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No action sometimes better course of action

Implementing pan-European financial regulation is no easy feat. Finding agreement across 28 member states and translation into vastly differently legal systems is a true challenge. It comes as no surprise that those projects are regularly subject to delays.

Against that backdrop, it is most welcome that ESMA is again requesting the power to issue a no-action letter like their international peers (think CFTC). This instrument would allow them to not enforce selected rules, if they believe it is the more prudent approach. Having been mooted a few years ago, no progress had been seen on this since. Looking at the overheads and the time spent for the European Commission to introduce a new law to change a single date, as actually happened for MiFID II, this seems like an overdue improvement.

While it is uncertain whether any of this is relevant to the introduction of MiFID II, there is no doubt that such no-action letters could be the flexible tool that regulators need to respond to a rapidly changing world.

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