On 2 July 2019, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) issued three opinions on product intervention measures taken by the national competent authorities (NCAs) of Sweden, France and the UK.

ESMA’s opinion finds that the proposed measures are justified and proportionate and that it is necessary for NCAs of other Member States to take product intervention measures that are at least as stringent as ESMA’s measures.

ESMA’s opinion on the UK’s measures also concludes that the measures are justified and proportionate and qualifies this conclusion in relation to:

  • the FCA’s proposal not to apply the national restrictions to CFD-like option providers authorised in other Member States other than through a UK branch or tied agent in respect of the sale or distribution of those products to UK retail clients; and
  • the FCA’s proposal to apply a 30:1 leverage limit for CFDs referencing certain government bonds, instead of the 5:1 leverage limit in ESMA’s measures.

In accordance with Article 43(3) of MiFIR if a NCA takes actions contrary to an opinion adopted by ESMA, it shall immediately publish on its website a notice fully explaining its reasons for so doing

On 2 July 2019, the FCA published a notice on its website setting out its reasons for acting contrary to ESMA’s opinion in accordance with Article 43(3) MiFIR.