European Securities and Markets Authority Seeks Clarity on the Ancillary Activity Exemption under MiFID II
04/09/2018The European Securities and Markets Authority has published a letter from its Chair, Steven Maijoor, to the European Commission seeking clarification on how to interpret the ancillary activity exemption under the revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive.
MiFID II exempts non-financial entities that deal on own account, or provide investment services to clients, in commodity derivatives from having to obtain authorization as an investment firm under MiFID II provided that, among other things, this activity is ancillary to their main business. The provisions of MiFID II are supplemented by a Commission Delegated Regulation setting out the Regulatory Technical Standard on the criteria to establish when an activity is considered to be ancillary to the main business. The wording of both MiFID II and the RTS suggest that the tests for whether activity is ancillary should be carried out at the level of the entity's group. However, some drafting amendments that were introduced by the Commission have led to uncertainty as to whether the tests should be carried out at the level of the entity rather than at group level.
ESMA states that it would not be appropriate for it to address this uncertainty through its usual Questions and Answers and invites the Commission to provide further guidance on the interpretation and implementation of the ancillary activity criteria, in particular on the level at which the tests should be applied.
View the ESMA letter.
View the Commission Delegated Regulation (2017/592).