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One year Mifid II delay might not be enough, says Esma chief

Delaying the implementation of Mifid II until January 2018 still might not give enough time for the European Securities and Markets Authority (Esma), national regulators, and market participants to make the necessary IT changes, says Esma chair Steven Maijoor.


Kirsten Hastings

Financial firms have already said that the ongoing uncertainty over the implementation of Mifid II has made it difficult for them to forward plan, with some fearing that they are already falling behind.

A political decision

Speaking at the Asian Financial Forum in Hong Kong, Maijoor told Reuters that he was optimistic that there would be a delay: “It’s very important for market participants and all of us to know. I would expect that this would be settled in a few weeks. But whether it’s a year, or shorter or longer, or whether it’s for all of Mifid or only a part of Mifid, that’s really a political decision.”

If the European Parliament, Commission, and Council take too long to sign off on the technical standards, however, a year’s delay might not be long enough.

“We suggested a year delay but that assumes a relatively speedy endorsement of all the technical standards. The final making of these IT systems can only really start once these technical standards are finally set, and that requires that these are endorsed by the Commission and also accepted by the Parliament and Council.

“If that process is lengthened too much then a year might not be sufficient,” Maijoor said.