The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published a report highlighting the work of National Competent Authorities (NCAs) in enforcing the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II) regulations that were launched in mid-2018. Much has been said and debated regarding the impact MiFiDII regulations would have on online brokerages in Europe and the UK and the possible sanctions and fines that could be dealt out.
The findings in the report suggest that member NCAs have “cautiously” approached reprimanding firms for failures or breaches of MiFiDII directives and accounted for only €1.8m in fines imposed on financial firms in 2019. A review of statistics by country in the report suggests that some EU nations have issued a significant amount of sanctions, yet did not prescribe a fine. In other cases, countries like Italy, Poland, Sweden, and others, where a considerable number of online and FX brokerages continue to operate, no sanctions or enforcement measures were recorded (see list below).
Nonetheless, ESMA indicated that some enforcement actions are actually still in progress and may have not been included in the report, as they are ongoing. This suggests that the review and enforcement of MiFiDII directives can be burdensome on all parties in some cases and take a significant amount of time to resolve or face sanctions.
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