Top 10 European Stories of 2018

WatersTechnology recaps some of year’s top EU stories.

European financial markets have undergone a dramatic transformation since the beginning of the year with the introduction of long-anticipated, wholesale reform through regulation—but more changes are just around the corner as the Brexit deadline edges closer.

WatersTechnology has covered the birth of the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II (Mifid II) and brought to life the challenges of its implementation throughout the year. The team has extensively covered the impact of the General Data Protection Regulation which came into effect on May 25, uprooted the challenges of the upcoming Securities Financing Transactions Regulation (SFTR) and shed light on the industry’s questions over a European consolidated tape provider.

Coverage spanned across all corners of the continent, with our journalists reporting on-site at some of Europe’s biggest events including TradeTech Europe in Paris, the World Federation of Exchanges General Assembly in Athens and the Fixed Income Leader’s Summit in Amsterdam.

This year has seen data jump up the ladder as one of the core considerations for financial market firms across the EU—whether it’s the explosion of data, the emerging value of unique datasets or the unprecedented challenges set forth due to regulatory reform or the Brexit outcome. Going forward, one thing is certain, the data conversation has only just begun.

Looking back it’s been a jam-packed year filled with groundbreaking coverage, so it was a difficult task to select the top 10 EU stories for 2018. Therefore, added below are some key additional reads from over the past 12 months.

The Day Data Stood Still

Brexit has caused many headaches for industry participants with regulators included. James Rundle and Amelia Axelsen unearthed one of the leading challenges to date, as the European Securities Markets Authority (Esma) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) scramble to ensure the continued flow of information between the authorities after the March 29 cut-off point.

Mifid Data Runs Aground With Issues at European Regulators

Mifid II preparations have been long, tiresome and filled with problems. In January Aggelos Andreou, Joanne Faulkner and James Rundle provided a comprehensive report on how EU national competent authorities faced their own fair share of technical challenges following the regulation’s go-live date.

Wrestling Over Competing Mifid II, GDPR Data Demands

Taking on two of the biggest regulations this year, Kirsten Hyde dissects the conflicting challenges of complying with Mifid II and GDPR. The piece provides an in-depth understanding of the regulations and maps out the core elements that have the potential to become problematic for financial market firms.

Bond Trading Takes Steps to Resolve Voice and Screen Conflict

The EU has been a key driver in electronic trading but some parts of the fixed income space appear reluctant to shed old habits. Hamad Ali takes a detailed look at the bond market and how its trading platforms are likely to evolve.

Illuminated Data: SFTR May Reach Too Far / Technology Holds the Key to SFTR

Its official, the EU commission has ratified SFTR as of December 13 and the regulation is expected to be rolled out in Q2 2020. In August, WatersTechnology offered up a heavy serving of everything you need to know about SFTR, spanning across the data and technology challenges for trading firms.

Consolidated Tape Headed for a Regulation Delegation

The industry is crying out for improved data quality and standardization.  In September, Jamie Hyman provided an in-depth guide to the CTP conundrum, looking at the roadblocks to date and what to expect for the future.

Europe Unveils Fintech Action Plan

In March, James Rundle and Anthony Malakian covered the launch of the EU Commission’s action plan, aimed at promoting the growing fintech sector, ranging from blockchain developments to cybersecurity standards.

Bad Blood: Regulators Lose Patience with Mifid II’s Dirty Data

Halfway through the year, more Mifid II problems began to surface and EU lawmakers lifted the lid on the quality of reports from trading venues and reporting platforms such as Approved Publication Arrangements (APAs). For additional coverage on this click here.

Firms Vent Frustration with Vendor Relationships

The cost of data has ruffled feathers this year. In September, Amelia Axelsen highlighted the concerns of data managers over soaring pricing models at the European Financial Information Summit in London.

Lingering Questions Remain Over Mifid II

As 2018 comes to a close, Hamad Ali reviews the aftermath of Mifid II a year on. He takes a look at the lessons learned, the outstanding problems of the regulation, the impact of Brexit and how Mifid III is no longer a distant possibility but a reality. For more coverage on how Brexit will impact Mifid II click here.

Additional Reads:


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FCA declines to directly regulate market data prices

A year-long investigation by the UK regulator to determine whether competition is hindered in the wholesale data markets has concluded with its decision not to directly regulate much-maligned data pricing and licensing structures.

Waters Wrap: Inside the mind of the CTO

After having one-on-one conversations with eight different senior bank technologists, Anthony explains how these execs look at innovation strategy from a philosophical perspective.

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