European Commission tables MiFID proposals

European Commission tables MiFID proposals

The European Commission has tabled formal draft proposals for its controversial Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) fleshing out arduous new trade reporting and transparency requirements for securities industry participants.

The proposed 'Level 2' implementing measures have been submitted to the European Parliament and the European Securities Committee (ESC) for approval.

The Level 1 draft consultation period was marked by growing industry unease over the cost and timescale for the implementing the rule changes, which are designed to make it easier for investment firms to operate across borders and to rewrite the laws governing the handling of stock transactions by securities houses and exchanges.

In submitting the draft, the Commission has sought to address industry operational fears by mandating some of the more technically-troubling record-keeping requirements in the form of an EU Directive, which allows for a degree of discretion and a more relaxed timetable for transposition to national law.

Internal Market Commissioner Charlie McCreevy says the level 2 measures "will provide a high level of protection for investors while keeping red tape to a minimum...Our aim is to create a level playing field for firms and to provide clarity for investors, while at the same time ensuring that the new rules can be incorporated into national legal systems as Member States demand."

The European Parliament and the ESC have three months to pore over the proposals before voting on them. The measures are likely to be adopted formally by the EC sometime during summer 2006.

In the interim, says McCreevey, "firms should start preparing now for MiFID: there will be a first-mover advantage".

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