation officer within ESMA to investigate the matter. The appointed officer shall not be involved or have been directly or indirectly involved in the recognition or supervision process of the CCP concerned and shall perform his or her functions independently from ESMA.
- The investigation officer shall investigate the alleged infringements, taking into account any comments submitted by the persons who are subject to the investigations, and shall submit a complete file with his or her findings to ESMA.
In order to carry out his or her tasks, the investigation officer may exercise the power to request information in accordance with Article 25f and to conduct investigations and on-site inspections in accordance with Articles 25g and 25h. When using those powers, the investigation officer shall comply with Article 25e.
Where carrying out his or her tasks, the investigation officer shall have access to all documents and information gathered by ESMA in its activities.
- Upon completion of his or her investigation and before submitting the file with his or her findings to ESMA, the investigation officer shall give the persons subject to the investigations the opportunity to be heard on the matters being investigated. The investigation officer shall base his or her findings only on facts on which the persons concerned have had the opportunity to comment.
The rights of the defence of the persons concerned shall be fully respected during investigations under this Article.
- When submitting the file with his or her findings to ESMA, the investigation officer shall notify that fact to the persons who are subject to the investigations. The persons subject to the investigations shall be entitled to have access to the file, subject to the legitimate interest of other persons in the protection of their business secrets. The right of access to the file shall not extend to confidential information or ESMA's internal preparatory documents.
- On the basis of the file containing the investigation officer's findings and, when requested by the persons concerned, after having heard the persons subject to the investigations in accordance with Article 25l, ESMA shall decide if one or more of the infringements listed in Annex III have been committed by the persons who have been subject to the investigations and, in such a case, shall take a supervisory measure in accordance with Article 25q and impose a fine in accordance with Article 25j.
- The investigation officer shall not participate in ESMA's deliberations or in any other way intervene in ESMA's decision-making process.
- The Commission shall adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 82 to specify further the rules of procedure for the exercise of the power to impose fines or periodic penalty payments, including provisions on the rights of the defence, temporal provisions, and the collection of fines or periodic penalty payments, and the limitation periods for the imposition and enforcement of penalties.
- ESMA shall refer matters to the appropriate authorities for investigation and possible criminal prosecution where, in carrying out its duties under this Regulation, it finds that there are serious indications of the possible existence of facts that it knows to be liable to constitute a criminal offence under the applicable third-country legal framework. In addition, ESMA shall refrain from imposing fines or periodic penalty payments where it is aware that a prior acquittal or conviction arising from identical fact or facts which are substantially the same has already acquired the force of res judicata as the result of criminal proceedings under national law.