Tumbling down the rabbit hole

With much of the MiFID II Level 2 text close to being finalised, the markets continue to dive even deeper into the details and home in on Level 3 material, such as the Q&As and ESMA guidelines. One such detail lies in the phrase “traded on a trading venue” which is used in MiFIR to define instrument scope for topics such as pre- and post-trade transparency, systematic... Read More

RegAT – round 2

Regulation AT forges ahead, this time with a Round 2 panel convened on June 10th at which the CFTC focused the discussion on five major sticking points: 1. Amendments to the proposed definition of direct electronic access (DEA) 2. Quantitative measures to establish the population of persons 3. Alternatives to require each person defined as an “AT Person” to implement and utilize... Read More

CFTC keeps source on the menu

Open commentary for Regulation AT is now officially over, and while the CFTC mulls over the mostly cautious responses there is some time to reflect on how best to prepare for enforcement of the rules. However, the loftiest piece of proposed legislation in the carte de jour isn’t about futures or traders at all, but the underlying source code of the systems associated with them,... Read More

All ‘ayes’ on RegAT

Last week, following an open meeting on the subject, the CFTC’s motion to move forward with its proposed Regulation on Automating Trading (RegAT) was passed unanimously by 3 to 0. Following a brisk set of opening remarks by Commissioners Bowen and Giancarlo, and a statement by Chairman Massad, the Division of Market Oversight valiantly attempted to present a case for the CFTC... Read More

Flagging on the road to transparency

With its aim of increasing transparency around execution quality, under the current draft technical standards MiFID II will require investment firms to provide an annual execution quality report that states, for the top five execution venues, the share of passive and aggressive orders executed by the broker. In many cases the exchange provides a passive/aggressive flag on the trade... Read More

Change is the only constant

The unbundling of payment for research is a top concern for the industry. There seems to be general acceptance that, one way or another, Europe is set on the soft dollar research market becoming a hard dollar one by January 2017. Despite calls for more clarity and the recent publication of the FCA discussion paper on the regime, opinion remains divided as to how the use of CSAs... Read More

Holding a steady course

Having spent the last three months buried under a deluge of MiFID II consultation pages, the real world looked quite different when I came up for air recently. Since ESMA published the consultation back in December, Greece has elected a new prime minister, Star Trek has sadly lost the original Mr Spock, Madonna fell off a stage and a whole new season of House of Cards is available... Read More

No time for sentimentality

Whether it’s Windows 8, OS X 10.10 or Android 5, modern life beats to the drum of big software releases. Since any new EU regulation includes an automatic review clause, financial markets legislation is already following a similar pattern. With the ink barely dry on ESMA’s latest technical advice and consultation for MiFID II, it’s not a question of if we’ll... Read More

Hedging swaps with futures: a thing of the past?

As the industry continues to speculate on the trajectory of the swaps market, what’s in store for the final package trade exemption expiring on November 15, 2014, when packages consisting of swaps against futures (so-called ‘invoice spreads’) must be traded on a SEF? The problem with invoice spreads is that the futures component (typically treasury note futures)... Read More

History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme

While I’m not suggesting that history is repeating itself, there are certainly some interesting similarities between MiFID I and II. With its focus firmly on equity markets MiFID I saw a number of new ventures (Chi-X, BATS, Turquoise, Quote MTF, NYSE Arca Europe and others) line up to capture a share of the European markets. With MiFID II now encompassing derivatives markets... Read More

What role for OTFs?

Last week the CFTC published another no-action letter with respect to trading swaps on a European MTF. At the heart of the discussion is the question of whether European MTFs can be considered as equivalent to US SEFs. Given that a number of banks within the scope of Dodd-Frank also need to trade swaps within Europe, this is an important issue. In Europe, the discussion around swaps... Read More

Prepare yourself, MiFID II has arrived!

Yesterday the Council of the European Union published the long-awaited texts for MiFID II and MiFIR as agreed by the Council and the Parliament on 14th January. Whilst the texts are still subject to ECON and Plenary votes in March and April, and the Commission has some outstanding concerns about the derivatives rules, it’s likely we will all have to implement the rules outlined... Read More

SEF and agency make a perfect MATch

From next Tuesday, February 18th, US market participants will be required to trade fixed-floating interest rate swaps denominated in dollars or euros for standard benchmark tenors on a SEF. Long part of Dodd-Frank’s Title VII statute, this trade execution mandate now comes about and follows the CFTC’s certification of Javelin’s MAT submission last month. During... Read More

The whole package

The CFTC continues to approve MAT self-certifications, most recently Tradeweb’s. Arguably the certified products are fairly standard, but in certifying Javelin’s MAT submission the Commission left the door open for package transactions to be caught up in the trade execution mandate. The industry (notably the Managed Funds Association in its comments to the Commission)... Read More

Keeping SEF doors open

The CFTC has come out strongly in defence of the open, impartial nature of SEFs, as envisioned by Dodd-Frank. In a letter issued last Thursday it warns SEFs not to use “enablement mechanisms” to control access to their markets, or to control which participants interact with one another on their platforms. It also warns against engaging in “prohibited discriminatory... Read More

Get with the programme

Electronic trading of swaps will soon be mandatory and industry participants need to get ready. Javelin kicked off the process on October 18th, filing its MAT (Made Available to Trade) submission with the CFTC for a broad range of interest rate swaps, including spot and forward starting swaps and variable notional swaps, with tenors ranging from 1 month to 51 years. Or, as one participant... Read More

Swaps regulation arrives – with a bang and a whimper

The swaps industry has for some time been fixated on October 2nd, the final date for compliance with SEF rules. But really the key date for market participants is when MAT (the “made available to trade” rule) kicks in and that, according to the industry consensus, is not likely to be before February 2014. With many of the 19 new SEFs only submitting their applications... Read More

Looking through the CFTC’s prism

The CFTC’s recent Concept Release on Risk Controls and System Safeguards for Automated Trading Environments represents a watershed moment for US derivatives markets, setting the stage for a new regulatory approach to electronic trading. The CFTC’s role and powers have already been greatly enhanced, post-Dodd-Frank, through a combination of the new market abuse powers,... Read More

A lose-lose situation?

There are currently 15 SEF applications lodged with the US CTFC at various stages of registration. With experience in other asset classes showing that while many new entrants may emerge only a few will succeed, many in the industry are wondering which of these new SEFs will make it beyond their first birthday. Even for those that do survive there’s no guarantee of a profitable... Read More

Next Stop St. Petersburg

Back in 2009, in the wake of the financial Armageddon, world leaders pledged in their G20 commitment in Pittsburgh that all standardised OTC derivative contracts should be traded on a platform and centrally cleared by the end of 2012. Fast forward four years and the next G20 summit takes place in St. Petersburg, Russia at the end of this week – the first meeting since the... Read More

If it looks like a duck…

Dividing derivatives contracts into over-the-counter and exchange-traded would seem to be a simple task, but this is far from true. Thanks to EMIR’s definition of ‘on-exchange‘, contracts that are traded on anything other than a regulated market (RM) will be considered OTC regardless of whether they are traded on an MTF or are economically equivalent to the on-exchange... Read More

Uncertainty abides amidst a flurry of CFTC activity

It’s a busy – not to mention dramatic and uncertain – time for U.S. derivatives regulation. Consider the milestone of final SEF rules and yesterday’s “Category 2″ clearing deadline. Consider, too, the on-going uncertainty as to the pending expiration of the exemptive relief on Dodd-Frank’s cross border rules (also known as ‘extra-territoriality,... Read More

Half a job

MiFID, the mother of all European financial regulation, rumbles on and on. The European Commission’s MiFID II consultation in 2011, the Ferber Report in March 2012, and the European Parliament vote in October 2012 were all highly anticipated and widely reported on. But despite the fact that the Council of Ministers has published more than 20 different drafts during the Cyprus... Read More

Time to get comfortable with SEFs

The CFTC’s 29th meeting on Dodd-Frank rules, held in Washington, D.C. on May 16th, has been widely covered in the financial press. Final SEF (Swap Execution Facility) rules – including the so-called “Made Available to Trade” (MAT) rule – and minimum block sizes for swaps (among other rules) were approved by the Commission. Despite controversy, it’s... Read More

Buy-side steps up

With financial markets focused firmly on risk reduction – a key priority for the G20 – the buy-side is turning its attention to the issue of counterparty risk. This parallels well with the OTC clearing requirements set out in the Dodd-Frank Act. In a reaction to the perceived risk inherent in trading leveraged instruments without adequate safeguards, the regulators stepped... Read More

Swap your workflow

We’ve discussed the current course of regulatory change, specifically Dodd-Frank here in the States, and alluded to the “total set of changes the derivatives industry is going to go through”. But one thing is clear, the interrelationships between buy-sides, sell-sides (FCMs and swaps dealers, executing and clearing brokers) and CCPs is going to get increasingly... Read More

Stop/start for Dodd-Frank’s swaps rules

The Dodd-Frank Act, nearly three years old this summer, continues its slow, inexorable pace of implementation. In some respects, the financial landscape has changed unequivocally; in others, the final results of change remain to be seen, as the industry awaits additional rulemaking. Most of the current regulatory milestones impact only participants in the OTC swaps markets, but... Read More

Extraterritoriality agreement – maybe today, maybe tomorrow…

Extraterritoriality agreements for cross-border OTC derivatives have been hotly debated for a while now, but there have been few visible signs of progress in recent months. Last week the Chairman of the US SEC, Elisse Walter, presented her views on the complex area of equivalence and reciprocity. In her speech she referred to the problems that domestic regulators would face if forced... Read More

If it moves, tax it!

The proposal for a Directive implementing enhanced co-operation in the area of financial transaction tax (aka the EU FTT), with its eye-wateringly broad scope, will have to be churned through the legislation mills PDQ if it’s to meet its overly ambitious timeline. The would-be tax applies to all transactions where a counterparty is established in one of the 11 participating... Read More

Italian uncertainty continues

On 21st February, just days before Italy’s general election, Economy and Finance Minister Grilli signed the application decree for the Italian Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) ahead of its effective date of 1st March. Arguably, the decree is in breach of another Italian law, the “Statuto dei diritti del contribuente” (Statute of taxpayers’ rights, Law 212/2000),... Read More

La bozza del decreto

Italy’s Ministry of Economy and Finance published a draft of the decree for the Italian Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) just after the 31st January deadline imposed by the law (for an English translation visit our Raw material section). The decree sheds light on most of the dark corners left by the bill, detailing how charges are to be calculated, who is responsible for their... Read More

Better consult…

Drafting new legislation is difficult and consulting the industry beforehand is sensible. Granted, where financial transaction taxes (FTT) are concerned this is tricky because no practitioner has anything good to say about it. However, beyond the mere purpose of FTT, the operational implementation is at least equally important. The current Italian FTT law has a number of issues... Read More

One cliff avoided, another straight ahead!

The Italian Financial Transaction Tax (IFTT) passed into law over the Christmas holidays and shocked market participants around the world. Quite apart from the increase in tax levels compared to earlier drafts, the Italian government has invented an additional HFT tax based on the value of amended or cancelled orders (click here for more details). The French markets, luckily, didn’t... Read More

The state of play

As the Council of the European Union hands over to Ireland for the first trio of the 2013-2014 Presidency rotation (1st January 2013 – 30th June 2013), the outgoing Cyprus Presidency published a progress report on MiFID II / MiFIR on 13th December. This report outlines the current status of the compromise proposal negotiations, pointing out the main areas where Council agreement... Read More

Here comes the CFTC: the regulators keep coming back for more

The latest batch of rules from the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), which come into effect on December 31, 2012, will require many firms currently outside the CFTC’s supervision to register as Commodity Pool Operators (CPOs). A new exemption test – the de minimis test – will need to be applied by firms daily to check their levels of commodity interest against... Read More

Extraterritoriality reality?

Legislators and regulators all around the globe are rushing to meet the G20 commitment of shifting all standardised OTC derivative contracts onto exchanges or electronic trading platforms. Naturally, every country is trying to clean up its own backyard before looking across the fence at its neighbour’s. The disadvantage of this approach is that country-specific rules might... Read More

Sensible timeframes please!

The final text of EMIR (European Market Infrastructure Regulation) entered into force on 16th August and the next milestone for ESMA, to complete the Level 2 text by the end of September, is fast approaching. ESMA’s consultation on the draft technical standards received over 130 responses before the 5th August deadline. Whilst there is general support for the key aims of EMIR,... Read More

Ready, set, go!

France’s AMF has published a brief statement spelling out the implications of EMIR entering into force in two days’ time. In terms of timelines these are the most important dates: August 16th, 2012 – EMIR enters into force September 30th, 2012 – deadline for ESMA to transmit EMIR technical standards to the European Commission July 1st, 2013 – Earliest possible... Read More

School’s out!

OK, school’s out and the head’s advice was “…don’t do anything silly, and come back refreshed and ready for the new challenges of next year.” The European Parliament is also on its summer break and the next ECON Committee vote on MiFID II is scheduled for 26th September, with a plenary vote on the calendar for 19th  November.  There remains, however, a whole lot of... Read More

Dodd-Frank: Implications of the latest swap definition rule

Following the CFTC’s recent approval of a swap definition lawyers and the OTC derivatives industry are busy digesting the 600 page ruling. In effect, this kicks into motion an October 2012 timeline around the implications of two very significant previously defined rules for the regulation of OTC derivatives: Swaps defined by this rule must be cleared; and Swaps defined... Read More

Lost in translation

Yesterday the CNMV (the Spanish regulator) and CONSOB (the Italian regulator) banned any short selling (naked or covered) in their respective markets. It is becoming more and more difficult to believe that these bans are imposed as a measure of good market regulation and not due to unrelated political considerations. On that point, a new study by Ian W. Marsh and Richard Payne analysed... Read More

The horse hasn’t bolted, yet!

The Flash Crash catapulted circuit breakers into the public spotlight and showed how they (or rather the lack of them) can impact financial markets. Since then, in Europe at least, discussions have been relatively quiet. European markets are perhaps less prone than others to such massive price swings for two reasons. Firstly, Europe does not have the trade-through rule and, secondly,... Read More

Deciphering the new map

Two key themes – liquidity and risk – always rise to the surface of any discussion around the implementation of regulation for OTC derivatives trading in Europe and North America. A couple of recent articles in The Economist neatly outline both sides of the argument by discussing risk, potentially increasing transaction volumes and strategic business opportunities arising... Read More

Regulation, regulation, regulation!

As market participants are still reeling from the attack on HFT and technological innovation in the latest draft amendments to MiFID II, let’s take a look at the rapporteur Markus Ferber’s draft changes to the proposed MiFIR EU regulation. The biggest change is that the OTF category, previously proposed in an attempt to regulate OTC trading on broker crossing systems, now looks... Read More

A butterfly effect in the making

In a recent speech, Andrew Haldane (Executive Director, Bank of England) makes a strong and convincing case that the proposed global Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) and the Unique Product Identifier (UPI) will have the largest impact on the financial industry in the current regulatory overhaul. The LEI and UPI are introduced in a recent CPSS IOSCO paper on “OTC derivatives data... Read More

Down with opacity and shady deals!

Following the MiFID II roadmap a significant milestone was reached in Brussels last week with the final text of EMIR (European Market Infrastructure Regulation) agreed on 9th February. After 2 years of European Parliament debate this will bring to an end “the era of opacity and shady deals”, according to Michel Bernier the EU commissioner! EMIR is one part of the history-making... Read More

Reshaping the OTC derivatives market

Many thanks to our colleague David Petersons for the following interesting observations: While much remains to be resolved through rule-making, this Capco article discusses the impact of the Dodd-Frank Act on OTC derivatives, outlines the key elements of the Act affecting OTC derivatives trading and provides an update on where the rule-making stands. The predictions about four possible... Read More

MiFID II Digest

While the 10 key takeaways from MiFID II may have given Steve indigestion, we are busy tucking in to the smörgåsbord of recently published MiFID II documents and snacking on all the published articles on the subject. From my reading so far, most looks as expected from the previous version that was leaked in August, with the following worthy of note: Organised Trading Facilities (OTFs)... Read More

Pension schemes breathe a sigh of relief

Politicians want to provide greater transparency in order to prevent systemic risk. Industry practitioners complained that some of their proposals would mean an increase in the costs of using derivatives as they would have to commit large levels of collateral upfront to secure trades and be forced to clear their derivatives through a central counterparty. Some of us attended... Read More

Do you GoCompare or are you Confused.com?

The Regulation team has great pleasure in bringing you a unique (and somewhat ironic) insight from Robin Strong, Head of Buy-side Market Strategy at Fidessa, in his paper entitled Do you GoCompare or are you Confused.com? One of the most topical issues from the point of view of both politicians and industry practitioners relates to the role of derivatives and fixed income. Robin... Read More

Pension schemes will be exempt from derivatives legislation despite US pressure

Seems there may still be time for more industry lobbying! Extract from article in Financial News “MEP Kay Swinburne, a former investment banker who sits on the Economics and Monetary Affairs Committee of the European Parliament, told a London trading conference that the European Parliament is considering granting pension schemes a full exemption from the new rules. The... Read More

What can MiFID II do to help address excessive commodity price volatility?

The next in my series of PMQs looks at the measures specific to Commodity Derivatives covered in the EC’s Public Consultation paper on the Review of MiFID. A dry subject, perhaps, but I would say one very close to our hearts (and wallets, with pump prices close to £1.40 a litre!) as we witness economics in action. In a climate of unrest in North Africa and the Gulf, super-high... Read More

Copyright © 2017 Fidessa group plc. All rights reserved.

The information contained within this website is provided for informational purposes only. Fidessa will use reasonable care to ensure that information is accurate at the time it is made available, and for the duration that it remains on the site. The information may be changed by Fidessa at any time without notice. We also reserve the right to close the website at any time. No representation or warranty, expressed or implied, is given on behalf of Fidessa or any of its respective directors, employees, agents, or advisers as to the accuracy or completeness of the information or opinions contained herein or its suitability for any purpose and, save in the case of fraud, all liability for direct, indirect, special, consequential or other loss or damages of whatever kind that may arise from use of the website is hereby excluded to the fullest extent permitted by law. Any decisions you make based on the information in this website are your sole responsibility and information on the website should not be relied upon in connection with any investment decision.

The copyright of this website belongs to Fidessa. All other intellectual property rights are reserved.

Reproduction or redistribution of this information is prohibited except with written permission from Fidessa.