Among the priorities in the European Commission’s (EC) list of its planned initiatives for 2016 is a new push to refine a package of reforms under its Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II). After announcing just last month that MiFID II implementation would be delayed by year to January 3, 2018 due to the overwhelming complexities involved, the EC indicated that it would focus on a number of technical points in MiFID II that need to be specified further, including:
- Harmonized definitions;
- Strengthened organisational requirements for firms with regard to conflicts of interest and safekeeping of client assets;
- The criteria with which information given to clients must comply;
- The criteria to assess compliance of firms receiving inducements;
- What constitutes a reasonable commercial basis on which trading venues are to make pre- and post-trade data available; and
- The minimum requirements in order to be registered as an SME growth market.
Refinement and clarification of each of these areas is vital to an effective implementation.
In addition to making MiFID II ready for its new 2018 implementation date, the EC’s priorities for 2016 also include publishing:
- a Delegated Regulation on product intervention in relation to Packaged Retail and Insurance-based Investment Products (PRIIPs) in March;
- a proposal for a Regulation on recovery and resolution of central counterparties in the third quarter of 2016;
- delegated legislation on specification of classes of arrangements the protection of whose counterparties should be ensured under the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive (BRRD) in March;
- adoption of the various RTS under the Market Abuse Regulation, most of which will be published in March;
- an implementing Regulation on RTS on cooperation with third countries in the first quarter;
- proposals to change the Capital Requirements Regulation (CRR) to take account of Basel III towards the end of the year, and;
- adoption of over 188 standards of level 2 text in regulations such as AIFMD, BRRD, CRR, MiFID II and Solvency II.