What are watchdogs up to during COVID-19?

Global regulatory response to the COVID-19 turmoil is heavily dominated by relief packages offered to the financial sector in an attempt to help mitigate the impact of the pandemic and the aftermath it may have on the industry.

ESMA: New Tick-Size Regime Postponed

On March 20th ESMA, the European financial markets watchdog issued a Public Statement – among other measures – to support the severely affected sector.  This Statement postponed the application of Article 17a of MiFIR which regulates the tick-size regime for Systematic Internalisers, from 26th March to 26th June 2020.  This was done to avoid the creation of “unintended operational risks for EU market participants in the current market situation in the context of the increasing spread of the COVID-19 pandemic”.

FCA to Keep Markets “Open and Orderly”

In the UK, the FCA also has addressed most of pressing issues, demonstrating its strong commitment to “keeping capital markets open and orderly”. Measures that the FCA has put in place include laxing client identity verification, best execution and deprecation notification requirements for firms working with retail investors, modifying the reporting timetable for listed companies with a two-month extension of the deadline for the publication of audited annual financial reports. It has also suspended most of its regulatory change activity.

SEC: Focus on Market Integrity, Continuing Operation, and Investor Protection

Across the ocean where the pandemic is escalating rapidly, SEC is taking concerted action with the Federal Reserve, the Department of the Treasury and other government agencies to ensure, according

to SEC Chairman’s Jay Clayton Statement of 20th March 2020, that “capital markets remain open and function well, consistent with evolving health and safety directives and other measures”.

Keep up to date with regulatory developments, relief measures and what this means to you by following LGCA’s Blog.

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