On the 13th of March the European Banking Authority (hereinafter the “EBA”) by virtue of delivering on a mandate conferred by Markets in Crypto-Assets Regulation (hereinafter “MiCAR”) published its final draft of Regulatory Technical Standards (hereinafter “RTS”).

The European Securities and Markets Authority, European Banking Authority, and the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (hereinafter collectively “ESA”) had developed joint guidelines on complaints handling procedure with the aim of uniformity in all three financial sectors. These joint guidelines throughout developments in these three sectors did not require any revision; hence, the EBA followed these joint guidelines nearly verbatim when executing its mandate conferred by the MiCAR.

The MiCAR aims to provide a Union-level framework for markets in crypto-assets which provide specific rules, related services, and related activities which are not yet provided for by Union legislative acts on financial services. It entered into force on the 29th of June 2023 and its provisions pertaining to Asset-Referenced Tokens (hereinafter “ART”) shall apply from the 30th of June 2024.

The EBA, with consultation to the European Securities and Markets Authority (hereinafter “ESMA”), developed and aligned its RTS on complaints handling procedures of Issuers of Assets Referenced Tokens (hereinafter “IART”) to those developed by ESMA by virtue of its mandate also conferred by the MiCAR.

The alignment with ESMA’s RTS is one of significance especially because following the public consultation on the EBA’s RTS, requests emanated for closer alignment with ESMA’s RTS. The EBA welcomed these requests and benefited from a number of amendments promoting alignment. In addition to these amendments, there were also amendments in relation to the General Data Protection Regulation (hereinafter “GDPR”) as informally advised by the European Data Protection Supervisor (hereinafter “EDPS”).

The RTS supplements the MiCAR and provides for the following:

  1. Handling of complaints and complaints management policy and function;
  2. Provision of information to the holder of asset-referenced tokens and other interested parties;
  3. Templates and recording;
  4. Languages;
  5. Procedure to investigate complaints and communicate the outcome of the investigation to complainants; and
  6. Specific provisions for complaints handling involving third-party entities.

Moving forward, this final draft RTS will be submitted to the European Commission for endorsement by the 30th of June 2024; which will in turn face scrutiny by the European Parliament and the Council, and then be published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

Disclaimer This article is not intended to impart legal advice and readers are asked to seek verification of statements made before acting on them.
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