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MiFID II- Delay, Dismay, Disarray

The first two days of this week have witnessed an increasingly loud chorus calling for a delay to the implementation  of MiFID II. Martin Merlin, Commission FS Director, yesterday told the EU Economic Affairs Committee that the  “simplest and most legally sound approach would be to delay the whole package by one year”.

Speaking at the same Parliamentary session, ESMA Chairman Steven Maijoor described the January 2017 deadline as “unfeasible”, citing the challenge of building and adapting complex IT reporting systems in the absence of final technical rules. Particular concern is likely to be focused on pre-trade transparency in the bond market and position limits for commodity derivatives. Any delay would have to be approved by the Commission, the Parliament and the Council of Ministers, and would represent a significant blow to the credibility of the MiFID 2 project in particular and EU financial reform in general. However, given the public nature and high level of both these interventions, it is now likely that at least parts of this landmark legislation will be subject to delay.               .

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