Luxembourg
21 March 2017
Reporter: Stephanie Palmer

Maijoor: Brexit cannot mean regulatory competition


The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) is taking steps to prevent “regulatory competition” between EU member states as the UK prepares to exit the union, Steven Maijoor, chair of the authority, has warned.

Speaking at the ALFI European Asset Management Conference, Maijoor noted that ESMA has focused on moving towards regulatory convergence over the last few years—making sure that regulations are applied consistently throughout the EU.

As the UK government prepares to trigger Article 50 on 29 March, “the issue of supervisory convergence is even more prominent”, Maijoor said.

Some of London’s financial services market participants will be seeking a new location for some of their activities in the remaining 27 EU countries, and other financial centres are likely to make themselves as attractive, efficient and fast-to-react as possible.

Maijoor warned: “It is extremely important that these EU 27 do not compete on regulatory or supervisory treatment.”

He went on: “What we obviously cannot have is a situation where we embark on regulatory competition, supervisory competition, and where we undermine the robust standards of rule-making, the robust standards of supervision.”

Over the coming months, ESMA will work on issues relating to supervisory convergence in the context of Brexit, and expects to “make an important step with this work before summer”.

Maijoor stressed that this issue will affect asset management, investors services and trading venues, and noted that ESMA is exploring the instruments it needs to apply “to make sure there is not a new round of regulatory competition” like that that was seen before the financial crisis.

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