EU internal market commissioner Charlie McCreevy has called for financial services firms to step up preparations for the implementation of the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) after the European Securities Committee approved the legislation.
The rules are being introduced to create a common regulatory framework for Europe's securities markets. The directive will enable banks to trade shares in-house, off an exchange, across all 25 EU member states, but firms will be required to publish the prices of intended trades to the rest of the market beforehand.
Following clearance of the proposals by the European Securities Committee, McCreevy says all firms in the business should now prepare for MiFID to ensure effective implementation by November 2007.
He says the new legislation will transform the landscape for the trading of securities and "introduce much needed competition and efficiency".
"It should drive down the cost of capital, generate growth and boost our competitiveness," adds McCreevy.
The proposed 'Level 2' implementing measures have already been approved by the European Parliament. The commission is expected to give final approval of the rules in September this year.
Member States will subsequently have until 31 January 2007 to implement the legislation, with firms being required to comply with the entire package of measures on 1 November 2007.