Adur, West & East Worthing Party including East Arun

Top Liberal Democrat MEP demands new Markets in Financial Instruments Directive to “ensure open and fair access”

Sharon Bowles MEP for South-East England, who chairs the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, today called for ‘open and fair access to trading venues and central counterparties (CCP).’ Some areas of industry have lobbied heavily to delete the provisions in the newly proposed European Commission’s Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) which would ensure this open access.

MiFID II is the key piece of regulation that is set to transform the way a range of instruments are traded in Europe. It aims to update and build on the reforms introduced by the 2007 MifID Directive.

Sharon said: “If Europe wants to demonstrate that it is serious about competition and growth it needs to take steps now in legislation such as MiFID. If we do not act carefully to ensure competition, openness and innovation in financial services as we legislate, then the G20 would be quite right to raise an eyebrow to the Eurozone’s claims to be getting to grips with the Euro-crisis. Among others, Germany, France, Italy and Spain have all been recommended by the Commission to open up their services sector and increase competition in financial services.The CME group and ICE, which both operate vertical silos, have just been designated systemically important and too big to fail by US regulators. I do not think we want the same for our institutions in Europe. We do not want taxpayers to be on the hook for bailing them out ten years down the line, just as they are today for banks. Europe will be speaking with forked tongue on growth if it insists on promoting ‘national’ or ‘European champions’ over the principle of an ‘open market economy with free competition’ which is embedded in the Treaty.”