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Regulatory Update: January 2021

Regulations

By FactSet Insight  |  January 14, 2021

Each month, FactSet's Regulatory team offers a rundown of the most important developments in compliance and regulatory news. Read on to see which stories dominated the conversation last month.

FOCUS: brexit

On March 29, 2017, the United Kingdom notified its intention to withdraw from the European Union (EU)Brexit. The UK then formally left the EU on January 31, 2020, when the withdrawal agreement entered into force.

The withdrawal agreement started a transition period until December 31, 2020. From January 1, 2021, the UK is no longer an EU member state but continues to apply EU law.

  • The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the EU National Competition Authority (NCA), and the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) worked closely lately to ensure that market participants are aware of how they will be affected after January 1, 2021, and what might change. ESMA prepared different publications on various themes (share trading obligation (STO), derivative trading obligations, access to UK central counterparties (CCPs), and so on).
  • ESMA also started to withdraw authorizations for some UK-based entities in the Union with the European passport:
  • The EU/EEA securities regulators and the UK FCA just signed a Multilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) covering supervisory cooperation, enforcement, and information exchange between individual regulators and the FCA.
  • The EU published “The EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement” aiming to protect the EU's interests, ensuring fair competition, and continued cooperation in areas of mutual interests post-Brexit.

INTERNATIONAL

The Association of National Numbering Agencies (ANNA) announced in December the expansion of the ISIN-to-LEI Mapping Initiative. This ISIN to LEI mapping helps effectively link issuers to the issuance of securities, thereby improving transparency and aiding risk and exposure management. The ISIN-to-LEI mapping table is freely available to all without restriction and links to the data are available from both the Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation (GLEIF) and ANNA.

UNITED KINGDOM

The FCA is consulting on the first phase of proposed rules to introduce the UK Investment Firm Prudential Regime (IFPR). IFPR is a new prudential regime for UK firms authorized under the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID).

ESMA & EUropean union

  • ESMA asks for comments on the consultation paper on MiFID II/MiFIR review report on algorithmic trading. Comments should be sent before March 12, 2021.
  • In December, ESMA published final guidance to address leverage risk in the Alternative Investment Fund (AIF) sector
  • In early December, the Council of the EU adopted a decision and a regulation (Council Regulation (EU) 2020/1998) establishing a global human rights sanctions regime. This framework will enable targeting of individuals, entities, and bodies—including state and non-state actors—responsible for, involved in, or associated with serious human rights violations and abuses worldwide, no matter where they occurred.
  • The European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) published its opinion on the 2020 review of Solvency II. The review proposes a balanced update of the regulatory framework, taking into account the current economic situation, and completes the regulatory requirements.
  •  The European Commission, EIOPA, and Japan's Financial Services Agency (FSA) have issued a joint statement on Japan’s temporary equivalence regarding reinsurance and enhanced cooperation that ended on December 2020 as established under Solvency II.
  • The council of the EU approved conclusions on the Commission's new action regarding the Capital Markets Union

UNITED STATES

In December, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a raft of final rules under the ’33 Act, ’34 Act, Investment Adviser Act, and Investment Company Act. In chronological order, the new final rules are as follows:

The SEC also issued a proposed rule under the ’33 Act concerning Rule 144 Holding Period and Form 144 Filings.

Marine Hutinel, Barrie C. Ingman, and Nels Ylitalo contributed to this article.

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