CySEC issued on 6th of April 2020 Circular C375, following ESMA’s public statements regarding the application of MiFID II / MiFIR requirements due to the outbreak of COVID-19, and adopted the recommendations of the below mentioned public statements. These public statements are referred to the recording of telephone conversations, the publication of reports by execution venues and firms as required under RTS 27 and 28 and the new tick size regime for systematic internalisers. In particular:
- Clarification of issues related to the application of MiFID II requirements on the recording of telephone conversations
MiFID II states that mandatory records to be kept by firms include, amongst other things, recording of telephone conversations relating to, at least, transactions concluded when dealing on own account and the provision of client order services that relate to the reception, transmission and execution of orders.
According to the ESMA public statement, in case the recording of relevant conversations may not be practicable due to the exceptional circumstances created by the COVID-19 outbreak, investment firms must adopt other alternative arrangements to ensure full compliance with the existing regulatory requirements.
- Clarification of issues related to the publication of reports by execution venues and firms as required under RTS 27 and 28
Taking into account the exceptional circumstances created by the COVID-19 outbreak, CySEC followed the recommendation of ESMA public statement regarding the publication of reports RTS 27 and 28 by execution venues and firms. To this end:
a. execution venues unable to publish RTS 27 reports due by 31 March 2020 may only be able to publish them as soon as reasonably practicable after that date and no later than by the following reporting deadline (i.e. 30 June 2020); and
b. firms may only be able to publish the RTS 28 reports due by 30 April 2020 on or before 30 June 2020
- Actions to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the EU financial markets regarding the new tick size regime for systematic internalisers
In addition, ESMA issued a Public Statement on 20 March 2020 regarding the compliance with the new tick size regime for systematic internalisers, introduced to MiFIR by Regulation (EU) No 2019/2033 (‘Investment Firm Regulation’ or ‘IFR’).
ESMA understands that the compliance with the new tick size requirements as of 26 March 2020 could create unintended operational risks for EU market participants in the current market situation in the context of the increasing spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and therefore ESMA is issuing the abovementioned public statement to ensure coordinated supervisory actions needed in response to the effect of the aforementioned adverse events on the application of IFR for systematic internalisers.
ESMA expects competent authorities not to prioritise their supervisory actions in relation to the new tick-size regime introduced in MiFIR towards systematic internalisers, as of 26 March 2020 and until 26 June 2020, and to generally apply their risk-based supervisory powers in their day to-day enforcement of applicable legislation in this area in a proportionate manner.
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