Company annual financial reporting in electronic format

We require all issuers who produce annual financial reports under our Disclosure, Guidance and Transparency Rules (DTRs) sourcebook to prepare, publish and file those reports in the correct electronic reporting format.

From 29 July 2023, issuers can find our requirements in new rules in DTR4.1, and guidance on generally accepted taxonomies in a new Technical Note in our Primary Markets Knowledge Base. These replace the onshored Technical Standard (the TD ESEF Regulation), which no longer applies but can still be viewed on the FCA’s handbook website.  


Our requirements on the electronic formatting of annual financial reports originated in the EU Technical Standard for the European single electronic reporting format (ESEF), which was onshored when the UK completed its withdrawal from the EU.

We have since revoked the onshored Technical Standard and relocated the substantive requirements directly into our DTR sourcebook. However, the substantive requirements for companies are unchanged. More information on the reasons for, and scope of, these changes can be found in our Consultation Paper CP23/2 and Handbook Notice 111.

Preparing annual financial reports in the correct electronic reporting format

Our rules generally apply to companies with transferable securities admitted to trading on UK regulated markets, although not all are in scope.

Issuers who are exempt from these requirements include:

  • Public sector issuers (DTR 4.4.1).
  • Issuers that exclusively issue debt securities admitted to trading, the denomination per unit of which is at least 100,000 euros (or an equivalent amount) (DTR 4.4.2).

To comply with DTR4.1:

  • Annual financial reports must be prepared in the XHTML web browser format. 
  • Group financials within those reports that have been prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) must be in the tagged, structured digital format using iXBRL tags selected from a generally accepted taxonomy. It is mandatory to tag the primary financial statements and the notes to those statements.

Publication and filing

Annual financial reports must be published and filed in the FCA’s National Storage Mechanism (NSM) (under DTR6.2.2R) in the correct electronic format.

Publishing and filing an annual financial report in *.pdf will not satisfy DTR4.1 but may be necessary to meet other, time sensitive obligations to release information. The NSM will accept an annual financial report in *.pdf if the submitter selects a different rule to file it against, but the report must also be filed in the correct electronic format to meet DTR4.1.

See more information and a step-by-step summary on filing annual financial reports in the NSM.

Issuers should be aware that DTR 6.2.3G, which allows issuers to meet their DTR 6.2.2R filing obligation by using a Primary Information Provider (PIP) to disseminate information, does not apply to the filing of electronically-prepared AFRs under DTR4.4.

Page updates

: Information changed Updated following publication of Handbook Notice 111 and Technical Note.
: Information added to highlight CP23/2 and minor amends
: Information changed updated brand colours
: Information added
: Information added Update on UKSEF 2022 added
: Information changed Page updated to reflect move from ESEF optional to mandatory