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miércoles, 15 de diciembre de 2010

Hacia la reforma de la Directiva MiFID

La actual regulación de los mercados de valores europeos surge en una notable medida de la incorporación de la Directiva MiFID (Directiva 2004/39/EC-acrónimo de la denominación en inglés: Markets in Financial Instruments Directive). En realidad, el marco legal europeo se plasmó en esa Directiva, en la Directiva 2006/73/EC y en el Reglamento 1287/2006. El pasado 8 de diciembre de 2010, la Comisión Europea publicó un informe en que se plantean distintas cuestiones referidas a la reforma de la Directiva MiFID, cuando apenas han transcurrido tres años de vigencia. De ahí que la primera pregunta que se plantea es sobre la razón que justifica esa revisión:

“Why is MiFID being reviewed only three years after entry into force?
In keeping with its intended objective, MiFID has contributed to a more competitive and integrated EU financial market. However, recent events and market developments have demonstrated weaknesses in some of the underlying principles of MiFID, as well as highlighted areas needing reinforcement or revision. Such measures are necessary in order to bolster investor confidence and achieve all of MiFID's original objectives. Ensuring a more robust framework of regulation will also serve to address the more complex market reality we are now faced with, a reality which is characterised by increasing diversity in financial instruments and methods of trading. Similar discussions are taking place elsewhere in the world”.

La crisis financiera aparece como el trasfondo de esta iniciativa, que como se subraya de manera expresa, se alinea con acuerdos adoptados internacionalmente (G-20) y persigue una revisión armonizada de los mercados más allá de la Unión Europea. La pregunta, habitual en tantos foros, es la de la relación entre ese régimen legal diseñado en la Directiva MiFID y la crisis:

Did MiFID contribute to the crisis?
The financial crisis was caused by multiple factors. The original objectives of MiFID were to improve the resilience of EU financial markets through free competition and high levels of market transparency and investor protection. To some extent these have been achieved. However, the full effects of MiFID are yet to play out. While it is true that the Directive has not entirely delivered on its objectives, it is mistaken to assign all developments, such as the growth of trading in newer trading functionalities (for example high frequency trading) and dark environments (for example all dark pools – see question 6) to MiFID. These have more to do with technological developments”.

Los principios que inspiran la reforma se dice que son cuatro y se explican en estos términos:

"What are the main objectives of the review?
Revising MiFID is an essential part of ongoing structural reforms in the aftermath of the financial crisis. These are aimed at establishing a safer, sounder, more transparent, and more responsible financial system that works for the economy and society as a whole. It has four main objectives.

It seeks to address rapid changes in both market structure and technology that could affect the smooth and efficient functioning of EU financial markets. The emergence of new organised trading facilities within banks and technological innovations, such as automated trading – including high-frequency trading – need to be suitably accounted for in the regulatory framework. Accounting for these requires assessing the risks they may pose for the orderly and efficient functioning of markets, and ensuring a level playing field is maintained between all trading venues and investment firms.

Second, significant extensions to MiFID are required to meet G202 consensus targets of tackling under-regulated and opaque aspects of the financial system. Extensions will seek to improve the organisation, transparency and oversight of these market segments, especially in those instruments traded mostly over the counter (OTC). Amendments to MiFID in these areas would be complementary to the new framework on the infrastructures for derivatives markets included in the legislative proposal on OTC derivatives, central counterparties and trade repositories (see IP/10/1125).

Third, specific measures are foreseen to improve oversight and transparency in commodity derivatives markets. Recent developments have heightened concerns that commodity derivatives markets are not functioning as they should. In line with G20 principles, MiFID will work to ensure these markets function efficiently, particularly for hedging and price discovery purposes.

Fourth, comprehensive rules in MiFID concerning investor protection require targeted improvements in order to strengthen high standards of investor protection throughout the EU. This concerns, for example, requirements for the provision of investment advice to clients or information and protection needs of investors in relation to more complex instruments.

La nota de la Comisión anuncia que presentará una Propuesta de modificación de la Directiva en mayo de 2011.

Madrid, 15 de diciembre de 2010