ESMA Releases Public Statement on MiFID II Best Execution Reporting During COVID-19 Pandemic

The disruption to markets caused by preventative lockdowns in response to the Coronavirus pandemic has caused execution venues and firms a great deal of uncertainty with regards to their best execution reporting obligations.

In a statement issued on March 31st, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has recommended that NCAs do not ‘prioritise supervisory action against execution venues and firms’ while COVID-19 remains a threat, and subsequent actions put in place to prevent its spread remain in place.  

Building on this point, ESMA made the following recommendations with regards to possible timelines: 

  • NCAs should consider that execution venues who would ordinarily be obliged to publish RTS 27 reports by 31 March 2020 ‘may only be able to publish them as soon as reasonably practicable after that date’. ESMA does maintain, however, that these reports should be published no later than the following quarterly RTS 27 reporting deadline (i.e. 30 June 2020)

  • Firms who would ordinarily be obliged to publish an RTS 28 report by 30 April should be given until 30 June 2020 before supervisory action takes place. 

These are, however, simply recommendations; ESMA has encouraged NCAs to not follow these recommendations to the letter of the law, but rather to ‘apply a risk-based approach in the exercise of supervisory powers’ concerning RTS 27 and RTS 28 deadlines. 


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