New EU Rules for Investment Firms

In February, the European Commission started a public consultation with a focus on reviewing the regulatory framework for investment firms and market operators. Through this process, the European Commission is looking to collect stakeholders’ views, in particular market participants, on a possible review of the Market in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II) and the Market in Financial Instruments Regulation (MiFIR).

As background, MiFID II and MiFIR constitute the EU legislative framework aimed at creating a single market for investment services across the European Union, by seeking to improve competitiveness and providing high-level protection for investors. More concretely, they set out organisation requirements for investment firms as well as impose transparency obligations for shares and reporting to avoid market abuse. MiFID II and MiFIR stipulate the rules on the admission of financial instruments to trading and impose authorization requirements.

The European Commission is now seeking to carry out an assessment of the overall regime. The input received will be included in the report that the European Commission will present the European Parliament and the Council. The report may well be accompanied with a concrete proposal to reform the current framework. Therefore, EU businesses, investment firms, asset managers, FinTech and trading venues should participate in this process to protect the current rules or suggest amendments.