Unveiling the ESAP Technical Standards

The European Single Access Point (ESAP) is a flagship action of EU policymakers for improving access to centralized financial and sustainability information. The draft technical standards, which the European Supervisory Authorities published in mid-January 2024, outline the roles of data collection bodies as well as the ESAP-functions themselves. As Asset Managers navigate the complexities of ESAP compliance, embracing FundsXML as the data exchange standard can streamline processes, reduce errors, and enhance data quality.

Before delving into the synergy between FundsXML and ESAP, let’s briefly highlight some key aspects of the ESAP technical standards:

1.   Acceptable data formats: The technical standards specify selected formats for transferring machine-readable information. XML is an accepted format for the transfer of machine-readable information. 

2.   Automated validations: The technical standards emphasize the role of automated validations performed by the data collection bodies — a process intended to ensure data consistency and compliance. Where required, validations are to be performed regarding aspects such as the data format, metadata, and the Qualified Electronic Seal.

3.   Metadata requirements: Metadata plays a pivotal role in ESAP’s functionality, enabling efficient data retrieval and processing. The technical standards define the characteristics of the expected metadata (ANNEX I).

4. Qualified Electronic Seal (QES): QES shall ensure appropriate levels of authenticity of various ESAP-information. The technical standards mention three possible formats of seal be recognized within the EU. Among them, the XAdES (XML Advanced Electronic Seal) Baseline Profile underscores the increasing relevance of the XML format regulatory landscape. 

5. Open standard licences: The ESAP technical standards specify the open standard licenses that allow free use, modification, and sharing of that information by anyone and for any purpose. Creative Commons licenses are mentioned as examples of recommended licenses for making data available to ESAP.

FundsXML can enable ESAP compliance. Here is why:

Automated data validation: A core requirement of ESAP is the automated validation of data by national collection bodies. FundsXML can facilitates this process by enabling financial institutions to validate data before submission to national ESAP collection bodies.

Flexibility: FundsXML is maintained and updated by the FundsXML community, ensuring that the standard remains relevant and valuable in the face of evolving industry needs and regulatory requirements. Already now, by using FundsXML, Asset Managers can transfer fund documents such as the PRIIP KID and corresponding metadata in a consistent, structured data format. Given the ESAP regulation, the FundsXML format’s user-centric continuous development allows the creation of new custom XML data fields (tags). Regarding ESAP, the European FundsXML “Working Group on Content and Technique” is currently evaluating steps to incorporate necessary metadata and fund documents within the FundsXML schema.

Data Integrity: By empowering the usage of QES, the ESAP regulation stresses the importance of data authenticity. The FundsXML format allows for the usage of XML signatures, ensuring authenticity throughout the data exchange process.

Compliance with the ESAP regulation is not an option but a necessity. FundsXML can emerge as your ally in this journey.