THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,
Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and in particular Article 114 thereof,
Having regard to the proposal from the European Commission,
After transmission of the draft legislative act to the national parliaments,
Having regard to the opinion of the European Central Bank ( 1 ) ,
Having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee ( 2 ),
Acting in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure ( 3 ),
The financial crisis has exposed weaknesses in the transparency of financial markets which can contribute to harmful socioeconomic effects. Strengthening transparency is one of the shared principles to strengthen the financial system as confirmed by the G20 Leaders’ statement in London on 2 April 2009. In order to strengthen the transparency and improve the functioning of the internal market for financial instruments, a new framework establishing uniform requirements for the transparency of transactions in markets for financial instruments should be put in place. The framework should establish comprehensive rules for a broad range of financial instruments. It should complement requirements for the transparency of orders and transactions in respect of shares established in Directive 2004/39/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council ( 4 ).
The High-Level Group on Financial Supervision in the EU chaired by Jacques de Larosière invited the Union to develop a more harmonised set of financial regulations. In the context of the future European supervision architecture, the European Council of 18 and 19 June 2009 stressed the need to establish a European single rule book applicable to all financial institutions in the internal market.
The new legislation should as a consequence consist of two different legal instruments, a Directive and this Regulation. Together, both legal instruments should form the legal framework governing the requirements applicable to investment firms, regulated markets and data reporting services providers. This Regulation should therefore be read together with the Directive. The need to establish a single set of rules for all institutions in respect of certain requirements and to avoid potential regulatory arbitrage as well as to provide more legal certainty and less regulatory complexity for market participants warrants the use of a legal basis allowing for the creation of a Regulation. In order to remove the remaining obstacles to trade and significant distortions of competition resulting from divergences between national laws and to prevent any further likely obstacles to trade and significant distortions of competition from arising, it is therefore necessary to adopt a Regulation establishing uniform rules applicable in all Member States. This directly applicable legal act aims at contributing in a determining manner to the smooth functioning of the internal market and should, consequently, be based on Article 114 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), as interpreted in accordance with the consistent case-law of the Court of Justice of the European Union.
Directive 2004/39/EC established rules for making the trading in shares admitted to trading on a regulated market pre-trade and post-trade transparent and for reporting transactions in financial instruments admitted to trading on a regulated market to competent authorities. The directive needs to be recast in order to appropriately reflect developments in financial markets and to address weaknesses and close loopholes that were, inter alia, exposed in the financial market crisis.
Provisions in respect of trade and regulatory transparency requirements need to take the form of directly applicable law applied to all investment firms that should follow uniform rules in all Union markets, in order to provide for a uniform application of a single regulatory framework, to strengthen confidence in the transparency of markets across the Union, to reduce regulatory complexity and investment firms’ compliance costs, especially for financial institutions operating on a cross-border basis, and to contribute to the elimination of distortions of competition. The adoption of a regulation ensuring direct applicability is best suited to accomplish those regulatory goals and ensure uniform conditions by preventing diverging national requirements as a result of the transposition of a directive.
It is important to ensure that trading in financial instruments is carried out as far as possible on organised venues and that all such venues are appropriately regulated. Under Directive 2004/39/EC, some trading systems developed which were not adequately captured by the regulatory regime. Any trading system in financial instruments, such as entities currently known as broker crossing networks, should in the future be properly regulated and be authorised under one of the types of multilateral trading venues or as a systematic internaliser under the conditions set out in this Regulation and in Directive 2014/65/EU ( 5 ).
The definitions of regulated market and multilateral trading facility (MTF) should be clarified and remain closely aligned with each other to reflect the fact that they represent effectively the same organised trading functionality. The definitions should exclude bilateral systems where an investment firm enters into every trade on own account, even as a riskless counterparty interposed between the buyer and seller. Regulated markets and MTFs should not be allowed to execute client orders against proprietary capital. The term ‘system’ encompasses all those markets that are composed of a set of rules and a trading platform as well as those that only function on the basis of a set of rules. Regulated markets and MTFs are not obliged to operate a ‘technical’ system for matching orders and should be able to operate other trading protocols including systems whereby users are able to trade against quotes they request from multiple providers. A market which is only composed of a set of rules that governs aspects related to membership, admission of instruments to trading, trading between members, reporting and, where applicable, transparency obligations is a regulated market or an MTF within the meaning of this Regulation and the transactions concluded under those rules are considered to be concluded under the systems of a regulated market or an MTF. The term ‘buying and selling interests’ is to be understood in a broad sense and includes orders, quotes and indications of interest.
One of the important requirements concerns the obligation that the interests be brought together in the system by means of non-discretionary rules set by the system operator. That requirement means that they are brought together under the system’s rules or by means of the system’s protocols or internal operating procedures, including procedures embodied in computer software. The term ‘non-discretionary rules’ means rules that leave the regulated market or the market operator or investment firm operating an MTF with no discretion as to how interests may interact. The definitions require that interests be brought together in such a way as to result in a contract which occurs where execution takes place under the system’s rules or by means of the system’s protocols or internal operating procedures.
In order to make Union financial markets more transparent and efficient and to level the playing field between various venues offering multilateral trading services it is necessary to introduce a new trading venue category of organised trading facility (OTF) for bonds, structured finance products, emissions allowances and derivatives and to ensure that it is appropriately regulated and applies non-discriminatory rules regarding access to the facility. That new category is broadly defined so that now and in the future it should be able to capture all types of organised execution and arranging of trading which do not correspond to the functionalities or regulatory specifications of existing venues. Consequently, appropriate organisational requirements and transparency rules which support efficient price discovery need to be applied. The new category encompasses systems eligible for trading clearing-eligible and sufficiently liquid derivatives.
It should not include facilities where there is no genuine trade execution or arranging taking place in the system, such as bulletin boards used for advertising buying and selling interests, other entities aggregating or pooling potential buying or selling interests, electronic post-trade confirmation services, or portfolio compression, which reduces non-market risks in existing derivatives portfolios without changing the market risk of the portfolios. Portfolio compression may be provided by a range of firms which are not regulated as such by this Regulation or by Directive 2014/65/EU, such as central counterparties (CCPs), trade repositories as well as by investment firms or market operators. It is appropriate to clarify that where investment firms and market operators carry out portfolio compression certain provisions of this Regulation and of Directive 2014/65/EU are not applicable in relation to portfolio compression. Since central securities depositories (CSDs) will be subject to the same requirements as investment firms when providing certain investment services or performing certain investment activities, the provisions of this Regulation and of Directive 2014/65/EU should not be applicable to firms that are not regulated thereby when carrying out portfolio compression.
That new category OTF will complement the existing types of trading venues. While regulated markets and MTFs have non-discretionary rules for the execution of transactions, the operator of an OTF should carry out order execution on a discretionary basis subject, where applicable, to the pre-transparency requirements and best execution obligations. Consequently, conduct of business rules, best execution and client order handling obligations should apply to the transactions concluded on an OTF operated by an investment firm or a market operator. In addition, any market operator authorised to operate an OTF should comply with Chapter 1 of Directive 2014/65/EU regarding conditions and procedures for authorisation of investment firms. The investment firm or the market operator operating an OTF should be able to exercise discretion at two different levels: first when deciding to place an order on the OTF or to retract it again and second when deciding not to match a specific order with the orders available in the system at a given point in time, provided that that complies with specific instructions received from clients and with best execution obligations.
For the system that crosses client orders the operator should be able to decide if, when and how much of two or more orders it wants to match within the system. In accordance with Article 20(1), (2), (4) and (5) of Directive 2014/65/EU and without prejudice to Article 20(3) of Directive 2014/65/EU, the firm should be able to facilitate negotiation between clients as to bring together two or more potentially compatible trading interests in a transaction. At both discretionary levels the OTF operator must have regard to its obligations under Articles 18 and 27 of Directive 2014/65/EU. The market operator or investment firm operating an OTF should make clear to users of the venue how they will exercise discretion. Because an OTF constitutes a genuine trading platform, the platform operator should be neutral. Therefore, the investment firm or market operator operating the OTF should be subject to requirements in relation to non-discriminatory execution and neither the investment firm or market operator operating the OTF nor any entity that is part of the same group or legal person as the investment firm or market operator should be allowed to execute client orders in an OTF against its proprietary capital.
For the purpose of facilitating the execution of one or more client orders in bonds, structured finance products, emission allowances and derivatives that have not been declared subject to the clearing obligation in accordance with Article 5 of Regulation (EU) No 648/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council ( 6 ) , an OTF operator is permitted to use matched principal trading within the meaning of Directive 2014/65/EU provided the client has consented to that process. In relation to sovereign debt instruments for which there is not a liquid market, an investment firm or market operator operating an OTF should be able to engage in dealing on own account other than matched principal trading. When matched principal trading is used all pre-trade and post-trade transparency requirements as well as best execution obligations must be complied with. The OTF operator or any entity that is part of the same group or legal person as the investment firm or market operator should not act as systematic internaliser in the OTF operated by it. Furthermore, the operator of an OTF should be subject to the same obligations as an MTF in relation to the sound management of potential conflicts of interest.
All organised trading should be conducted on regulated venues and be fully transparent, both pre and post trade. Appropriately calibrated transparency requirements therefore need to apply to all types of trading venues, and to all financial instruments traded thereon.
In order to ensure more trading takes place on regulated trading venues and systematic internalisers, a trading obligation for shares admitted to trading on a regulated market or traded on a trading venue should be introduced for investment firms in this Regulation. That trading obligation requires investment firms to undertake all trades including trades dealt on own account and trades dealt when executing client orders on a regulated market, an MTF, a systematic internaliser or an equivalent third-country trading venue. However an exclusion from that trading obligation should be provided if there is a legitimate reason. Those legitimate reasons are where trades are non-systematic, ad-hoc, irregular and infrequent, or are technical trades such as give-up trades which do not contribute to the price discovery process. Such an exclusion from that trading obligation should not be used to circumvent the restrictions introduced on the use of the reference price waiver and the negotiated price waiver or to operate a broker crossing network or other crossing system.
The option for trades to be done on a systematic internaliser is without prejudice to the systematic internaliser regime laid down in this Regulation. The intention is that if the investment firm itself meets the relevant criteria laid down in this Regulation to be deemed a systematic internaliser in that particular share, the trade may be dealt in that way; however, if it is not deemed a systematic internaliser in that particular share, the investment firm should still be able to undertake the trade on another systematic internaliser where that complies with its best execution obligations and the option is available to it. In addition, in order to ensure that multilateral trading with respect to shares, depositary receipts, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), certificates and other similar financial instruments is properly regulated, an investment firm that operates an internal matching system on a multilateral basis should be authorised as an MTF. It should be clarified that the best execution provisions set out in Directive 2014/65/EU should be applied in such a manner as not to impede the trading obligations under this Regulation.
Trading in depositary receipts, ETFs, certificates, similar financial instruments and shares other than those admitted to trading on a regulated market takes place in largely the same fashion, and fulfils a nearly identical economic purpose, as trading in shares admitted to trading on a regulated market. Transparency provisions applicable to shares admitted to trading on regulated markets should thus be extended to those financial instruments.
While, in principle, acknowledging the need for a regime of waivers from pre-trade transparency to support the efficient functioning of markets, the actual waiver provisions for shares applicable on the basis of Directive 2004/39/EC and of Commission Regulation (EC) No 1287/2006 ( 7 ), need to be scrutinised as to their continued appropriateness in terms of scope and conditions applicable. In order to ensure a uniform application of the waivers from pre-trade transparency in shares and eventually other similar financial instruments and non- equity products for specific market models and types and sizes of orders, the European Supervisory Authority (European Securities and Markets Authority), established by Regulation (EU) No 1095/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council ( 8 ) (‘ESMA’), should assess the compatibility of individual requests for applying a waiver with rules laid down in this Regulation and in delegated acts provided for in this Regulation. ESMA’s assessment should take the form of an opinion in accordance with Article 29 of Regulation (EU) No 1095/2010. In addition, the already existing waivers for shares should be reviewed by ESMA within an appropriate timeframe and an assessment should be made, following the same procedure, as to whether they are still in compliance with the rules set out in this Regulation and in delegated acts provided for in this Regulation.
The financial crisis exposed specific weaknesses in the way information on trading opportunities and prices in financial instruments other than shares is available to market participants, namely in terms of timing, granularity, equal access, and reliability. Timely pre-trade and post-trade transparency requirements taking account of the different characteristics and market structures of specific types of financial instruments other than shares should thus be introduced and calibrated for different types of trading systems, including order-book, quote-driven, hybrid, periodic auction trading and voice trading systems. In order to provide a sound transparency framework for all relevant financial instruments, these should apply to bonds, structured finance products, emission allowances and derivatives which are traded on a trading venue. Therefore, exemptions from pre-trade transparency and adaptations of the requirements in relation to deferred publication should be available only in certain defined cases.
It is necessary to introduce an appropriate level of trade transparency in markets for bonds, structured finance products and derivatives in order to help the valuation of products as well as the efficiency of price formation. Structured finance products should, in particular, include asset backed securities as defined in Article 2(5) of Commission Regulation (EC) No 809/2004 ( 9 ), comprising among others collateralised debt obligations.
In order to ensure uniform applicable conditions between trading venues, the same pre-trade and post-trade transparency requirements should apply to the different types of venues. The transparency requirements should be calibrated for different types of financial instruments, including equities, bonds, and derivatives, taking into account the interests of investors and issuers, including government bond issuers, and market liquidity. The requirements should be calibrated for different types of trading, including order-book and quote-driven systems such as request for quote as well as hybrid and voice broking systems, and take account of transaction size, including turnover, and other relevant criteria.
In order to avoid any negative impact on the price formation process, it is necessary to introduce an appropriate volume cap mechanism for orders placed in systems which are based on a trading methodology by which the price is determined in accordance with a reference price and for certain negotiated transactions. That mechanism should have a double cap, whereby a volume cap is applied to each trading venue that uses those waivers so that only a certain percentage of trading can be done on each trading venue, and in addition an overall volume cap is applied which if exceeded would result in the suspension of use of those waivers across the Union. In relation to the negotiated transactions, it should only apply to those transactions that are made within the current volume weighted spread reflected on the order book or the quotes of the market makers of the trading venue operating that system. It should exclude negotiated transactions in illiquid shares, depositary receipts, ETFs, certificates or other similar financial instruments, and those transactions that are subject to conditions other than the current market price as they do not contribute to the price formation process.
In order to ensure that trading carried out OTC does not jeopardise efficient price discovery or a transparent level playing field between means of trading, appropriate pre-trade transparency requirements should apply to investment firms dealing on own account in financial instruments OTC insofar as it is carried out in their capacity as systematic internalisers in relation to shares, depositary receipts, ETFs, certificates or other similar financial instruments for which there is a liquid market and bonds, structured finance products, emission allowances and derivatives which are traded on a trading venue and for which there is a liquid market.
An investment firm executing client orders against own proprietary capital should be deemed a systematic internaliser, unless the transactions are carried out outside a trading venue on an occasional, ad hoc and irregular basis. Thus, systematic internalisers should be defined as investment firms which, on an organised, frequent systematic and substantial basis, deal on own account by executing client orders outside a trading venue. The requirements for systematic internalisers in this Regulation should apply to an investment firm only in relation to each single financial instrument, for example on ISIN-code level, in which it is a systematic internaliser. In order to ensure an objective and effective application of the definition of systematic internaliser to investment firms, there should be a pre-determined threshold for systematic internalisation containing an exact specification of what is meant by frequent, systematic and substantial basis.
While an OTF is any system or facility in which multiple third-party buying and selling interests interact in the system, a systematic internaliser should not be allowed to bring together third-party buying and selling interests. For instance, a so-called single-dealer platform, where trading always takes place against a single investment firm, should be considered a systematic internaliser, were it to comply with the requirements included in this Regulation. However, a so-called multi-dealer platform, with multiple dealers interacting for the same financial instrument, should not be considered a systematic internaliser.
Systematic internalisers should be able to decide on the basis of their commercial policy and in an objective non- discriminatory way the clients to whom they give access to their quotes, distinguishing between categories of clients, and should also be entitled to take account of distinctions between clients, for example in relation to credit risk. Systematic internalisers should not be obliged to publish firm quotes, execute client orders and give access to their quotes in relation to equity transactions above standard market size and non-equity transactions above the size specific to the financial instrument. Systematic internalisers’ compliance with their obligations should be checked by and information made available to competent authorities to enable them to do so.
It is not the intention of this Regulation to require the application of pre-trade transparency rules to transactions carried out on an OTC basis, other than within a systematic internaliser.
Market data should be easily and readily available to users in a format as disaggregated as possible to allow investors, and data service providers serving their needs, to customise data solutions to the furthest possible degree. Therefore, pre-trade and post-trade transparency data should be made available to the public in an ‘unbundled’ fashion in order to reduce costs for market participants when purchasing data.
Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council ( 10 ) and Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council ( 11 ) should be fully applicable to the exchange, transmission and processing of personal data for the purposes of this Regulation, particularly Title IV, by Member States and ESMA.
Considering the agreement reached by the parties to the G20 Pittsburgh summit on 25 September 2009 to move trading in standardised OTC derivative contracts to exchanges or electronic trading platforms where appropriate, a formal regulatory procedure should be defined for mandating trading between financial counterparties and large non-financial counterparties in all derivatives which have been considered to be clearing-eligible and which are sufficiently liquid to take place on a range of trading venues subject to comparable regulation and enabling participants to trade with multiple counterparties. The assessment of sufficient liquidity should take account of market characteristics at national level including elements such as the number and type of market participants in a given market, and of transaction characteristics, such as the size and frequency of transactions in that market.
A liquid market in a product class of derivatives will be characterised by a high number of active market participants, including a suitable mix of liquidity providers and liquidity takers, relative to the number of traded products, which execute trades frequently in those products in sizes below a size that is large in scale. Such market activity should be indicated by a high number of resting bids and offers in the relevant derivative leading to a narrow spread for a transaction of normal market size. The assessment of sufficient liquidity should recognize that the liquidity of a derivative can vary significantly according to market conditions and its life cycle.
Considering the agreement reached by the parties to the G20 in Pittsburgh on 25 September 2009 to move trading in standardised OTC derivative contracts to exchanges or electronic trading platforms where appropriate on the one hand, and the relatively lower liquidity of various OTC derivatives on the other, it is appropriate to provide for a suitable range of eligible venues on which trading pursuant to that commitment can take place. All eligible venues should be subject to closely aligned regulatory requirements in terms of organisational and operational aspects, arrangements to mitigate conflicts of interest, surveillance of all trading activity, pre-trade and post-trade transparency calibrated by financial instrument and types of trading system, and for multiple third-party trading interests to be able to interact with one another. The possibility for operators of venues to arrange transactions pursuant to that commitment between multiple third parties in a discretionary fashion should however be provided for in order to improve the conditions for execution and liquidity.
The obligation to conclude transactions in derivatives pertaining to a class of derivatives that has been declared subject to the trading obligation on a regulated market, MTF, OTF or third country trading venue should not apply to the components of non-price forming post-trade risk reduction services which reduce non-market risks in derivatives portfolios including existing OTC derivatives portfolios in accordance with Regulation (EU) No 648/2012 without changing the market risk of the portfolios. In addition, while it is appropriate to make specific provision for portfolio compression, this Regulation is not intended to prevent the use of other post-trade risk reduction services.
The trading obligation established for those derivatives should allow for efficient competition between eligible trading venues. Therefore those trading venues should not be able to claim exclusive rights in relation to any derivatives subject to that trading obligation preventing other trading venues from offering trading in those financial instruments. For effective competition between trading venues for derivatives, it is essential that trading venues have non-discriminatory and transparent access to CCPs. Non-discriminatory access to a CCP should mean that a trading venue has the right to non-discriminatory treatment in terms of how contracts traded on its platform are treated in terms of collateral requirements and netting of economically equivalent contracts and cross-margining with correlated contracts cleared by the same CCP, and non-discriminatory clearing fees.
Competent authorities’ powers should be complemented with an explicit mechanism for prohibiting or restricting the marketing, distribution and sale of any financial instrument or structured deposit giving rise to serious concerns regarding investor protection, orderly functioning and integrity of financial markets, or commodities markets, or the stability of the whole or part of the financial system, together with appropriate coordination and contingency powers for ESMA or, for structured deposits, the European Supervisory Authority (European Banking Authority) (EBA), established by Regulation (EU) No 1093/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council ( 12 ). The exercise of such powers by competent authorities and, in exceptional cases, by ESMA or EBA should be subject to the need to fulfil a number of specific conditions. Where those conditions are met, the competent authority or, in exceptional cases, ESMA or EBA should be able to impose a prohibition or restriction on a precautionary basis before a financial instrument or structured deposit has been marketed, distributed or sold to clients.
Those powers do not imply any requirement to introduce or apply a product approval or licensing by the competent authority, ESMA or EBA, and do not relieve investment firms of their responsibility to comply with the all relevant requirements laid down in this Regulation and in Directive 2014/65/EU. The orderly functioning and integrity of commodity markets should be included as a criterion for intervention by competent authorities in order to enable action to be taken to counteract possible negative externalities on commodities markets from activities on financial markets. This is true, in particular, for agricultural commodity markets the purpose of which is to ensure a secure supply of food for the population. In those cases, the measures should be coordinated with the authorities competent for the commodity markets concerned.
Competent authorities should notify ESMA of the details of any of their requests to reduce a position in relation to a derivative contract, of any one-off limits, as well as of any ex-ante position limits in order to improve coordination and convergence in how those powers are applied. The essential details of any ex-ante position limits applied by a competent authority should be published on ESMA’s website.
ESMA should be able to request information from any person regarding their position in relation to a derivative contract, to request that position to be reduced, as well as to limit the ability of persons to undertake individual transactions in relation to commodity derivatives. ESMA should then notify relevant competent authorities of measures it proposes to undertake and should publish those measures.
The details of transactions in financial instruments should be reported to competent authorities to enable them to detect and investigate potential cases of market abuse, to monitor the fair and orderly functioning of markets, as well as the activities of investment firms. The scope of that oversight includes all financial instruments which are traded on a trading venue and financial instruments where the underlying is a financial instrument traded on a trading venue or where the underlying is an index or basket composed of financial instruments traded on a trading venue. The obligation should apply whether or not such transactions in any of those financial instruments were carried out on a trading venue. In order to avoid an unnecessary administrative burden on investment firms, financial instruments that are not susceptible to market abuse should be excluded from the reporting obligation. The reports should use a legal entity identifier in line with the G-20 commitments. ESMA should report to the Commission on the functioning of such reporting to the competent authorities and the Commission should take steps to propose any changes where appropriate.
The operator of a trading venue should provide its competent authority with relevant financial instrument reference data. Those notifications are to be transmitted by the competent authorities without delay to ESMA, which should publish them immediately on its website to enable ESMA and competent authorities to use, analyse and exchange transaction reports.
In order to serve their purpose as a tool for market monitoring, transaction reports should identify the person who has made the investment decision, as well as those responsible for its execution. In addition to the transparency regime provided for in Regulation (EU) No 236/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council ( 12 ), the marking of short sales provides useful supplementary information to enable competent authorities to monitor levels of short selling. Competent authorities need to have full access to records at all stages in the order execution process, from the initial decision to trade, through to its execution. Therefore, investment firms should keep records of all their orders and all their transactions in financial instruments, and operators of platforms are required to keep records of all orders submitted to their systems. ESMA should coordinate the exchange of information among competent authorities to ensure that they have access to all records of transactions and orders, including those entered on platforms that operate outside their territory, in financial instruments under their supervision.
Double reporting of the same information should be avoided. Reports submitted to trade repositories registered or recognised in accordance with Regulation (EU) No 648/2012 for the relevant financial instruments which contain all the required information for transaction reporting purposes should not need to be reported to competent authorities, but should be transmitted to them by the trade repositories. Regulation (EU) No 648/2012 should be amended to that effect.
Any exchange or transmission of information by competent authorities should be in accordance with the rules on the transfer of personal data as laid down in Directive 95/46/EC. Any exchange or transmission of information by ESMA should be in accordance with the rules on the transfer of personal data as laid down in Regulation (EC) No 45/2001, which should be fully applicable to the processing of personal data for the purposes of this Regulation.
Regulation (EU) No 648/2012 lays down the criteria according to which classes of OTC derivatives should be subject to the clearing obligation. It prevents competitive distortions by requiring non-discriminatory access to CCPs offering clearing of OTC derivatives to trading venues and non-discriminatory access to the trade feeds of trading venues to CCPs offering clearing of OTC derivatives. As OTC derivatives are defined as derivative contracts whose execution does not take place on a regulated market, there is a need to introduce similar requirements for regulated markets under this Regulation. Derivatives traded on regulated markets should also be centrally cleared.
In addition to requirements in Directive 2004/39/EC and in Directive 2014/65/EU that prevent Member States from unduly restricting access to post-trade infrastructure such as CCP and settlement arrangements, it is necessary that this Regulation removes various other commercial barriers that can be used to prevent competition in the clearing of financial instruments. To avoid any discriminatory practices, CCPs should accept to clear transactions executed in different trading venues, to the extent that those venues comply with the operational and technical requirements established by the CCP, including the risk management requirements. Access should be granted by a CCP if certain access criteria specified in regulatory technical standards are met. With regard to newly established CCPs that have been authorised or recognised for a period of less than three years at the point of entry into force of this Regulation, with respect to transferable securities and money market instruments, there should be the possibility for competent authorities to approve a transitional period of up to two-and-a-half years before they are exposed to full non-discriminatory access in relation to transferable securities and money market instruments. However, if a CCP chooses to avail of the transitional arrangement it should not be able to benefit from the access rights to a trading venue under this Regulation for the duration of the transitional arrangement. Furthermore, no trading venue with a close link to that CCP should be able to benefit from the access rights to a CCP under this Regulation for the duration of the transitional arrangement.
Regulation (EU) No 648/2012 lays down the conditions under which non-discriminatory access between CCPs and trading venues should be granted for OTC derivatives. Regulation (EU) No 648/2012 defines OTC derivatives as derivatives whose execution does not take place on a regulated market or on a third-country market considered as equivalent to a regulated market in accordance with Article 19(6) of Directive 2004/39/EC. In order to avoid any gaps or overlaps and to ensure consistency between Regulation (EU) No 648/2012 and this Regulation, the requirements set out in this Regulation on non-discriminatory access between CCPs and trading venues apply to derivatives traded on regulated markets or on a third-country market considered as equivalent to a regulated market in accordance with Directive 2014/65/EU and all non-derivative financial instruments.
Trading venues should be required to provide access including data feeds on a transparent and non-discriminatory basis to CCPs that wish to clear transactions executed on a trading venue. However, this should not necessitate the use of interoperability arrangements for clearing transactions in derivatives or create liquidity fragmentation in a way that would threaten the smooth and orderly functioning of markets. Access should only be denied by a trading venue if certain access criteria specified in regulatory technical standards are not met. With regard to exchange-traded derivatives, it would be disproportionate to require smaller trading venues, particularly those closely linked to CCPs, to comply with non-discriminatory access requirements immediately if they have not yet acquired the technological capability to engage on a level playing field with the majority of the post-trade infrastructure market. Therefore trading venues below the relevant threshold should have the option of exempting themselves, and therefore their associated CCPs, from non-discriminatory access requirements in respect of exchange-traded derivatives for a period of 30 months with the possibility of subsequent renewals. However, if a trading venue chooses to exempt itself, it should not be able to benefit from the access rights to a CCP under this Regulation for the duration of the exemption.
Furthermore, no CCP with a close link to that trading venue should be able to benefit from the access rights to a trading venue under this Regulation for the duration of the exemption. Regulation (EU) No 648/2012 identifies that where commercial and intellectual property rights relate to financial services related to derivative contracts, licenses should be available on proportionate, fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms. Therefore, access to licences of, and information relating to, benchmarks that are used to determine the value of financial instruments should be provided to CCPs and other trading venues on a proportionate, fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory basis and any license should be on reasonable commercial terms. Without prejudice to the application of competition rules, where any new benchmark is developed following the entry into force of this Regulation an obligation to licence should start 30 months after a financial instrument referencing that benchmark commenced trading or was admitted to trading. Access to licenses is critical to facilitate access between trading venues and CCPs under Article 35 and 36 as otherwise licensing arrangements could still prevent access between trading venues and CCPs that they have requested access to.
The removal of barriers and discriminatory practices is intended to increase competition for clearing and trading of financial instruments in order to lower investment and borrowing costs, eliminate inefficiencies and foster innovation in Union markets. The Commission should continue to closely monitor the evolution of post-trade infrastructure and should, where necessary, intervene in order to prevent competitive distortions from occurring in the internal market, in particular where the refusal of access to infrastructure or to benchmarks contravenes Articles 101 or 102 TFEU. The licencing duties under this Regulation should be without prejudice to the general obligation of proprietary owners of benchmarks under Union competition law, and under Articles 101 and 102 TFEU in particular, concerning access to benchmarks that are indispensable to enter a new market. Approvals of competent authorities to not apply access rights for transitional periods are not authorisations or amendments of authorisations.
The provision of services by third-country firms in the Union is subject to national regimes and requirements. Those regimes are highly differentiated and the firms authorised in accordance with them do not enjoy the freedom to provide services and the right of establishment in Member States other than the one where they are established. It is appropriate to introduce a common regulatory framework at Union level. The regime should harmonise the existing fragmented framework, ensure certainty and uniform treatment of third-country firms accessing the Union, ensure that an assessment of effective equivalence has been carried out by the Commission in relation to the prudential and business conduct framework of third countries, and should provide for a comparable level of protection to clients in the Union receiving services by third-country firms.
In applying the regime the Commission and Member States should prioritise the areas covered by the G-20 commitments and agreements with the Union’s largest trading partners and should have regard to the central role that the Union plays in worldwide financial markets and ensure that the application of third-country requirements does not prevent Union investors and issuers from investing in or obtaining funding from third countries or third-country investors and issuers from investing, raising capital or obtaining other financial services in Union markets unless that is necessary for objective and evidence-based prudential reasons. In carrying out the assessments, the Commission should have regard to the International Organisation of Securities Commission’s (IOSCO) Objectives and Principles of Securities Regulation and its recommendations as amended and interpreted by IOSCO.
Where a decision cannot be made determining effective equivalence, the provision of services by third-country firms in the Union remains subject to national regimes. The Commission should initiate the equivalence assessment on its own initiative. Member States should be able to indicate their interest that a certain third-country or certain third countries are subject to the equivalence assessment carried out by the Commission, without such indications being binding on the Commission to initiate the equivalence process. The equivalence assessment should be outcome-based; it should assess to what extent the respective third-country regulatory and supervisory framework achieves similar and adequate regulatory effects and to what extent it meets the same objectives as Union law. When initiating those equivalence assessments, the Commission should be able to prioritise among third-country jurisdictions taking into account the materiality of the equivalence finding to Union firms and clients, the existence of supervisory and cooperation agreements between the third country and the Member States, the existence of an effective equivalent system for the recognition of investment firms authorised under foreign regimes as well as the interest and willingness of the third country to engage in the equivalence assessment process. The Commission should monitor any significant changes to the regulatory and supervisory framework of the third country and review the equivalence decisions where appropriate.
Under this Regulation, the provision of services without branches should be limited to eligible counterparties and professional clients per se. It should be subject to registration by ESMA and to supervision in the third country. Proper cooperation arrangements should be in place between ESMA and the competent authorities in the third country.
The provisions of this Regulation regulating the provision of services or undertaking of activities by third-country firms should not affect the possibility for persons established in the Union to receive investment services by a third-country firm at their own exclusive initiative or for Union investment firms or credit institutions to receive investment services or activities from a third-country firm at their own exclusive initiative or for a client to receive investment services from a third-country firm at their own exclusive initiative through the mediation of such a credit institution or investment firm. Where a third-country firm provides services at the own exclusive initiative of a person established in the Union, the services should not be deemed as provided in the territory of the Union. Where a third-country firm solicits clients or potential clients in the Union or promotes or advertises investment services or activities together with ancillary services in the Union, it should not be deemed as a service provided at the own exclusive initiative of the client.
With regard to the recognition of third-country firms, and in accordance with the Union’s international obligations under the agreement establishing the World Trade Organisation, including the General Agreement on Trade in Services, decisions determining third-country regulatory and supervisory frameworks as equivalent to the regulatory and supervisory framework of the Union should be adopted only if the legal and supervisory framework of the third country provides for an effective equivalent system for the recognition of investment firms authorised under foreign legal regimes in accordance with, amongst others, the general regulatory goals and standards set out by the G-20 in September 2009 of improving transparency in the derivatives markets, mitigating systemic risk, and protecting against market abuse. Such a system should be considered equivalent if it ensures that the substantial result of the applicable regulatory framework is similar to Union requirements and should be considered effective if those rules are being applied in a consistent manner.
A range of fraudulent practices have occurred in spot secondary markets in emission allowances (EUA) which could undermine trust in the emissions trading scheme, set up by Directive 2003/87/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council ( 13 ) , and measures are being taken to strengthen the system of EUA registries and conditions for opening an account to trade EUAs. In order to reinforce the integrity and safeguard the efficient functioning of those markets, including comprehensive supervision of trading activity, it is appropriate to complement measures taken under Directive 2003/87/EC by bringing emission allowances fully into the scope of this Regulation and Directive 2014/65/EU as well as of Regulation (EU) No 596/2014 of the European Parliament and the Council ( 14 ) and of Directive 2014/57/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council ( 15 ), by classifying them as financial instruments.
The Commission should be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 290 of TFEU. In particular, the delegated acts should be adopted in respect of the extension of the scope of certain provisions of this Regulation to third-country central banks, specific details concerning definitions, specific cost-related provisions related to the availability of market data, access to quotes, the sizes at or below which a firm shall enter into transactions with any other client to whom a quote is available, portfolio compression and the further determination of when there is a significant investor protection concern or a threat to investor protection, the orderly functioning and integrity of financial markets or commodity markets or to the stability of the whole or part of the financial system of the Union may warrant ESMA, EBA or competent authorities’ action, position management powers of ESMA, the extension of the transitional period under Article 35(5) of this Regulation for a certain period of time and in respect of the exclusion of exchange-traded derivatives from the scope of certain provisions of this Regulation for a certain period of time. It is of particular importance that the Commission carry out appropriate consultations during its preparatory work, including at expert level. The Commission, when preparing and drawing up delegated acts, should ensure a simultaneous, timely and appropriate transmission of relevant documents to the European Parliament and to the Council.
In order to ensure uniform conditions for the implementation of this Regulation, implementing powers should be conferred on the Commission relating to the adoption of the equivalence decision concerning the third-country legal and supervisory framework for the provision of services by third-country firms or third-country trading venues for the purpose of eligibility as trading venues for derivatives subject to the trading obligation and of access of third-country CCPs and third-country trading venues to trading venues and CCPs established in the Union. Those powers should be exercised in accordance with Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council ( 16 ).
Since the objectives of this Regulation, namely to establish uniform requirements relating to financial instruments in relation to disclosure of trade data, reporting of transactions to the competent authorities, trading of derivatives and shares on organised venues, non-discriminatory access to CCPs, trading venues and benchmarks, product intervention powers and powers on position management and position limits, provision of investment services or activities by third-country firms, cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States, because, although national competent authorities are better placed to monitor market developments, the overall impact of the problems related to trade transparency, transaction reporting, derivatives trading, and bans of products and practices can only be fully understood in a Union-wide context, but can rather, by reason of its scale and effects, be better achieved at the Union level, the Union may adopt measures, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity as set out in Article 5 of the Treaty on European Union. In accordance with the principle of proportionality, as set out in that Article, this Regulation does not go beyond what is necessary in order to achieve those objectives.
No action taken by any competent authority or ESMA in the performance of their duties should directly or indirectly discriminate against any Member State or group of Member States as a venue for the provision of investment services and activities in any currency. No action taken by EBA in the performance of its duties under this Regulation should directly or indirectly discriminate against any Member State or group of Member States.
Technical standards in financial services should ensure adequate protection of depositors, investors and consumers across the Union. As a body with highly specialised expertise, it would be efficient and appropriate to entrust ESMA, with the elaboration of draft regulatory technical standards which do not involve policy choices, for submission to the Commission
The Commission should adopt the draft regulatory technical standards developed by ESMA regarding the precise characteristics of trade transparency requirements, regarding the monetary, foreign exchange and financial stability policy operations and the types of the certain transactions relevant under this Regulation, regarding the detailed conditions for waivers from pre-trade transparency, regarding deferred post-trade publication arrangements, regarding the obligation to make pre-trade and post-trade data available separately, regarding the criteria for the application of the pre-trade transparency obligations for systematic internalisers, regarding post-trade disclosure by investment firms, regarding the content and frequency of data requests for the provision of information for the purposes of transparency and other calculations, regarding transactions that do not contribute to the price discovery process, regarding the order data to be retained, regarding the content and specifications of transaction reports, regarding the content and specification of financial instrument reference data, regarding the types of contracts which have a direct, substantial and foreseeable effect within the Union and the cases where the trading obligation for derivatives is necessary, regarding the requirements for systems and procedures to ensure that transactions in cleared derivatives are submitted and accepted for clearing, specifying types of indirect clearing service arrangements, regarding derivatives subject to an obligation to trade on organised trading venues, regarding non-discriminatory access to a CCP and to a trading venue, regarding non-discriminatory access to and obligation to licence benchmarks, and concerning the information that the applicant third-country firm should provide to ESMA in its application for registration. The Commission should adopt those draft regulatory technical standards by means of delegated acts pursuant to Article 290 TFEU and in accordance with Articles 10 to 14 of Regulation (EU) No 1093/2010.
Article 95 of Directive 2014/65/EU provides for a transitional exemption for certain C6 energy derivative contracts. It is therefore necessary that the technical standards specifying the clearing obligation developed by ESMA in accordance with Article 5(2)(b) of Regulation (EU) No 648/2012 take that into account and do not impose a clearing obligation on derivative contracts which would subsequently be subject to the transitional exemption for C6 energy derivative contracts.
The application of the requirements in this Regulation should be deferred in order to align applicability with the application of the transposed rules of the recast Directive and to establish all essential implementing measures. The entire regulatory package should then be applied from the same point in time. Only the application of the empowerments for implementing measures should not be deferred so that the necessary steps to draft and adopt those implementing measures can start as early as possible.
This Regulation respects the fundamental rights and observes the principles recognised in particular by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, in particular the right to the protection of personal data (Article 8), the freedom to conduct a business (Article 16), the right to consumer protection (Article 38), the right to an effective remedy and to a fair trial (Article 47), and the right not to be tried or punished twice for the same offence (Article 50), and has to be applied in accordance with those rights and principles.
The European Data Protection Supervisor was consulted in accordance with Article 28(2) of Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 and delivered an opinion on 10 February 2012 ( 17 ) ,
HAVE ADOPTED THIS REGULATION:
( 1 ) OJ C 161, 7.6.2012, p. 3.
( 2 ) OJ C 143, 22.5.2012, p. 74.
( 3 ) Position of the European Parliament of 15 April 2014 (not yet published in the Official Journal) and decision of the Council of 13 May 2014.
( 4 ) Directive 2004/39/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 April 2004 on markets in financial instruments amending Council Directives 85/611/EEC and 93/6/EEC and Directive 2000/12/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council and repealing Council Directive 93/22/EEC (OJ L 145, 30.4.2004, p. 1).
( 5 ) Directive 2014/65/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 May 2014 on markets in financial instruments and amending Directive 2002/92/EC and Directive 2011/61/EU (See page 349 of this Official Journal).
( 6 ) Regulation (EU) No 648/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 July 2012 on OTC derivatives, central counterparties and trade repositories (OJ L 201, 27.7.2012, p. 1).
( 7 ) Commission Regulation (EC) No 1287/2006 of 10 August 2006 implementing Directive 2004/39/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards record-keeping obligations for investment firms, transaction reporting, market transparency, admission of financial instruments to trading, and defined terms for the purposes of that Directive (OJ L 241, 2.9.2006, p. 1).
( 8 ) Regulation (EU) No 1095/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 November 2010 establishing a European Supervisory Authority (European Securities and Markets Authority), amending Decision No 716/2009/EC and repealing Commission Decision 2009/77/EC (OJ L 331, 15.12.2010, p. 84).
( 9 ) Commission Regulation (EC) No 809/2004 of 29 April 2004 implementing Directive 2003/71/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards information contained in prospectuses as well as the format, incorporation by reference and publication of such prospectuses and dissemination of advertisements (OJ L 149, 30.4.2004, p. 1).
( 10 ) Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 1995 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (OJ L 281, 23.11.1995, p. 31).
( 11 ) Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2000 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data by the Community institutions and bodies and on the free movement of such data (OJ L 8, 12.1.2001, p. 1).
( 12 ) Regulation (EU) No 236/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 March 2012 on short selling and certain aspects of credit default swaps (OJ L 86, 24.3.2012, p. 1).
( 13 ) Directive 2003/87/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 October 2003 establishing a scheme for greenhouse gas emission allowance trading within the Community and amending Council Directive 96/61/EC (OJ L 275, 25.10.2003, p. 32).
( 14 ) Regulation (EU) No 596/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 April 2014 on market abuse (market abuse regulation) and repealing Directive 2003/6/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council and Commission Directives 2003/124/EC, 2003/125/EC and 2004/72/EC (See page 1 of this Official Journal).
( 15 ) Directive 2014/57/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 May 2014 on criminal sanctions for market abuse (market abuse directive) (see page 179 of this Official Journal).
( 16 ) Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 February 2011 laying down the rules and general principles concerning mechanisms for control by Member States of the Commission’s exercise of implementing powers (OJ L 55, 28.2.2011, p. 13)
( 17 ) OJ C 147, 25.5.2012, p. 1.