ESMA speaks on priorities and Brexit.

Steven Maijoor has spoken to the FIA on ESMA’s current work, including its preparations for MiFID 2. He stressed that there will be no further delay in implementation. He referenced ESMA’s recent and ongoing work on trading and transparency requirements, and heralded an imminent consultation on the trading obligation for derivatives.

He also spoke of the ESA review, and said he thought ESMA could and should play a key role on third country issues, such as equivalence assessments. He focused on ESMA’s role in direct supervision, and on the importance of it being able to ensure consistent authorisation scrutiny and supervisory outcomes. While he acknowledged most entities should rightly be supervised at national level, he suggested it might be better to have some convergence measures for cross-border authorisations, and mentioned particularly MiFID, the AIFMD and UCITS regimes.

Turning to Brexit, he stressed the common shared interest of the EU27 in a common approach to relocating firms, and the importance of the relocated vehicles not being “empty shells”. He addressed the potential tactic of UK firms seeking to relocate and outsourcing or delegating activities back to the UK. It said it is important to ensure the structure does not generate supervisory arbitrage risks. He said it is important to remember that firms can choose to locate in any EU jurisdiction, but that the decision should never be based on avoiding stricter standards elsewhere. As a result, ESMA is establishing a forum for supervisors to discuss applications from relocating firms, and is developing sectoral guidance in respect of asset managers, investment firms and secondary markets.