Week I of Mifid II: No light yet in dark pools
Some of the blips thrown up by the launch of the new regime look like more than just teething problems.
The launch of Mifid II on January 3 went about as smoothly as any mid-week, year-end, market-transforming imposition of thousands of pages of new securities regulations might be expected to do.
Bond volumes cratered, participants struggled to access data and by the end of the first week two crucial parts of the new regulation’s transparency drive had been put on hold.
In the context of grand financial market regulatory projects, therefore, not a total disaster and perhaps even something of a success.
Some individual regimes were certainly keen to trumpet their own efficiency. France’s market regulator, the AMF, noted its pride that its new platform had processed more than one million trades from 50 firms, representing the first day’s trading under Mifid II and filed by midnight.
“The volumes processed demonstrate the marketplace’s overall good state of preparedness, even if further efforts must be made by some firms.”
One small point, though: on the day of launch, exemptions were granted to ICE Futures Europe and the London Metal Exchange from the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority, and to Eurex from Germany’s BaFin, that allow them not to comply with open access requirements until 2020.