The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published its chairman’s opening statement to the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee.

The statement concerns ESMA’s work on the implementing measures under MiFID II and MiFIR. The statement begins with Steven Maijoor, ESMA’s chairman, reiterating that MiFID II / MiFIR is the most “significant and voluminous piece of level 2 regulation that ESMA has ever undertaken”. Mr Maijoor then focuses on the following areas that are receiving the most attention from stakeholders:

  • non-equity transparency. Mr Maijoor states that ESMA will not be able to find “the ideal system” that “perfectly balances transparency and liquidity and that will satisfy the preferences of all market participants.” However, he adds that ESMA is trying to find “reasonable and workable” compromises and that it will be ready to look at the non-equity rules again, once they are in operation, and react to potential deficiencies;
  • position limits. Mr Maijorr states that “we need to all bear in mind that the scope of the Level 1 requirements for position limits is extremely wide.” He also adds that this wide variation “implies that ESMA has to tread cautiously and a one-size-fits-all approach cannot be the solution”; and
  • ancillary activity. Mr Maijoor explains that the third area which is making many waves among stakeholders is the test of whether non-investment firms perform investment services as an ancillary activity to their main business. ESMA has made a two-pronged test, foreseen in Level 1, a focus of its cost benefit analysis and Mr Maijoor mentions that stakeholders can expect “some major refinements” in ESMA’s proposals compared to the text that went out for consultation. Mr Maijoor adds that ESMA is working on a “pragmatic solution but are aware that another look at this standard post-application may be warranted.”

View Steven Maijoor delivers opening remarks to ECON hearing on MiFID II, 16 June 2015