On 15th July Steven Maijoor, Chair of ESMA, spoke about the challenges and importantly, ESMA’s objectives in determining specifics of MiFID2/MiFIR including non-Equity instrument transparency, setting position limits and the ancillary activity threshold for NFCs.

The overall message is that it will not be easy or pleasant, but it will go ahead.

On the ancillary activity threshold for example he stated bluntly “the whole point of the test in the first place …. the exemptions from financial regulation should be narrowed ….. and large non-financial players conducting activities identical to financial players ….. should compete on an even playing field”.

During the run-up to the implementation of EMIR we observed significant denial and procrastination in the industry, particularly that the transparency requirements would be shelved or delayed.  There is less of that tendency these days, the momentum around regulatory reform is established. This candid direction from ESMA serves to remind us to focus our energies on effective and efficient implementation and resist any temptation to waste time on wishful thinking that it will all go away.

The full text of Mr Maijoor’s speech is found here.