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European Commission


Brussels, 26 June 2013

Statement by Commissioner Michel Barnier following today's agreement on European rules on market abuse

I welcome today's endorsement by Coreper of the political agreement between the Council and the European Parliament on tougher rules to better prevent, detect and punish market abuse. While key elements of the scope of the Market Abuse Regulation will need to be aligned with the political agreement on our related MIFID 2 proposals, it's my belief that we now have all the elements for a final agreement on this text which is essential for market integrity in Europe.

Today’s agreement is an important step in restoring investor confidence in the integrity of Europe’s financial markets. Following recent scandals on interest rate, commodity and currency benchmarks, investors will be reassured that manipulation of benchmarks is prohibited and subject to strict sanctions.

In recent years financial markets have become increasingly global, giving rise to new trading platforms and technologies. This unfortunately has also led to new possibilities to manipulate these markets. The new market abuse rules adapt EU rules to this new market reality, notably by extending their scope to financial instruments only traded on new platforms and over the counter (OTC), currently not covered by EU legislation, and adapting rules to new technology such as High Frequency Trading.

The manipulation of benchmarks, such as LIBOR, will be explicitly prohibited and subject to administrative sanctions. Market abuse occurring across both commodity and related derivative markets will be prohibited, and cooperation between financial and commodity regulators will be reinforced. A number of measures will be introduced to ensure regulators have access to the information they need to detect and sanction market abuse. Since the sanctions currently available to regulators often lack a deterrent effect, tougher and more harmonised sanctions will be introduced.

I would like to thank the rapporteur Arlene McCarthy and all the shadow rapporteurs, and the Irish Presidency for all their hard work to make this agreement possible. I would also like to pay tribute to the Polish, Danish and Cypriot Presidencies who made a great contribution to this positive outcome. I trust that the co-legislators will now formally endorse the political agreement as soon as possible. Along with my colleague Viviane Reding, I look forward to working with the Lithuanian Presidency and the European Parliament to conclude a trilogue agreement on criminal sanctions in the market abuse Directive, so that the package can enter into force along with the MIFID 2 proposals once those negotiations have been successfully concluded.”

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