21 December 2017
Reporter: Zsuzsa Szabo

EU recognises equivalence of Swiss trading venues under MiFID II

The European Commission has granted equivalence status to trading venues in Switzerland as eligible for compliance with the trading obligation for shares set out in the second Markets in Financial Instruments Directive and Regulation (MiFID II/MiFIR), taking effect on 3 January 2018.

The EU's equivalence system is designed to encourage international regulatory convergence and facilitate financial services flows between the EU and third countries.

In a statement on the decision, the commision noted that the scope of the Swiss decision is much greater, as the trading of Swiss shares in the EU, and vice versa, is more widespread than with the other jurisdictions, such as the US, Hong Kong and Australia, which were recently recognised.

According to the commission, the decision aims to reassures investors that businesses and markets can continue to operate smoothly and without any market disruptions after 3 January 2018.

The commission is set to monitor the impact of the move and consider the broader political context including the progress in the negotiation of the institutional agreement with Switzerland.

The decision is limited to one year until 31 December 2018.

Valdis Dombrovskis, vice president for financial stability, financial services and the capital markets union, said: “With today's decision, we are ensuring continuity for businesses and markets.”

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