For infosec the only way is global

With information security rapidly gaining prominence over the last few years legislators have jumped into action to improve safeguards and public confidence in IT systems. While information security concerns prevail across all industries, in financial services due regard for them is absolutely crucial to the maintenance of functioning markets. Just imagine CCPs losing data on their clients’ positions, or banks tweeting their clients’ accounts... Read More

Commodities ancillary test moves forward

The commodity derivatives ancillary test is easily one of the most complex pieces within MiFID II, making the double volume cap in equities look more like an amuse-bouche. The new test determines whether a firm’s dealing in commodity derivatives is merely an ancillary activity, allowing it to stay out of scope for MiFID II. Trying to summarise the test in a few simple slides highlights its convoluted nature. ESMA recently published its partial... Read More

A case for regulatory freeze?

Market participants are naturally worried about the immediate costs of regulation, some of them still uncertain about the future benefits. But with all the twists and turns on the road to regulatory change, meeting the requirements imposed by regulators is no easy task. Whatever the legislation, the politicians agree on the broad principles and set a go-live date and then the clock starts ticking to agree the finer details and deliver the software.... Read More

Putting MiFID II into practice

As firms march headlong towards 2018 the detailed implementation of MiFID II is well and truly underway. Even in the equities camp where MiFID II, remember, is an intended adjustment to existing rules, the practicalities of trade and transaction reporting mechanics are evolving. Whether ESMA ever envisaged such a complex campaign is debatable, but early advocates of splitting MiFID II up into more manageable chunks may not have been far off the mark.... Read More

Sometimes it’s tough being average

Back in March the CME Group postponed the effective date of amendments to Rule 553 (“Average Price System”) until July 2, 2018 to allow sufficient time for affected Exchange Clearing Member Firms and CME Clearing to make the necessary changes to implement the rule. CME Rule 553 permits a clearing member firm to calculate an average price for trades via its own internally developed average pricing system, rather than requiring the use of... Read More

The same, only different?

For MiFID II to work, the industry must have a clear understanding of what constitutes a single instrument. For cash products such as equity or debt this is straightforward, but in derivatives the concept of a single instrument isn’t really appropriate and things quickly get complicated. Looking ahead, it’s feasible that an OTF or SI offers trading in a bilateral cleared instrument which is similar to a centrally cleared instrument traded... Read More

The far reaches of reporting

Trade and transaction reporting rules under MiFID and EMIR can easily be confused, even though they have different requirements, different formats and, most importantly, different scopes. To recap, MiFID trade reporting is a short message to the public, intraday, for the purpose of price discovery; transaction reporting is a long message to the regulator, at the end of the day, for market surveillance purposes. In terms of scope, MiFID II restricts... Read More

MiFID II – a catalyst for innovation

Trading in auctions – in contrast to continuous matching – has long been poised to grow under MiFID II, due to the technicalities in the pre-trade transparency regime and its waivers. With the go-live date edging ever-closer, the regulation has become a catalyst for innovation instead of being merely a cost of doing business. Exchanges are currently rolling out new and pioneering trading services that are not only compliant, but that will... Read More

A division of labour for SIs?

The current debate between ESMA, the European Commission and market participants on the establishment of networks of systematic internalisers (SIs) is unsurprising given the amount of regulatory change and the potential for market innovation. Last week ESMA expanded on what’s behind its thinking on the topic in its most recent Q&A. ESMA’s objections to such networks are aimed squarely at back-to-back transaction agreements with other... Read More

MiFID II marches on

The last day in March represented a significant milestone on the crowded MiFID II timeline, with the remaining regulations and directives now finally published in the EU Official Journal. If you recall last year’s proposals for delaying implementation until January 2018, there were some far from subtle hints that the new deadline assumed the transpositions and relevant technical standards were delivered by mid-2016. Even with the finish line pushed... Read More

Is the regulatory WORM turning?

A week before President Trump’s inauguration the CFTC approved a proposal to amend the record keeping requirements contained in Regulation 1.31. The changes were an interesting precursor to the Trump administration’s call for a review of regulation in the financial services space. One of the significant changes in the proposal is the elimination of the requirement that electronic records be retained in a non-rewritable, non-erasable format,... Read More

No action sometimes better course of action

Implementing pan-European financial regulation is no easy feat. Finding agreement across 28 member states and translation into vastly differently legal systems is a true challenge. It comes as no surprise that those projects are regularly subject to delays. Against that backdrop, it is most welcome that ESMA is again requesting the power to issue a no-action letter like their international peers (think CFTC). This instrument would allow them to not... Read More

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