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Brussels, 15 April 2014
More transparent and safer financial markets: European Commission welcomes European Parliament vote on updated rules for Markets in Financial Instruments (MiFID II)
The European Parliament today adopted in plenary session updated rules for markets in financial instruments (MiFID II).
Internal Market and Services Commissioner Michel Barnier said: “I welcome today’s adoption of MiFID II by the European Parliament. Our legislation needs to keep pace with the changes in financial markets and implement our G20 commitments. The new rules will improve the way markets function in order to serve the real economy. They will establish a safer, more transparent and more responsible financial system and restore investor confidence in the wake of the financial crisis. I would like to congratulate the European Parliament - especially the rapporteur, Markus Ferber, and the shadow rapporteurs - for their hard work and commitment on this important file."
Key elements of the new legislation:
(1) MiFID II introduces a market structure framework which closes loopholes and ensures that trading, wherever appropriate, takes place on regulated platforms. To this end, it subjects shares and non-equity instruments to a trading obligation. It further ensures that investment firms operating an internal matching system which executes client orders in shares, depositary receipts, exchange-traded funds, certificates and other similar financial instruments on a multilateral basis have to be authorised as a Multilateral trading facility (MTF). It also introduces a new multilateral trading venue, the Organised Trading Facility (OTF), for non-equity instruments to trade on organised multilateral trading platforms.
These rules ensure a level playing field with Regulated Markets (RMs) and MTFs. The neutrality of OTF operators is ensured through restrictions on the use of own capital, including matched principal trading, and discretion in their execution policy. MiFID II introduces a trading obligation for shares as well as a trading obligation for derivatives which are eligible for clearing under the European Markets Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR) (MEMO/12/232) and are sufficiently liquid. This will move trading in these instruments onto multilateral and well regulated platforms in accordance with the G20 commitments.
(2) MIFID II increases equity market transparency and for the first time establishes a principle of transparency for non-equity instruments such as bonds and derivatives. For equities a double volume cap mechanism limits the use of reference price waivers and negotiated price waivers (4% per venue cap and 8% global cap) together with a requirement for price improvement at the mid-point for the former. Large-in-scale waivers and order management waivers remain the same as under MiFID I. MiFID II also broadens the pre- and post-trade transparency regime to include non-equity instruments, although in view of the specificities of non-equity instruments, pre-trade transparency waivers are available for large orders, request for quote and voice trading. Post trade transparency is provided for all financial instruments with the possibility of deferred publication or volume masking as appropriate.
Rules have also been established to enhance the effective consolidation and disclosure of trading data through the obligation for trading venues to make pre- and post-trade data available on a reasonable commercial basis and through the establishment of a consolidated tape mechanism for post-trade data. These rules are accompanied by the establishment of approved reporting mechanism (ARM) and authorised publication arrangement (APA) for trade reporting and publication.
(3) To meet the G20 commitments, MiFID II provides for strengthened supervisory powers and a harmonised position-limits regime for commodity derivatives to improve transparency, support orderly pricing and prevent market abuse. Under this system competent authorities will impose limits on positions in accordance with a methodology for calculation set by the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA). It also introduces a position-reporting obligation by category of trader. This will help regulators and market participants to have better information on the functioning of these markets.
(4) A new framework will improve conditions for competition in the trading and clearing of financial instruments. This is essential for the integration of efficient and safe EU capital markets. For this purpose, MiFID II establishes a harmonised EU regime for non-discriminatory access to trading venues and central counterparties (CCPs).Smaller trading venues and newly established CCPs will benefit from optional transition periods. The non-discriminatory access regime will also apply to benchmarks for trading and clearing purposes. Transitional rules will ensure the smooth application of these provisions.
(5) MiFID II will introduce trading controls for algorithmic trading activities which have dramatically increased the speed of trading and can cause systemic risks. These safeguards include the requirement for all algorithmic traders to be properly regulated and to provide liquidity when pursuing a market-making strategy. In addition, investment firms which provide direct electronic access to a trading venue will be required to have in place systems and risk controls to prevent trading that may contribute to a disorderly market or involve market abuse.
(6) Stronger investor protection is achieved by introducing better organisational requirements, such as client asset protection or product governance, which also strengthen the role of management bodies. The new regime also provides for strengthened conduct rules such as an extended scope for the appropriateness tests and reinforced information to clients. Independent advice is clearly distinguished from non-independent advice and limitations are imposed on the receipt of commissions (inducements). MiFID II also introduces harmonised powers and conditions for ESMA to prohibit or restrict the marketing and distribution of certain financial instruments in well-defined circumstances and similar powers for the European Banking Authority (EBA) in the case of structured deposits. Concerning Packaged Retail Investment Products (PRIPS), the new framework also covers structured deposits and amends the Insurance Mediation Directive (IMD) to introduce some rules for insurance-based investment products.
(7) The agreement strengthens the existing regime to ensure effective and harmonised administrative sanctions. The use of criminal sanctions is framed so as to ensure the cooperation between authorities and the transparency of sanctions. A harmonised system of strengthened cooperation will improve the effective detection of breaches of MIFID.
(8) A harmonised regime for granting access to EU markets for firms from third countries is based on an equivalence assessment of third-country jurisdictions by the Commission. The regime applies only to the cross-border provision of investment services and activities provided to professional and eligible counterparties. For a transitional period of three years and pending equivalence decisions by the Commission, national third-country regimes continue to apply.
Following today's vote in plenary, MiFID II must be formally adopted by the Council. The publication of the new rules in the Official Journal of the European Union is foreseen for the second quarter of 2014 with entry into application 30 months later.
In October 2011, the European Commission tabled proposals to revise the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II) with the aim of making financial markets more efficient, resilient and transparent, and to strengthen the protection of investors (see IP/11/1219).A political agreement between the European Parliament and the Council endorsing the Commission proposal was reached on 14 January 2014 (MEMO/14/15). MIFID II is accompanied by the Regulation on insider dealing and market manipulation (i.e. market abuse) (“MAR”) and the Directive on criminal sanctions for market abuse (“CSMAD”) which were adopted by the European Parliament respectively, on 10 September 2013 and 4 February 2014 and by the Council on 14 April (IP/14/424).
See also MEMO/14/305