Brussels delays MiFID II consultation due to covid-19

The European Commission has confirmed the delay of the much anticipated consultation on MiFID II as result of the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The EU’s Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II (MiFID II) securities rules, introduced just over two years ago, sought to increase transparency in fixed income trading nearer to levels in shares.

The bloc’s securities regulator, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), had launched the consultation on the grounds that the overall levels of transparency remained limited due to so many financial instruments benefiting from exemptions.

Upon launching the consultation in February ESMA described MiFID II as encouraging “real-time transparency into the choice of last resort.” In a statement the watchdog said, “ESMA is proposing to move to the next stage in terms of gradually increasing the transparency for bonds.”

The original MiFID regulatory framework has been in force across the EU since 2007, and the review of its successor has been long awaited.

The consultation aimed to collate the input of stakeholder on “areas that would merit targeted adjustments” to the directive and how they should be prioritised by rule makers.

Consultation will now be extended from the originally planned 17 February to 18 May 2020.

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