Mifid II  

Brexit results in last minute Mifid reprieves

Brexit results in last minute Mifid reprieves

Fears around the impact of the UK's decision to leave the European Union (EU) has prompted a wave of reprieves for stock exchanges looking to implement the Mifid II changes.

The Mifid regulations were intended to come into force today (3 January 2018), and financial services businesses across the City of London and the rest of Europe have been preparing for the changes in recent months.

Michael McKee, partner and head of financial services regulation at DLA Piper, a law firm, said: "Mifid II is more of a whimper than a bang.

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"While it is one of the most important pieces of European Union legislation for securities markets in years, the reality is that on implementation day, 3 January 2018, many member states will not have implemented it and consequently it will still be some time before these major market changes hit home."

His comments come in the wake of BaFin, the German financial services regulator, granting Deutsche Borse, the German futures exchange a 20-month reprieve from the legislation.

Deutsche Borse specifically cited the exit of the UK from the European Union as its reason for wanting the transition period.

The organisation said there is much uncertainty about how the Mifid rules will apply to UK financial services businesses when the UK exits the trade bloc, and such uncertainty is bad for financial market stability.

Separately, the Financial Conduct Authority announced this morning (3 January) that it has granted a reprieve to the ICE Future Europe Exchange and the London Metals Exchange.

Those exchanges will not now have to comply with the Mifid rules until July 2020.

The UK and European Union have agreed that a transitional agreement, where the UK leaves the European Union but all existing rules will apply, will happen in the UK, with the country not formally leaving the EU regime of rules and regulations until 2019, just prior to those exchanges having to comply with the Mifid rules.