Are you sitting comfortably?

Anne PlestedA few interested parties settled down on Monday afternoon to watch a live broadcast on EPTV from the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) – the first European Parliament open hearing on ‘MiFID Review: objectives for MiFID/MiFIR 2′.

This debate is part of the open decision-making procedure around the MiFID II draft legislation, published in October, and will take place over the next 6 to 9 months with the aim of agreeing a common position. Once agreed, authority is given for the legislation to be passed and enacted as law.

The meeting was billed as being attended by representatives of the financial industry and from the bodies pushing for stronger regulation but there were few in attendance, perhaps due to their requests being rejected!

The meeting was conducted by the rapporteur Markus Ferber (EPP, DE), who questioned the necessity of introducing a new trading category (OTF) in MiFID II. He called on all interested parties to respond to the ECON Committee questionnaire on MiFID II.

The key topics were: lessons learned since MiFID 2007; investor protection; and organisation of markets and trading.

There were calls for strengthening the enforcement of current rules and staying clear of over-regulation; clarification on the definition of OTC rather than the introduction of a new OTF category; and restricting HFT and speculative commodity derivatives trading.

The next debate is scheduled for 13th February 2012, exactly one month after the closing date for responses to the questionnaire.

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