December 18, 2017 / 4:00 PM / in 2 months

EU watchdog reassures on continuity of trading under new rules

LONDON (Reuters) - Investment firms and trading platforms in the European Union can continue operating even if their home state has not written new EU rules into national law by their January start date, the bloc’s securities watchdog said on Monday.

About 19 EU states had still not fully implemented the “MiFID II” rules into national law by October. This raised concerns about whether trading platforms and investment firms from those countries could still operate on a pan-EU basis from January.

“The authorization granted under MiFID I should continue to be valid after 3 January 2018,” the European Securities and Markets Authority said in new guidance on Monday.

MiFID II is already a year late, having been delayed to give regulators and banks more time to get ready.

But ESMA said regulators in an EU country that has implemented MiFID II should not have to accept new requests to operate there from firms whose home country has not implemented the new rules.

“In ESMA’s view, a stricter approach is warranted in this situation taking into account that a firm is not already offering the relevant services in the host member state,” the watchdog said.

Likewise, an EU country that has not implemented MiFID II cannot stop a firm from carrying on business there if its home state is in full compliance with the new rules.

Reporting by Huw Jones, editing by David Evans

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