The implementation of MiFID II in Italy is still ongoing. However, some significant steps have been taken during the summer, including the following:
- the Italian Parliament passed a Bill which updates and amends the Italian Financial Act to reflect the main provisions of MiFID II;
- Consob, the Italian financial market regulator, launched a consultation in relation to the second-level regulatory measures aimed at updating the Italian regulatory framework to reflect MiFID II’s level 2 measures. The consultation covered, in particular, licensing procedures for domestic firms, passporting procedures for EU firms, rules of conduct and investor protection provisions, as well as updating provisions concerning regulated markets and other trading venues. The consultation has now closed, but the outcome of this process and the final and binding version of the relevant regulations is not yet available.
In addition, it is expected that the Consob will launch further consultations in relation to further regulatory measures, covering outstanding topics.
In respect of third country firms, the initial proposals have been at least superseded, and now it is provided that Italy will implement the Article 39 MiFID II branch regime in respect of business vis-a-vis retail clients and opted-up professional clients, while business with eligible counterparties or per se professional clients will also be allowed to conduct business on a cross-border basis, either: (i) on the grounds of an equivalence resolution taken at EU level, pursuant to MiFIR; or (ii) in the absence of an equivalent resolution, subject to authorisation from the Italian authorities.
The Italian market now has a clearer picture of how MiFID II will be implemented and its actual impact on day-to-day business.