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MiFID II - Keep the pedal to the metal 

November 18, 2015

FTSE Global Markets

ESMA has called for delays to the MiFID II implementation deadline. While some commentators have suggested this puts an end to the punishing timeline that the industry is currently wrestling with, things are rather more complicated, and an industry-wide sigh of relief may be premature. Anne Plested, head of EU Regulation Change Programme at Fidessa brings us all back into line.

First of all, ESMA cannot force a delay, that’s a decision for the European Commission (EC). Even if Steven Maijoor, ESMA’s Chair, has concerns around the “unfeasible” MiFID II calendar, the EC might not agree with his assessment. We had a similar situation in 2013 when ESMA asked for a delay to the EMIR trade reporting rules. Back then, the EC declined to sanction any extension of the implementation deadlines. For their pleas for a delay to succeed now, ESMA and the industry may need stronger arguments than those tabled to date, including concerns over the challenging timescales for their own readiness, and for financial market participants to build the necessary IT systems.

Given that it may now be several more months into 2016 before the text of the Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS) is officially ‘final’, ESMA’s view is that a 6-month implementation period is (at best) extremely tight. ESMA’s work on the collection of financial instrument reference data and trading data alone is a hefty project which Maijoor recognises as probably more multi-faceted than its MiFID I predecessor which took 3 years to implement. With this a key component to driving, amongst other things, new pre- and post-trade transparency rules, will the regulators themselves even be ready? Read more


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