On November 4, the Securities and Exchange Commission extended temporary no-action relief to firms that are regulated in the United States in connection with their efforts to comply with the research provisions of the European Union’s Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II (MiFID II). Under the extension, the SEC staff will not recommend enforcement action

On October 18, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) published its updated list of jurisdictions that have strategic anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorist financing (CTF) deficiencies for which they have developed an action plan with the FATF. The FATF updates this list three times a year, the last update being in June 2019.
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On October 3, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published a Consultation Paper (the Paper) on Draft Technical Advice on the provision of clearing services on a fair, reasonable, non-discriminatory and transparent (FRANDT) basis pursuant to the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR).

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On September 13, the CFTC and European Commission issued a joint statement reaffirming their mutual commitment to transatlantic cooperation among regulators (Joint Statement). The Joint Statement was released following a September 5 meeting between CFTC Chairman Heath Tarbert and John Berrigan, Deputy Director General for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union (DG FISMA), European Commission.
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On September 5, the German Federal Government published a proposal relating to a draft law implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/834 (EMIR REFIT), which also clarifies the licensing requirements for non-EU firms (which would include UK firms after Brexit) that conduct cross-border proprietary trading with German counterparties or on German trading venues.


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On August 20, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published a letter written jointly with the European Banking Authority (EBA) and addressed to the European Commission (EC) relating to cryptoassets. The letter responds to a letter from the Commission dated July 19.

The letter begins by welcoming the EC’s work responding to issues identified in the January 2019 reports by ESMA and the EBA on cryptoassets and initial coin offerings (for more information, see the January 11, 2019 edition of Corporate & Financial Weekly Digest). ESMA and the EBA agree that it is vital that further work progresses urgently to inform any actions taken by the new EC.
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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 24, the European Commission (EC) published a suite of documents assessing the current anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorist financing (CTF) framework in operation in the European Union (EU).

Although each document is addressed to the European Parliament and the Council of the EU, the EC states that it believes that these documents will support the EU and national authorities to better address money laundering and terrorist financing risks. It notes that some improvements can be made quickly at an operational level, and the EC will continue to support EU member states in this, while also reflecting on how to address the remaining structural challenges.
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