Italy’s fast track to Mifid

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ROME – New regulations from the Bank of Italy and Consob – Italy’s regulating body for companies and stock exchanges – have implemented Italy’s last-minute preparations for the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (Mifid).

Italy adopted implementation measures on the eve of the November 1 deadline. Its fast track to Mifid began on October 8, when the Official Gazette published legislative decree 164/07, adapting the Financial Law Consolidated Act (FLCA) to implement the directive in Italy.

The regulations, active as of November 2 and published in Official Gazette 255, concern a joint discipline agreed between Consob and the Bank of Italy for Italian firms’ compliance with the new EU directive.

The Bank of Italy’s new regulations govern the minimum capital and foreign operations of investment firms, with obligations for intermediaries for deposits, sub-deposits and other services surrounding customers’ invested assets.

Consob’s contribution repeals previous regulations on intermediaries and markets, including the FLCA implementation provisions for intermediaries (July 1, 1998, Regulation 11522), and the regulation for FLCA’s implementation in markets (December 23, 1998, Regulation 11768).

The changes to Italy’s FLCA mean market trading is no longer restricted to regulated markets, with three new trading platforms, and that multilateral trading facilities are now classed as reserved investment services. The changes also promote regulated markets and systematic internalisers. Clients will be reclassified as retail, professional or eligible counterparties, and restrictions on market access for foreign investment and non-bank entities have been lifted.

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