Welcome to Legal Shorts, a short briefing on some of the week’s developments in the financial services industry.
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MiFID II: FCA publishes general guidance on authorisation
The FCA has published general guidance on the authorisation process, forms and prudential categories under MiFID II. Section 1 provides guidance on applications for: (i) authorisation as a MiFID investment firm made by a first-time applicant; (ii) variations of permission (VoPs) by a non-MiFID firm seeking to become a MiFID investment firm; and (iii) VoPs by a firm that is already authorised as a MiFID investment firm. Section 2 of the document contains flowcharts intended to assist MiFID investment firms to determine the prudential categorisations that will apply to them, depending on the regulated activities that they perform and the nature of their businesses.
MiFID II: FCA agrees transitional arrangements for trading venues
The FCA has decided to agree a transitional arrangement for ICE Futures Europe and the London Metal Exchange (LME) under MiFIR. Under this arrangement, ICE Futures Europe and LME will not be required to consider open access requests made under Article 36 of MiFIR, to the extent they relate to exchange-traded derivatives. The Bank has also decided that Article 35 will not apply to these CCPs in respect of exchange-traded derivatives for a transitional period. In each case, the decision takes effect on 3 January 2018 and the transitional period expires on 3 July 2020.
MiFID II: FCA updates transaction reporting webpages
The FCA has updated the following webpages relating to transaction reporting to reflect the implementation of MiFID II: (i) transaction reporting webpage; (ii) requesting sample transaction reporting data webpage; (iii) determining which instruments are reporting webpage; (iv) instrument reference data webpage; (v) MiFID transition arrangements webpage; and (vi) ESMA transaction reporting exchange mechanism webpage.
MiFID II: new FCA change in control forms
The FCA has updated its webpage on change in control notifications to announce the publication of new forms to be used by persons wishing to become a controller of a firm authorised under MiFID II. The new forms include a corporate controllers form, partnership controllers form, individual controllers form, trust controllers form and intragroup transactions form. The forms contain reduced information requirements that apply where the prospective controllers and the target firms satisfy certain conditions. The reduced information requirements reflect the MiFID II RTS on the information to be included by prospective acquirers of qualifying holdings.
MiFID II: new FCA change of legal status forms
The FCA has also updated its webpage on change of legal status applications to announce the publication of new forms to be used by MiFID II authorised firms seeking change their legal status. The forms include a MiFID authorisation form, a list of members of the management body, change of legal status for MiFID firms and assessment questionnaire. The FCA also expects firms to complete existing forms relating to changes to disclosure of significant events and appointed representatives. The FCA states that from 1 April 2018, firms must apply using the new application forms. Until 31 March 2018, it will accept any applications that were already being completed in draft using the previous forms.
MiFID II: new FCA webpage on security status obligations
The FCA has published a new webpage relating to security status obligations under MiFID II. The webpage provides information on the following: (i) submitting information to the FCA - where a UK trading venue decides to suspend or remove an instrument because it no longer complies with the venue's rules, it needs to inform the FCA (along with restorations of said suspensions); (ii) notifications from the FCA - where action is required in relation to security statuses, the FCA will inform UK trading venues and systematic internalisers by email; and (iii) publication - for notifications from UK trading venues, or originating from the FCA, the FCA will provide a record of where it has required action in relation to security statuses.
MiFID II: ESMA updates FAQs for equities and bonds
ESMA has updated its FAQs on transitional transparency calculations (TTC) for equity and bond instruments required under MiFID II. The updated FAQs mainly reflect changes in the classification of the instruments and the related parameters, and resubmission of data by some trading venues. Market participants, infrastructures and authorities should use this version. The TTC will apply from 3 January 2018. The equity instruments TTC will apply until 31 March 2019 and for bond instruments (with respect to liquidity assessment) it will apply until 15 May 2018.
Benchmark Regulation: FCA updates webpage on authorisation for benchmark administrators
The FCA has updated its webpage for benchmark administrators applying for authorisation or registration under the Benchmarks Regulation. The FCA explains that the Benchmarks Regulation will be implemented in the UK with the introduction of a new Part 4A permission under FSMA that will be made through secondary legislation. The updated webpage explains that the forms to apply to become an authorised or registered benchmark administrator or to endorse a third country benchmark (available via Connect) are still in draft, and will be finalised once the applicable secondary legislation has been made. It also sets out the process for third country administrators and firms wishing to apply to endorse a third country benchmark from 1 January 2018.
Benchmark Regulation: LIBOR added to list of critical benchmarks
The European Commission Implementing Regulation which establishes the list of critical benchmarks under the Benchmarks Regulation has been amended to include the addition of LIBOR to the list of critical benchmarks. The other two benchmarks on the list are EURIBOR and the Euro Overnight Index Average (EONIA). The Benchmarks Regulation came into effect on 1 January 2018.
FCA enters into MoU with FRC
The FCA has entered into a memorandum of understanding with the Financial Reporting Council. The MoU sets out the framework agreed between the FCA and the FRC to assist each other to carry out their respective statutory duties and responsibilities and considers: (i) the roles and responsibilities of the FRC and the FCA; (ii) information-sharing, information requests and confidentiality. Annex 1 to the MoU sets out the statutory restrictions on disclosures that apply to the FCA and the FRC and the information-sharing gateways available to them; and (iii) co-operation on standard-setting, on monitoring and enforcement, on the FRC's oversight responsibilities and on international issues.
WMBA changes name to EVIA
The Wholesale Markets Brokers' Association has changed its name to the European Venues and Intermediaries Association (EVIA). EVIA has also relaunched its website to align with the change of name. The change is intended to reflect the changing role of EVIA's members under MiFID II, from a pure intermediary role to operators of regulated venues such as MTFs and OTFs. The reference to intermediaries in the new name reflects that its members will continue to perform an intermediation role as agents in on-venue and off-venue markets.
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05 01 2018