ESMA readies MiFID II, MAR, and CSDR

Written by Olivier Hermand 29 September 2015


ESMA published its final draft technical standards on some of the most important pieces of post-crisis financial regulation: MiFID II, MAR and CSDR.

On 28 September 2015, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published its final draft version of the Technical Standards (TS) on Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II), Market Abuse Regulation (MAR) and the Central Securities Depositaries Regulation (CSDR). ESMA’s TS translate how the legislation will apply in practice to market participants, market infrastructures and national supervisors. The new technical standards will alter the functioning of European financial markets by increasing their transparency, safety and resilience as well as investor protection.

1. MiFID II

The Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS) and Implementing Technical Standards (ITS) ESMA is delivering on MiFID II, once implemented, will bring the majority of non-equity products into a robust regulatory regime and move a significant part of Over The Counter (OTC) trading onto regulated platforms. The key rules introduce fairer, safer and more efficient markets, greater transparency and stronger investor protection.

2. MAR

 MAR aims at enhancing investor protection and market integrity. MAR requires ESMA to develop RTS and ITS on a number of prospectus related matters. ESMA’s TS on MAR will strengthen the existing market abuse framework by extending its scope to new markets, platforms and behaviours. They contain prohibitions for insider dealing and market manipulation, and provisions to prevent and detect these.

3. CDSR

 The CSDR harmonises the authorisation and supervision of central securities depositories (CSDs) within the EU. It provides organisational, conduct of business and prudential requirements to ensure CSDs are safe, efficient and sound. It also introduces a settlement discipline regime, including measures to prevent and address settlement fails, such as a mandatory buy-in and cash penalties as well as reporting requirements for internalised settlement. ESMA’s TS, which translate CSDR provisions into applicable rules, include harmonised CSD requirements and internalised settlement reporting.

Considering that ESMA consulted recently on the buy-in process, it has decided to delay the delivery of the RTS on settlement discipline.

4. Next steps

ESMA’s different sets of final draft TS have been sent for endorsement to the European Commission. The Commission now has three months to approve these. Once endorsed, both the European Parliament and the Council have an objection period.

After CSDR, which entered into force back in 2014, MAR and MiFID II will enter into force in 2016 and 2017 respectively.

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