MiFID II continues to feature in the headlines as regulators and firms’ alike grapple with implementation issues following go-live on 3 January 2018. The general consensus is that go-live went relatively well despite regulators experiencing some difficulties around receiving data reports. There continues to be a disparity in terms of degrees of implementation across the market, with a lot of firms still playing “catch-up”. It is uncertain in which areas – or for how long – regulators, including the Central Bank of Ireland, will accept continued, on-going implementation.
FinTech continues to be a policy priority of the European Commission. This month we have seen the launch of the EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum (BOF) and a report on the implementation and impact of the Electronic Money Directive (EMD) – both key developments in the FinTech space. One key area of focus for the BOF will be the highlighting of key developments of distributed ledger technology (DLT). DLT is widely considered to be a game changer, with the potential to be truly transformative for financial services and markets. Further, as the Commission is working on a FinTech Action Plan we expect a lot more to come around the evolving regulatory approach to digitalisation.
Other key developments this month include a continued focus on financial stability as the EBA publishes further details on its 2018 stress test; ESMA the results of its second (2017) stress test of central counterparties; and the IOSCO and ESRB reports on liquidity risk management for investment funds – (see further details in the articles below).
Also this month, we look at the implications for firms following the European Commission’s guidance on upcoming new data protection rules; and the final report published by the Commission in relation to a sustainable finance strategy. See detailed articles below.