Friday, September 14, 2012 1:00:24 PM

Crucial MiFID vote faces delay as MEP talks drag

Further delays to Europe-wide financial markets regulation MiFID II may occur after MEPs failed to reach agreement on amendments to the European Commission’s proposal this week.

Meetings of the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON) on Monday and Thursday this week reached compromises between MEPs on rules related to high-frequency trading (HFT) while decisions on creating a consolidated tape and the introduction of organised trading facilities (OTF) were pushed back until next week.

Depending on the progress made in the meetings now scheduled for 17 and 18 September, an ECON vote slated for 26 September on for the wording of the Parliament’s version of MiFID II may be delayed until shortly after that date to accommodate further discussion. No date has been set for the full parliamentary vote.

The agenda for the Monday meeting will revolve around market structure regulation and the creation of a consolidated tape across European venues.

Points believed to have been agreed by MEPs this week include minimum resting times for orders, minimum tick sizes and circuit breakers, although details have not been made public.

Rickard Ydrenäs, policy advisor to Olle Schmidt MEP and member of the Alliance for Liberals and Democrats in Europe, said agreements were reached on several major issues, but the sheer volume of points to be debated had caused the delays.

“This week we had progress on HFT discussions, among other topics. On Monday we will have a meeting to discuss the technical elements then a final discussion on Tuesday to discuss the more political aspects of the directive,” Ydrenäs said. 

This week’s meeting saw ECON members frantically try to whittle down the 2,000-plus amends put forward earlier this year by MEPs, which caused ECON to delay its vote from July to September.

“Hopefully if everything goes well next week we will be voting on 26 September, but we’re not totally certain at this stage,” Ydrenäs said.

After MEPs vote to finalise ECON's version of MiFID II, the Council of the European Union, a collection of member states' finance ministers, will agree a separate version of the text, before both versions are reconciled, with input from the European Commission.

Richard Henderson +1 212 217 6916