Since MiFID II’s research unbundling rules came into force in January 2018, the ‘value’ of research has become a pressing question. The regulatory intention being to eliminate any practice of inducements to utilise execution services by setting explicit fees for the distribution and receipt of research materials.
The European Securities and Markets Authority’s (ESMA) May 2 announcement that 220 of the 71,000 corporate credit and government bonds traded in the EU during Q1 2018 were deemed liquid came as little surprise to any of the market’s participants, globally.
Trade surveillance encapsulates the processes and procedures that help financial institutions detect and prevent trading rule violations. While various regulations push for increased scrutiny and security, MAR and MiFID II notably have far-reaching implications for trade behavior, post-trade surveillance and pre-trade risk controls checks.
Under MIFID II, asset managers were free to use different methods for calculating transaction costs – either by interpreting the MIFID II requirements themselves or, as most firms have done, by leveraging PRIIPS methodology.
This past year was an eventful one for GreySpark’s thought leadership research practice. As always, we are very grateful to our loyal subscriber sponsors and readers, CMI Blog browsers and – indeed – to our subject matter expert colleagues across the capital markets industry, within GreySpark’s client base and within GreySpark as a whole for their commentary, feedback and general inputs into our now well-established research product.
In 2017, GreySpark has enjoyed a fruitful project pipeline in terms of helping its clients with many aspects of MiFID II. RTS 6 brought HFT and electronic trading very much into the spotlight, and our service offering approach has enabled us to assist many of our clients to document their governance and algorithms, which is a necessary requirement for all banks and brokers with an electronic business. We have also run significant projects working with clients to deliver their overall MiFID II programme, providing experienced subject matter experts in regulatory change, as well as seasoned project managers and programme managers. Implementing solutions for transaction reporting to provide transparency, and surveillance to capture market abuse, were also among the project themes that we were involved in throughout 2017.
Under MAR and MiFID II, firms are required to detect and report unlawful behaviour in a timely manner by putting preventative measures and solutions in place. To achieve compliance, first and second line surveillance functions need to be created that provide more holistic, forward-facing surveillance solutions.
While many banks are still highly focused on MiFID II, it is time to start planning ahead for the upcoming Fundamental Review of the Trading Book (FRTB) regulation. The case for proactive action is simple: the FRTB can result in substantial punitive capital charges and the implementation of the apparatus needed to lessen its effects will require a large effort on the part of the banks.
The broker community and asset managers let out a collective sigh of relief last week as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a number of “no-action” letters to address clashes between the US government and the upcoming MiFID II regulations.
Just three months remain before the rollout, on Jan. 3, 2018, of one of the EU’s most ambitious, yet controversial packages of financial reforms: MiFID II. Right across the bloc, firms are in full implementation mode, despite some requirements still being poorly understood or lacking clarity and key pieces of market infrastructure still being designed.
The European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR), which was adopted into EU law in 2012 as a new piece of legislation governing OTC derivative trading and transparency across the bloc, is set for a series of updates by the end of 2017.