The FCA has warned that senior management and firms should already be preparing for the challenging January 2017 deadline for MiFID II.

Lawton made a speech at the MiFID II Wholesale Firms Conference, hosted by the UK regulator, on 19 October to discuss the 1,500-page draft technical standards issued by the European Securities and Markets Authority last month. Delegated acts, the implementing measures, are expected to be published in November or December.

He emphasised that MiFID II is a major priority for the FCA as the regulator believes the legislation will improve market integrity, enhance competition and provide necessary protection for consumers and market users.

To say that MiFID II will change the way European markets operate in future is without doubt hugely underplaying the likely impact of this legislation. From new transparency regimes for equity and, for the first time, non-equity trading, regulation of new entities like OTFs and authorisation of firms utilising high-frequency trading, strengthened conduct of business requirements and disclosures, to caps on dark trading of equities and positions limits for commodity derivatives,” Lawton added.

If the draft technical standards are approved by the European Commission, Parliament and Council, MiFID II will come into force on 3 January 2017, the date written into the legislation. If changes are not made, the technical standards could be finalised in the first quarter of next year.

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