The ongoing COVID-19 outbreak presents multiple challenges to the financial sector worldwide. Across the European Union and the United Kingdom, governments and regional authorities have been working continuously as of the start of March 2020 to rollout various relief measures to support businesses and financial services that may be facing difficulty as a result of COVID-19.

In order to assist our clients in keeping up to date with regulators' positions, we have consolidated under this document the most relevant communications issued to date by EU and UK regulatory authorities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic with respect to capital markets and the banking and insurance regulated sectors.

In addition, where relevant in respect of each regulatory statement, this summary will be routinely updated to also include links to alert memoranda published by our firm, providing certain rolling analyses and our latest thinking in respect of the underlying regulatory changes.

This summary document will be updated at regular intervals as the COVID-19 emergency continues to evolve.


European Union

  • May 20, 2020: ESMA publishes statement calling for transparency on COVID-19 effects in half-yearly financial reports of listed issuers, highlighting the importance of providing relevant and reliable information also with regards to the past and expected future impact of COVID-19. (link)
  • May 18, 2020: ESMA notes non-renewal of short selling bans by Austrian FMA, Belgian FSMA, French AMF, Greek HCMC, Italian CONSOB and Spanish CNMV. (link)
  • May 14, 2020: ESMA publishes statement supporting the recommendations issued by the General Board of the European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB), which suggests that relevant NCAs across the European Union, coordinated by ESMA, undertake focused supervisory engagement with investment funds that have significant exposures to less liquid assets, focusing on corporate debt and real estate. In this context, ESMA also welcomes the ESRB public communication around the importance of the timely use of liquidity management tools by investment funds and insurers with exposures to less liquid assets. (link)
  • May 14, 2020: ESRB publishes recommendation on liquidity in the corporate bond and commercial paper markets, the procyclical impact of downgrades and implications for asset managers and insurers with a view to safeguard financial stability in light of COVID-19. (link)
  • May 14, 2020: ESRB announces first set of actions to address impact of COVID-19 on the financial system from a macroprudential perspective, including encouraging cooperation and information exchange between national fiscal and macroprudential authorities, focused supervisory engagement with investment funds, timely usage of liquidity management tools, pay-out restrictions and effective liquidity risk management. (link)
  • May 13, 2020: ESMA publishes Thematic Report on Collateralised Loan Obligations (CLOs) credit ratings in the EU, which includes an overview of CLO rating practices, identifies supervisory concerns, and highlights the impact of COVID-19 on CLO methodologies. (link)
  • May 11, 2020: ESMA updates COVID-19-dedicated webpage, emphasising its expectations for Credit Rating Agencies' (CRAs) business continuity and adherence to key regulatory requirements. ( link)
  • May 6, 2020: ESMA issues statement reminding investment firms of conduct of business obligations under MiFID (namely product governance, information disclosure, suitability and appropriateness) when providing services to retail investors. (link)
  • May 4, 2020: European Supervisory Authorities (EBA, EIOPA and ESMA - ESAs) publish joint draft Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS) to amend the Delegated Regulation on the risk mitigation techniques for non-centrally cleared OTC derivatives (bilateral margining), under the European Markets Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR). The report, which incorporates (in response to the COVID-19 outbreak) a one-year deferral of the two implementation phases of the bilateral margining requirements, replaces the version submitted to the Commission in December 2019. (link)
  • April 17, 2020: ESMA publishes new Q&A to provide guidance to issuers on the application of ESMA's guidelines on alternative performance measures in the context of COVID-19. The statement encourages issuers to use caution when adjusting Alternative Performance Measures (APMs) and when including new APMs to address the impact of COVID-19 and invites them to provide narrative information regarding the modifications made, the assumptions used, the impact of the pandemic and the planned countermeasures. (link)
  • April 15, 2020: ESMA issues positive opinions on the extension of short selling bans by Austrian FMA, Belgian FSMA, French AMF, Greek HCMC and Spanish CNMV - all currently set to remain in place until May 18, 2020. (link)
  • April 9, 2020: ESMA issues statement clarifying that fund managers are expected to exercise their best efforts in preparing and publishing annual and half-yearly reports within the relevant legislative deadlines, but clarifies that NCAs, to the extent possible, should not prioritise supervisory actions in respect of upcoming deadlines in light of the difficulties associated with COVID-19. (link)
  • April 9, 2020: ESMA clarifies that it, in coordination with NCAs, does not expect NCAs to prioritise supervisory actions against administrators and supervised contributors relating to the timeliness of fulfilling those audit requirements where audits are carried out by September 30, 2020. (link)
  • April 9, 2020: ESMA extends response date for consultation on MiFID II/MiFIR review report on the transparency regime for non-equity instruments and the trading obligation for derivatives to June 14, 2020. (link)
  • April 9, 2020: ESMA postpones publication dates for annual non-equity transparency calculations and quarterly systematic internaliser data for derivatives, ETCs, ETNs, emission allowances and structured finance products under MiFID II. (link)
  • April 6, 2020: ESMA publishes statistical report on the cost and performance of retail investment products in the EU, stressing that fund investors should be prepared to see significant negative impacts on their portfolios as an effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. (link)
  • April 2, 2020: ESMA updates its risk assessment to account for the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, highlighting signs of stress in the corporate and government bond markets and selected investment funds. ESMA predicts a prolonged period of risk to institutional and retail investors and very high risks across the whole of ESMA's remit. (link)
  • March 31, 2020: ESMA issues a statement to clarify and promote national coordinated action regarding the publication of best execution reports required under RTS 27 and 28 of MiFID II by execution venues and firms. (link)
  • March 30, 2020: ESMA extends to April 9, 2020 the deadline for applications to join the Securities and Markets Stakeholder Group (created for representing the interests of all types of financial markets stakeholders and set to begin its mandate in July 2020). (link)
  • March 27, 2020: ESMA confirms that the application date of the transparency calculations for equity instruments of April 1, 2020 remains unchanged. (link)
  • March 27, 2020: ESMA issues statement to promote coordinated action by National Competent Authorities regarding periodic information reporting for periods ending on December 31, 2019 or after. (link)
  • March 26, 2020: ESMA clarifies that securities finance transactions subject to back-loading under the Securities Finance Transactions Regulation are not expected to be prioritised by competent authorities in their supervision of counterparties. (link)
  • March 25, 2020: ESMA publishes guidance on the accounting implications of COVID-19. (link)
  • March 24, 2020: Committee of European Auditing Oversight Bodies publishes guidance on the accounting implications of COVID-19. (link)
  • March 23, 2020: ESMA issues positive opinion on net short positions ban by Austrian FMA. (link)
  • March 20, 2020: ESMA clarifies it does not expect competent authorities to prioritise supervision in relation to the new tick-size regime for systematic internalisers. (link)
  • March 20, 2020: ESMA clarifies that it still expects firms to consider what alternative steps can be taken to mitigate the risks relating to an inability to record relevant conversations due to exceptional scenarios created by the COVID-19 outbreak as required by MiFID II. (link)
  • March 19, 2020: ESMA issues positive opinions on net short positions bans by Belgian FSMA and Greek HCMC. (link)
  • March 19, 2020: ESMA publishes statement on its approach to Securities Finance Transactions Regulation implementation, in particular, on the requirements regarding the reporting start date and the registration of Trade Repositories. (link)
  • March 18, 2020: ESMA issues positive opinion on short selling ban by French AMF. (link)
  • March 17, 2020: ESMA issues positive opinion on short selling ban by Italian CONSOB. (link)
  • March 16, 2020: ESMA requires holders of net short positions in shares traded on EU regulated markets to report positions reaching or exceeding 0.1% of the issued share capital. (link)
  • March 11, 2020: ESMA publishes recommendations to financial market participants relating to business continuity planning, market disclosure, financial reporting and fund management in light of COVID-19. (link)


  • May 12, 2020: FSMA (Belgium) announces a deferral for investment service providers until September 1, 2020 to provide MiFID mapping data (link)
  • April 29, 2020: FSMA (Belgium) publishes an updated version of its Q&A of April 14, 2020 on COVID- 19 measures for listed companies. (link)
  • April 15, 2020: FSMA (Belgium) announces a renewal of the prohibition on short selling on shares admitted to trading on a Belgian trading venue (Euronext Brussels, Euronext Growth Brussels). (link)
  • April 14, 2020: FSMA (Belgium) publishes a Q&A clarifying applicable COVID-19 measures for listed companies (inside information, disclosure obligation, reporting obligations and organisation of general meetings). (link)
  • April 8, 2020: FSMA (Belgium) issues guidelines on the proper functioning of undertakings for collective investment during the COVID-19 crisis. (link)
  • March 24, 2020: FSMA (Belgium) publishes guidelines on the impact of COVID-19 for listed companies (inside information, disclosure obligation, deferred publication of annual reports and remote participation in general meetings). (link)
  • March 19, 2020: FSMA (Belgium) announces prohibition of short-selling and similar transactions on the regulated market of Euronext Brussels pursuant to Article 20 of EU Regulation no. 236/2012 of March 14, 2012 (SSR). (link)


  • May 20, 2020: AMF (France) gives guidance on the publication of half-yearly financial reports in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Such guidance accompanies the ESMA guidance published on May 20, 2020 and adapts it to the French context. (link)
  • May 18, 2020: AMF (France) suspends the exceptional measure taken on March 17, 2020 and renewed on April 14, 2020 imposing a ban on the creation of net short positions and on the increase of existing net short positions until May 18, 2020 due to the progressive normalization of risk indicators in the French market. (link)
  • May 5, 2020: AMF (France) updates its position on stress test for monetary funds in accordance with ESMA's guidelines of March 3, 2020 on stress test scenarios under the money market funds regulation. As the ESMA guidelines are based on data calibrated in 2019, the AMF calls the ESMA for a rapid update of its guidelines to take into account recent data and for the introduction of structural amendments to the stress tests scenarios in the context of the COVID-19 crisis. (link)
  • April 30, 2020: Robert Ophèle, the AMF Chairman (France), explains, at a remote press conference, the various measures taken in recent weeks to ensure the smooth functioning of the markets and the financial ecosystem as a whole during the coronavirus pandemic. (link)
  • April 27, 2020: AMF (France) publishes a study about the behaviour of retail investors on equity markets during the six weeks of high market volatility observed in February and March 2020. (link -link)
  • April 17, 2020: AMF (France) publishes a dedicated page regrouping COVID-19-related publications. (link)
  • April 17, 2020: AMF (France) updates its communication informing shareholders and listed companies of the exceptional measures adopted in relation to the holding of general meetings in the context of the COVID-19 crisis, and recommending that listed companies follow certain good practices. (link)
  • April 17, 2020: AMF (France) recalls certain principles applicable to listed companies for their quarterly communications to the market in the context of the COVID-19 crisis. (link)
  • April 15, 2020: AMF (France) publishes an FAQ to answer questions related to its decision to renew the ban on short positions dated April 14, 2020. (link)
  • April 14, 2020: AMF (France) adopts a decision renewing the ban on short positions as from April 17, 2020 until May 18, 2020. (link)
  • April 2, 2020: AMF (France) clarifies its communication dated March 19, 2020 about the various obligations arising from European legislation during the COVID-19 crisis, including audit trail, voice- recording obligations and transaction reporting. Whenever possible, for non-critical obligations, it grants deadline extensions to market participants. (link)
  • March 31, 2020: AMF (France) answers questions from management companies or professional associations on the continuity of portfolio management activities during the COVID-19 crisis. (link)
  • March 30, 2020: AMF (France) gives guidance on how to apply to the French context the principles set out in ESMA, EBA and IASB communications on the accounting implications of the economic support and relief measures adopted by EU Member States in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. (link)
  • March 30, 2020: AMF (France) sets forth its expectations regarding the publication of the annual and half-yearly financial statements in the context of the COVID-19 crisis. (link)
  • March 27, 2020: AMF (France) details the exceptional measures taken for the organisation of 2020 general meetings and recommends that listed companies follow certain good practices to ensure appropriate information of shareholders in the context of the COVID-19 crisis. (link)
  • March 25, 2020: AMF (France) answers investors' questions about the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the financial markets and on their investments. (link)
  • March 24, 2020: AMF (France), following its ban on net short positions in equities (applicable from March 18 until April 16, 2020), provides certain practical answers to investors. (link)
  • March 23, 2020: AMF (France), following its announcement concerning the ban on net short positions in equities (applicable from March 18 until April 16, 2020), explains the ban's consequences for retail investors. (link)
  • March 23, 2020: AMF (France) recalls and completes its communication of February 28, 2020 concerning universal registration document filings and permanent disclosure rules that apply to listed companies in the context of the COVID-19 crisis. (link)
  • March 19, 2020: AMF (France) clarifies its expectations for the continuity of market activity during the coronavirus outbreak and states that, whenever possible, for non-critical obligations, it shall grant time extensions to market participants. (link)
  • March 18, 2020: AMF (France) informs management companies that due to the context of the COVID-19 crisis its staff will be limited. AMF confirms that it has organised itself in such a way as to be able to pursue its mission and ensure continuity in the processing of files relating to asset management. (link)
  • March 17, 2020: AMF (France) announces a one-month ban on short positions. Considering the COVID- 19 crisis and its impact on the economy and financial markets in France, AMF prohibits with immediate effect any new creation of a net short position and any increase in an existing position. (link)
  • March 17, 2020: AMF (France) announces a temporary ban on short selling of certain equities. The ban, with immediate effect, applies as of March 17, 2020 and concerns 92 securities. (link)
  • March 12, 2020: AMF (France) calls again on listed companies to assess the consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak and to consider appropriate and timely communication to financial markets. (link)
  • March 10, 2020: AMF (France) reminds financial market entities of their audit trail and voice-recording obligations, and states that firms are expected to take the appropriate steps to ensure these requirements are complied with even in a potentially deteriorated operational environment brought about by the geographical separation of staff in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak. (link)
  • February 28, 2020: AMF (France) calls on listed companies to evaluate the consequences of the COVID- 19 epidemic on their business and to consider the opportunity to issue a specific communication related thereto ahead of the publication of their annual reports. (link)


  • May 15, 2020: CONSOB (Italy) interrupts temporary ban on short selling, effective as of 11:59 p.m. of May 18, 2020. (link)
  • April 29, 2020: CONSOB (Italy) issues FAQ providing additional clarifications regarding listed companies' shareholder meetings. (link)
  • April 17, 2020: CONSOB (Italy) issues a new three-month ban on short selling and associated Q&A compilation. (link-link)
  • April 15, 2020: CONSOB (Italy) extends to May 11, 2020 the suspension of all procedural terms applicable to proceedings before the Arbiter for Financial Disputes (ACF) in the context of COVID-19. (link)
  • April 15, 2020: CONSOB (Italy) extends to May 15, 2020 the suspension of procedural terms applicable to administrative and sanction proceedings. (link)
  • April 14, 2020: Having considered ESMA's statement of April 9, 2020 on the publication of period reports by fund managers, CONSOB and the Bank of Italy issue a joint statement confirming that Italian UCITS ("organismi collettivi di investimento in valori mobiliari" - OICVM) and alternative investment funds (fondi alternativi di investimento) are nevertheless expected to comply with their reporting obligations within the deadlines required pursuant to national law. (link)
  • April 10, 2020: CONSOB (Italy) issues statement reminding listed companies of the tools available for holding remote shareholder meetings, pursuant to Law-Decree no.18/2020 (so-called "Cura Italia"). (link)
  • April 9, 2020: CONSOB (Italy) lowers threshold applicable to mandatory disclosure on objectives linked to the acquisition of equity interests in Italian listed companies. (link)
  • April 9, 2020: following its decision of March 17, 2020, CONSOB (Italy) lowers once again the threshold for mandatory disclosure of holdings in Italian listed companies. (link)
    For more information, please refer to the alert memos prepared by Cleary Gottlieb on April 9 and April 16, 2020
  • April 9, 2020: CONSOB (Italy), in line with ESMA's public statements of March 11, 25 and 27, 2020, issues a call for attention on financial disclosures. (link)
  • April 9, 2020: CONSOB (Italy) issues a warning about risks of fraudulent initiatives taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic. (link)
    For more information, please refer to the alert memo prepared by Cleary Gottlieb on April 9, 2020
  • March 12 to 25, 2020: CONSOB (Italy) extends certain procedural terms applicable to the filing of communication of certain information by issuers and funds. (link -link -link -link -link)
  • March 17, 2020: CONSOB (Italy) issues temporary ban on short selling. (link)
  • March 17, 2020: CONSOB (Italy) lowers threshold applicable to mandatory disclosure in holdings of Italian listed companies. (link)
    For more information, please refer to the alert memo prepared by Cleary Gottlieb on March 20, 2020

United Kingdom

  • May 19, 2020: FCA publishes announcement on expiration of short selling bans by Austrian FMA, Belgium FSMA, French AMF, Greek HCMC and Spanish CNMV and termination of short selling ban by Italian CONSOB. (link)
  • May 11, 2020: FCA publishes update following UK Prime Minister's statement on May 10, 2020, confirming that there are no changes to its approach on identifying key works and responsibilities of senior managers. (link)
  • May 7, 2020: FCA announces launch of Financial Services Regulatory Forum's "Regulatory Initiatives Grid," designed to help financial firms prepare for upcoming regulatory work and assist firms stretched by the impact of COVID-19. (link)
  • May 6, 2020: FCA extends maximum period regulated firms can arrange for cover for a Senior Manager without approval in a consecutive 12-month period from 12 weeks to 36 weeks. (link)
  • April 21, 2020: FCA acknowledges impact cancellation of professional qualification exams may have on firms' ability to ensure compliance with employees' qualification requirements. ( link)
  • April 20, 2020: FCA issues clarification statement concerning wet-ink signatures at the time of COVID-19. (link)
  • April 17, 2020: FCA updates statement on expectations on financial resilience for FCA solo-regulated firms in light of COVID-19 on capital and liquidity buffers, wind-down plans, distributions and expected credit loss estimates. (link)
  • April 16, 2020: FCA clarifies expectation that firms should comply with new currency conversion transparency requirements as soon as possible, but confirms that it will take a reasonable approach to enforcement in light of the impact of COVID-19. ( link)
  • April 15, 2020: FCA clarifies that authorised fund managers may allow unitholders or potential investors to use paper-based and manual processes to deal in units in authorised funds where necessary in light of COVID-19. ( link)
  • April 8, 2020: FCA welcomes joint statement by Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) and International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) announcing 1-year deferral of the September 2020 and September 2021 phase-ins of the global initial margin requirements for non-centrally cleared derivatives. (link)
  • April 8, 2020: FCA announces certain additional primary market measures aimed at aiding small and large listed companies in issuing new share capital during the COVID-19 crisis. (link)
  • April 6, 2020: FCA summarises its position on certain client assets (CASS) compliance queries in light of the disruption caused by COVID-19. (link)
  • April 6, 2020: FCA publishes its business plan for 2020/21, detailing its business priorities for the year ahead with a specific focus on the challenges presented by COVID-19 and stating that emphasis will be placed on ensuring financial service businesses provide employees and customers with sufficient support. (link)
  • April 6, 2020: FCA updates statement on its expectations of funds in light of COVID-19, detailing its extension for annual and half-yearly fund reports, approval of virtual general meetings and electronic signatures, and ensuring compliance with limits on value-at-risk (VAR). (link)
  • April 6, 2020: FCA extends deadlines to publish fund reports and accounts by two months for annual reports and one month for half-yearly reports. (link)
  • April 3, 2020: PRA and FCA release joint statement providing some flexibility with respect to Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SM&CR) obligations for dual-regulated firms. (link)
  • April 3, 2020: FCA releases statement providing some flexibility with respect to SM&CR obligations for solo-regulated firms. (link)
  • April 3, 2020: HM Treasury expands Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) to include all viable small businesses (in addition to those unable to secure regular commercial financing). Under the enlarged scheme, no personal guarantees can be requested by lenders for loans under £25,000. A new Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) is also announced enabling banks to make loans of up to £25 million to firms with an annual turnover of between £45 and £500 million. (link)
    For more information, please refer to the alert memo prepared by Cleary Gottlieb on April 27, 2020
  • March 31, 2020: FCA pushes to October 1, 2020 the calls for input and closure dates applicable to several public consultations, including on the use of wholesale data, on open finance, on exchange-traded bond listings, on proposals to enhance climate change-related financial disclosures by listed issuers and on new requirements to strengthen operational resilience in the financial services sector. (link)
  • March 31, 2020: In alignment with ESMA's decision of March 16, 2020, FCA requires reporting of net short positions reaching or exceeding 0.1% of the issued share capital, effective as of April 6, 2020. (link)
  • March 31, 2020: FCA issues Dear CEO letter to firms providing services to retail investors, clarifying its approach on a number of issues impacted by COVID-19, including client identity verification, best execution and flexibility over 10% depreciation notifications on retail client accounts that include leveraged investments. (link)
  • March 27, 2020: FCA and the Payment Systems Regulator announce their support for the UK Competition and Markets Authority's guidance relating to business cooperation, where aimed at guaranteeing essential services to consumers in the context of the current COVID-19 emergency. (link) Further information on the CMA's guidance can be foundhere.
  • March 26, 2020: FRC publishes joint statement with FCA and PRA relating to the timely dissemination of accurate information to investors and other stakeholders in the capital markets. Listed companies have been given a 2-month extension on audited annual financial reporting deadlines. (link)
  • March 26, 2020: FCA announces it expects financial resilience from FCA solo-regulated firms, and its intention to provide flexibility to ensure firms continue operating amid the challenges of COVID-19. (link)
  • March 26, 2020: FCA announces an additional two months for listed companies to publish their audited financial statements, confirms the moratorium requested from companies in relation to preliminary statements will end on 5 April 2020, and announces that issuers required to publish their annual financial reports within four months of their financial year end (DTR4) will not be subject to a suspension of their securities nor will the FCA take steps to suspend their listing for failure to do so, provided that they publish their results within six months of their financial year-end. (link)
  • March 26, 2020: FCA, FRC and PRA jointly release a series of measures in response to the effects of COVID-19, including a change to reporting timetables for listed companies, postponement of auditor tenders and auditor partner rotation and an extension of reporting deadlines for public sector bodies. (link)
  • March 26, 2020: FCA aligns itself with ESMA regarding the backloading requirement under the Securities Financing Transactions Regulation. (link)
  • March 25, 2020: FCA notes that there has been an impact on the timing of some aspects of the LIBOR transition programmes for many firms due to COVID-19. (link)
  • March 25, 2020: FCA updates its guidance for mortgage lenders, mortgage administrators, home purchase providers and home purchase administrators in light of COVID-19. (link)
  • March 23, 2020: FCA confirms it has not introduced short selling bans but continues to follow such bans which have been introduced by some European countries. (link)
  • March 23, 2020: FRC supports the two-week moratorium requested by the FCA on the publication of preliminary financial statements. (link)
  • March 22, 2020: FCA releases questions and answers in response to the moratorium on preliminary financial statements. (link)
  • March 21, 2020: FCA requests companies intending to publish their preliminary statement of accounts to delay publication by at least two weeks. (link)
  • March 20, 2020: FCA publishes steps firms should take to help identify key workers in financial services. (link)
  • March 20, 2020: FRC publishes guidance on market disclosures during the COVID-19 emergency. (link)
  • March 18, 2020: FCA releases statement acknowledging that fair and reasonable valuations of commercial real estate (CRE) funds cannot be established due to material uncertainty as determined by Standing Independent Valuers and noting that suspension of dealings in CRE funds is likely to be in the best interests of fund investors in the current situation. (link)
  • March 17, 2020: FCA publishes the 27th edition of the Primary Market Bulletin providing key commentary for issuers and market participants in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. (link)
  • March 17, 2020: FCA launches a COVID-19 dedicated page to provide information and updates on its responses and guidance for firms. (link)
    For more information, please refer to the alert memo prepared by Cleary Gottlieb on March 23, 2020
  • March 16, 2020: FRC publishes guidance on audit issues arising from COVID-19 including issues pertaining to risk assessment, prospects of an audited company and the adequacy of disclosures. (link)
  • March 4, 2020: FCA releases a statement on the ongoing consultations with the financial services sector to ensure an effective response to COVID-19. (link)

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Originally published May 24, 2020

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