On July 29, the European Commission (EC) published a communication on equivalence in the area of financial services (Communication). The EC states that, in light of recent policy developments, it is timely to take stock of the EU’s approach to equivalence.

The Communication discusses the purpose and importance of equivalence. The EC states that each new decision is looked at individually and in detail to ensure that the policies of third countries are compatible with those of the EU, and that any equivalence determination is beneficial to, and sustainable for, both parties.EU financial services law includes approximately 40 provisions that allow the EC to adopt equivalence decisions and as of July 29, the EC has adopted more than 280 equivalence decisions for more than 30 countries.
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On July 3, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) published an updated version (dated June 2019) of its anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorist financing (CTF) standards.

This version includes a recently adopted interpretative note to recommendation 15 (new technologies), in which the FATF explains how its standards apply to virtual asset activities and virtual asset service providers (VASPs).
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On July 3, the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published a consultation paper (CP19/22) on prohibiting the sale, marketing and distribution to retail clients of derivatives and exchange traded notes (ETNs) referencing certain types of cryptoassets by firms acting in, or from, the UK.
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On July 1, the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published a policy statement (PS19/18) containing rules on restricting contract for difference (CFD) products and CFD-like options sold to retail clients.

The FCA consulted on the rules in December 2018 in CP18/38 (for more information, see the December 14, 2018 edition of Corporate & Financial Weekly Digest). In PS19/18, the FCA confirms that for CFDs and CFD-like options sold to retail clients, firms will be required to:
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On June 21, 2019, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published a press release announcing that it has made available updated results of the annual transparency calculations for equity and equity-like instruments.

The results are published pursuant to delegated regulations under the revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive and the Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation. The calculations include:

  • Liquidity assessments.
  • The determination of the most relevant market in terms of liquidity (MRM).
  • The determination of the average daily turnover (ADT) relevant for the determination of the pre-trade and post-trade large in scale (LIS) thresholds.
  • The determination of the average value of the transactions (AVT) and the related standard market size (SMS).
  • The determination of the average daily number of transactions on the most relevant market in terms of liquidity relevant for the determination of the tick-size regime.


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On June 18, 2019, the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Over the Counter Derivatives, Central Counterparties and Trade Repositories) (Amendment) Regulations 2019 (the Regulations) were published on legislation.gov.uk with an explanatory memorandum.

The Regulations make amendments to UK legislation to ensure that the regulation amending the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR REFIT) is fully

On May 28, the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) published a consultation paper on regulating crypto-asset trading platforms (CTPs).

The consultation paper describes issues and risks identified by IOSCO in relation to CTPs. The consultation paper describes key considerations and provides related toolkits that are intended to assist regulatory authorities who may be evaluating

On May 31, the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published its policy statement titled “Proposals to Promote Shareholder Engagement: Feedback to CP19/7 and Final Rules” (PS19/13), which implements aspects of the Shareholder Rights Directive II (SRD II).

PS19/13 follows the FCA’s consultation on its draft rules relating to SRD II. The FCA states that PS19/13 provides additional clarifications to aid asset managers and life insurers in interpreting the policy intent of the new rules.
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On May 24, the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published a press release confirming that it is extending the deadline for notifications for the temporary permissions regime (TPR) to October 30.

TPR would allow European Economic Area-based firms passporting into the UK to continue new and existing regulated business within the scope of their current permissions in the UK for a limited period, while they seek full FCA authorization. The TPR will go into effect upon Brexit taking effect, if there is no transition period. The TPR deadline had previously been extended from April 11 to May 30 (as reported in the April 19 edition of the Corporate & Financial Weekly Digest).
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On June 4, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) announced that it had published an updated version of each of its questions and answers documents (Q&As) on the application of the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) and the Undertakings for the Collective Investment in Transferable Securities (UCITS) Directive.
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