ESMA stops short of a no-action letter

Having taken several years to get through the review of MiFID, it was interesting to hear from ESMA chair Steven Maijoor last week that there is an appetite to “explore the mechanisms to address regulatory adjustments in a flexible and agile manner”.

Neither national authorities nor ESMA have any tool like the ‘no-action letter’ employed in the US. Given that the rules may not be completely finalised until a year (possibly less) before the MiFID II January 2017 go-live date there will be huge implementation challenges. It’s good to know, then, that the regulator sees the need for extreme vigilance when monitoring for possible unintended consequences of the new regime. A ‘no-action’ mechanism could well prove necessary ahead and in the wake of MiFID II.

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