MFA Blog

New ESMA Q&As Improve Transparency, Access for Market Participants

Posted on July 7, 2017

On July 7, ESMA issued an updated set of Q&As, providing responses to questions posed by the general public and market participants on market structure issues under the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II) and Regulation (MiFIR). Among other findings, MFA was pleased that one of the Q&As addresses key barriers to non-discriminatory access to EU trading venues (see: pages 29-31). MFA believes ESMA’s recommendations will help improve transparency, increase liquidity, promote competition and provide greater access to trading platforms for many market participants.

This smart regulatory development clarifies that ESMA would consider the several types of arrangements on multilateral trading facilities (MTFs), organized trading facilities (OTFs) and regulated markets as non-objective and discriminatory for purposes of access to such trading venues, including:

  • Any requirement for members or participants to be direct clearing members of a CCP
  • Any requirement for members or participants to become enabled to trade centrally cleared financial instruments with other members or participants
  • Any requirement for minimum trading activity to become a member or participant of a trading venue
  • Any imposition of restrictions on the number of participants with whom a participant can interact on the trading venue

MFA has repeatedly advocated for ESMA to prohibit such arrangements that function as implicit and explicit barriers to access for many market participants and will continue to do so as needed.

ESMA Press Release Announcing its Updated Q&As

ESMA Q&As on MiFID II and MiFIR Market Structure Topics