MFA Blog

UK is Uncertain that ESMA Powers are ‘Acceptable’

Posted on June 19, 2013

The United Kingdom claimed that giving a European Union agency emergency powers to ban some securities trades may be illegal, according to the latest Bloomberg article on the UK’s clash with the EU.

The article states that Britain is concerned that draft EU rules may cede too many powers to the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA). The UK is “legally uncertain whether the powers granted to ESMA” are “acceptable,” according to a document setting out the UK’s stance.

The UK  was the sole dissenting voice in March opposing a deal to ban bonuses of more than twice fixed pay and has recently clashed with the EU on financial regulations.

The latest issue concerns plans to revamp the EU’s Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID), on which the Irish Presidency reached a General Approach among EU Member States yesterday. However, as Jim Brunsden notes in the article, ESMA could only use the powers “as a last resort if there was a threat to the EU’s financial stability and if national regulators were unwilling or unable to act.”

Read the full text of the recent Bloomberg article here.