A sensible request deserves a sensible response

The German government and the European Commission want to mandate earmarking of every algorithmic order in order to identify the originating strategy. The reason being that market supervisors have a difficult job keeping up with all those technical innovations in financial markets. In the good old pit trading days traders were restricted by physical limitations, but in a world where... Read More

A health check for dark pools?

Over the past few years, dark trading has been the subject of considerable attention all around the world and its success in growing market share has everyone talking about this phenomenon. When they first came into operation dark pools were embraced as an exciting new way to trade large orders with minimum market impact. More recently, however, with the increased levels of HFT... Read More

Think again, things are about to change!

Do you think a retail broker has to connect to all exchanges in Europe in order to offer best execution? Of course not! MiFID’s current definition of best execution is principles-based and takes into account more than just the execution price, but things are about to change. The latest MiFID II draft from the ECON vote contains a number of amendments that may cause you to... Read More

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction

ESMA recently published its Guidelines on ETFs and other UCITS issues. As their Chair, Steve Maiijoor, puts it “these comprehensive guidelines are aimed at strengthening investor protection and harmonising regulatory practices across this important EU fund sector”. At a high level here are the key provisions (plus some of my own comments): 1. UCITS ETFs must by identified... Read More

What you need to know before buying a German car

The latest draft of the German HFT ruling has some fairly serious implications for market participants and there is little time to prepare. The new law is expected to be finalised sometime in the middle of next year and the legislator expects the industry to comply within a three month grace period. Let’s look at some of the features added since the previous draft published... Read More

LEI – how many expert groups does it take to identify an entity?

With the latest progress note from the Financial Stability Board (FSB) on the Global Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) Initiative published last week, it’s a good time to look at the basics. In June 2012, with the backing of the G20, the FSB was tasked with driving forward the LEI initiative to create a universal numbering system to uniquely identify parties to financial transactions. The... Read More

Brussels’ rules of etiquette

The on-going flood of new regulations and directives coming out of Brussels continues. With all its consultation papers, drafts, technical or implementing standards, recitals and articles, it is hard to keep your head above the waterline. Here are a few pointers to help you structure that paper flood into some more manageable channels. European laws and legislations are formally... 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

Germany’s “Best of …” HFT law

A Europe-wide consolidated regulatory framework can have many advantages for the financial industry. Laws such as MiFID II, MAD II and EMIR create a level playing field that simplifies competition on a pan-European scale. However, in the last couple of months a number of national legislations have been enacted that make the playing field a bit more uneven, again. There are, for... Read More

New month, new tax

Yesterday, 1st August (already!), the new French Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) came into effect. With the fine print of the new tax only emerging over the previous few days, we’ve now added the French FTT to our ‘At a glance‘ page to provide you with an overview. The tax, which applies to the purchase of over 100 French stocks with a company market value of more... 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

We learn from history that we do not learn from history

Many people might have missed it, but between 1905 and 1981 the New York state imposed a Security Transfer Tax. The tax was based on the par value (aka stated value, or face value) of stocks traded, transferred or delivered in New York State. It was not implemented as a financial stability measure, but as a revenue generator to fund the state deficit. Following the 1932 and 1966... 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

Extraterritoriality, equivalence, reciprocity? It’s all Greek to me!

Following the latest MEP discussions in Brussels can be quiet challenging at times. Not only was this particular session interrupted by protesters, but MEPs kept throwing in technical terms in regard to third country regulation that not everyone might be familiar with. So here is a quick guide to cut through all the mist. Today, the access of third country firms to the EU markets... Read More

Sacrificial lambs and unintended consequences

Andy the Trader: I heard tick size is a topic in MiFID II, again. Haven’t we been through this already? Yes, you’re right. FESE and LIBA brokered an agreement between most European equity trading venues and sell-side firms in 2009. But the topic appears again in the latest proposed amendments for MIFID II (Article 51) and on ESMA’s work program. Andy the Trader: Once again,... Read More

European Regulation – A Tale in Four Acts

According to the Chinese calendar 2012 is the Year of the Dragon. But if you ask anyone in financial markets, 2012 is the year of the regulator. The latest white paper by Fidessa aims to help market participants negotiate the increasingly complex web of regulation that will result from the introduction of initiatives such as MiFID II, MAD II and EMIR. It examines some of the unintended... Read More

ESMA Guidelines – turning change into opportunity

Back in December last year you may recall that ESMA issued guidelines on systems and controls in an automated trading environment. The headlines from those guidelines caused a steady ripple of activity across the industry, in the first few months of 2012, as firms reviewed their processes and procedures to ensure compliance by the 1st May deadline or worked to have a plan in place... Read More

Much ado about nothing

ESMA is currently considering providing guidelines on fee structures. This sounds to me like the regulators are reviewing the maker-taker pricing model. MTFs introduced maker-taker pricing to Europe about four years ago, whereby liquidity providers receive a rebate for executing their passive orders, while liquidity takers will pay a fee for executing aggressive orders. Usually,... Read More

NO ENTRY into the Houses of Parliament in a suit of armour, and the MAD directives

While you may think that the title of this blog entry is obviously silly, it serves as a good example of the difference between sensible rules and bad rules. Think about it – can you work out the bad one? “NO ENTRY into the Houses of Parliament in a suit of armour” may sound ridiculous but, if you think about it, it made perfect sense when it was created at a time... Read More

Busy like a bee

ESMA just published an updated version of their work program for 2012. The regulator plans to produce no less than 77 technical standards, technical advice and guidelines and recommendations this year! The newly passed law on short selling will require 18 documents, while EMIR holds the record with 41 expected publications. Enjoy making sense of all that regulation. Luckily, in... Read More

Good intentions – bad results

Lobbying  in Brussels can be such a dirty business. Hidden agendas and vested interests are dominating the daily business. Thus, I was very pleased when Finance Watch (a non-industry lobby group, the lobbying arm of Occupy Wall Street, if you will) engaged in their mission to “making finance serve society”. However, the dream of a better world was crushed last week... Read More

Liquidity and the regulation of markets

Last week’s TradeTech in London included a talk about liquidity by David Lawton, the FSA’s Acting Director, Markets, during which he discussed all the hot potatoes that MiFID II has to offer.  For a change, this was not another piece of 500 millisecond nonsense but included some sensible and well considered arguments. Here are the highlights of his key points: •  ... Read More

Block Trade: Endangered species or old habit?

Currently, MiFID favours block trades by granting them privileges that regular sized trades do not receive. A block trade between two institutional investors is treated rather like a Sumatran elephant that is way up on the red list of threatened species. Regulators protect block trades by allowing for pre-trade transparency waiver and delayed post-trade reporting. At the other... 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

Treat the cause, not the symptom

The current MiFID II draft proposes a minimum duration for any order of 500 milliseconds (see Should have gone to Specsavers!). Politicians seem to believe that installing a minimum duration for orders will halt the HFT ‘madness’ and bring some much needed calm to the market. Unfortunately, it looks like they are going to treat only the symptoms and not the cause. Trading... Read More

Self-test – am I a HFT strategy?

The European Parliament has issued its rapporteur report for MiFID II, as discussed in The Rapporteur’s Story and Should have gone to Specsavers! The current proposal includes a definition of high-frequency trading strategy. Furthermore, it proposes to regulate HFTs more strictly. That scared me a little bit. After all, I do some trading in my spare time so I followed the definition... Read More

Should have gone to Specsavers!

On first reading of the draft report from the rapporteur on MiFID II it is unclear from the wording if the ban on direct electronic access is only in the context of high-frequency trading. Surely this must be the case, otherwise we may as well all pack up now. Additional draft amendments to the MiFID text worthy of note are: •    the timeline is crystallising with the final... Read More

The Rapporteur’s Story

Here’s a taster of what could be coming in the Q1 report from the rapporteur for MiFID II – EU lawmaker wants draft securities law beefed up. Looks like, as we expected, HFT could take the hardest hit and OTFs may be limited to non-equities. Thanks to Tor for spotting this article.  Read More

Border politics

There have been a number of articles recently covering exchange and regulator concerns around the effective detection of market abuse in Europe. FESE has recently published a position paper on the review of MAD in which it encourages policy-makers to consider the issue of effective cross-border and cross-venue surveillance. Fragmentation of trading across several venues outside... Read More

ESMA’s increasing workload

Looks like ESMA has been granted an extra three months to write the technical standards for EMIR, until the end of September.  Weighed down with the volume of work coming out of EMIR, MiFID II and the review of MAD, ESMA is now calling again for 100% funding from the EU to free them from the domestic political wrangling that has dogged regulatory procedures. I would say we need... 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

Are we still fighting for a truly integrated Pan-European market?

The harmonisation and consolidation of European markets was truly a hugely successful project for European financial markets within the last few years. We enjoyed massive innovation, growth and new opportunities. Think about it, without MiFID, Chi-X, BATS, European Multilateral Clearing Facility (EMCF), and the Fragulator we would still have to pay ridiculous high exchange fees... Read More

Another kind of movie night

Let’s face it, a meeting of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (European Parliament) regarding MIFID II and EMIR is hardly a topic suitable for a movie night. So I wasn’t really that excited to watch their latest discussions on Monday evening in Strasbourg via the internet. However, after seeing the new MiFID movie poster, I was inclined to tune in and watch some... Read More

Make your mind up!

According to The Trade yesterday the European Parliament (EP) is considering forcing broker crossing networks to become systematic internalisers (SIs) or multilateral trading facilities (MTFs) due to fears of excessive fragmentation. The EP may limit the organised trading facility (OTF) category to non-equity instruments only. Since the October 2011 publication of the MiFID II draft... 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

EU shorting rules and global liquidity pools

Lately, ESMA seems to have become more and more of a paper producing monster. One of the latest products from ESMA is a consultation paper on short selling. November 2012 will see the arrival of stricter regulations on short selling. Now ESMA must decide on the technical implementation standards and has issued this consultation paper with a closing date of 13th February. This extremely... Read More

Third-country confusion!

Reported last week on FT.com, a coalition of trade associations has commissioned lawyers to study the viability of a mutual recognition regime between the EU and US regulators. This is to clarify ‘third-country’ requirements in EMIR (European Market Infrastructure Regulation – reforms for OTC derivatives) and MiFID II regarding financial services businesses in... Read More

To Ping or not to Ping?

Headline items for investment firms from the ESMA Guidelines on systems and controls in an automated trading environment for trading platforms, investment firms and competent authorities are listed below: •    comply by 1st May 2012, subject to FSA adoption •    guidelines are based on existing MiFID current industry best practice with little need for any change envisaged... Read More

The long road ahead

With the arrival of the new year we have updated the MiFID II Roadmap to reflect the latest anticipated timeline for the regulatory changes. The top row of the Roadmap depicts the progress of MiFID II from Public Consultation last December, via draft legislation issued in October 2011, to likely agreement on legislation expected by late 2012. It is proposed that ESMA will develop... Read More

European financial transaction tax more likely!

A very broad agreement in favour of a European Union financial transaction tax emerged on last Monday (9th January 2012), at the start of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee’s work on the legislative proposal. Spokespersons for the European Parliament’s (EP) various political groups all advocated such a tax, at least throughout the Eurozone, and many were concerned... Read More

ESMA publishes its Final Report on Automated Trading guidelines – effective by 1st May 2012

22nd December 2011 – ESMA published its final report on guidelines on systems and controls in an automated trading environment for trading platforms, investment firms and competent authorities. In issuing these guidelines, ESMA rolls out a comprehensive regime governing the operation of electronic trading systems by a regulated market, a multilateral trading facility (MTF)... Read More

SEC Large Trader Reporting Rule

Many thanks to Jess Haberman in our New York office for this summary of the SEC Large Trader Reporting rule: In July 2011 US Securities and Exchange (the SEC) Commissioners unanimously approved the Large Trader Reporting rule; the aim is to “… promptly and efficiently identify significant market participants and collect data on their trading activity so that we can reconstruct... 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 should be a priority for every financial firm

There were two recurring MiFID II issues discussed at TradeTech Liquidity (24th Nov): the new OTF category does not fit the riskless principal/dual capacity model used by firms facilitating agency client order execution on existing broker crossing systems – business models will all have to change! According to Kay Swinburne the number 1 issue for the Rapporteur, for the... Read More

Are you sitting comfortably?

A 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,... Read More

Plenary Meeting of the MiFID Forum 30th November

The MiFID Forum is made up of industry standards bodies and trade associations (SIIA/FISD, FIX Protocol, ISITC Europe and TWIST) affected by MiFID.  It provides an opportunity for open discussion and debate amongst market practitioners from compliance and operational areas on issues affecting the financial markets. A plenary meeting of the MiFID Forum was held on 30th November... Read More

Seconds away.. round II for MiFID!

As the European Commission and European Parliament start to debate the MiFID II draft legislation published on 20th October, in the form of a Directive and a Regulation, the EP has called for (more) industry feedback. All interested stakeholders are invited to complete a questionnaire with a closing date of 13th January 2012. Speak now or forever hold your peace!  Read More

Europe’s Hotel California

With the proposed new framework of MiFID II due to increase the supervisory powers of the European regulators, it’s been particularly alarming to watch as the EU’s heads of state try to solve the eurozone’s sovereign debt crisis. Greece’s Prime Minister, George Papandreou, threw a real spanner in the works when he announced his intention to hold a referendum... 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

Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas any more!

After much speculation it seems that another North American player will now be dominating the European trading landscape. It is surprising to learn that Kansas-based BATS Global Markets will pay the equivalent of £230 million (using today’s exchange rate) for the acquisition of Chi-X Europe. The latter firm has around 50 employees so the BATS deal suggests they are willing... Read More

More psychobabble?

The power of ‘thin slicing’ is a phrase used in psychology to explain the human’s ability to make sense of situations based on the thinnest slice of experience. I don’t know if this really works but Brussels appears to be doing exactly that. In an attempt to prevent systemic risk and another Flash Crash, the latest leaked MiFID II document (dated 7th October)... Read More

ESMA – Waivers from Pre-Trade Transparency

The aim of this document, published by ESMA (10/08/11), is to provide guidelines under the existing MiFID directive for competent authorities around the application of Waivers from Pre-Trade Transparency for Regulated Markets and MTFs.  Some examples of waivers granted by national competent authorities, considered at CESR or at ESMA level, are included for illustration purposes. Under... Read More

MiFI Leaks!

With reports of a draft of the revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive circulating in Brussels in recent days, I’d like to bring you up to speed with how we are progressing in the MiFID II back-shop! We are now looking at a marked up copy of Directive 2004/39/EC – the revised Directive a new Regulation (ref tbd) that establishes uniform requirements in relation... Read More

Regulation vs Directive

I read on Tabb Forum that MiFID is looking like changing from a Directive to Regulation, although I have not seen this officially stated anywhere yet. MiFID could thus become the Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation. As a piece of regulation, and not a directive, ‘MiFIR’ would be implemented centrally from Brussels rather than being allowed to be individually... Read More

ESMA consults on HFT

ESMA has recently published a consultation paper on its proposed guidelines for “highly automated trading” – HFT, in other words. The guidelines follow recent studies into HFT by the global regulator IOSCO (the International Organization of Securities Commissions) and the UK Treasury. ESMA’s previously stated goal for dealing with the latest ‘bogeyman’... Read More

The R word video

If you haven’t yet had the chance to do so, check out the latest FragVision entitled The R word. In this episode Steve Grob gives us an insight into global regulation and shares his views on how highly politicized the whole process is. He suggests market forces should mark the path instead of politicians. Watch the video and participate in our discussion poll. Do you... Read More

Letter from America

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act was signed into law by President Obama on July 21, 2010 and the US is in the midst of a rule-making process. You may have read in the press that the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is in the process of delaying the implementation of the Dodd-Frank financial changes. Last week it was also reported that... Read More

I did not order the escargot!

As the European Commission prepares draft legislation for the overhaul of MiFID after a brief public consultation period the industry waits with bated breath. However, both the MiFID review draft legislation and the Market Abuse Directive (MAD) review have been delayed more than once and seem to be proceeding at a snail’s pace. First we’re told to expect publication... Read More

Shift in MiFID II timeline

Kay Swinburne MEP delivered an excellent update on the progress of the MiFID review at a recent conference on the Challenges of MiFID II.  She revealed that the final legislative proposal – focusing on transparency, proportional oversight of the market and investor protection – would now be completed “after the summer” and by September. Publication of the... Read More

The cookie monster

When assessing the impact of new EU legislation it would be fairly reasonable to assume that not all EU laws are universally welcomed by each member state and the decisions made by those in the EU can often court controversy. The most recent example being the EU’s Privacy and Communications Directive that came into force last week which requires all EU businesses running websites... Read More

Copyright © 2018 Fidessa Group Holdings Limited. 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.