In response to a letter from Labour MEP Anneliese Dodds expressing concerns about the messaging service Symphony, the EU's financial services authority has written to national regulators regarding the sharing of information and record keeping requirements.
Anneliese's original letter, sent to both the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) and the European Commission on 25 May this year, called for an investigation into claims made by the software company Symphony that it was ‘regulator proof’.
ESMA has since written to all EU national regulators reminding them of the rules and their responsibilities in relation to record-keeping, given the concerns which Anneliese expressed. As a result, one regulator has held formal talks with investment banks regarding the implementation of Symphony software, and another has spoken to Symphony directly to clarify and understand their product and how it fits into the preparation for the implementation of forthcoming financial services rules known as MiFID II.
Anneliese Dodds MEP said: “My letter was aimed at ensuring that Symphony is abiding by the same laws that all other service providers have to follow. Symphony’s initial marketing strategy declared themselves ‘regulator proof’ and I have a duty to my constituents to make sure that no investment bank, software company or trader can fulfil that claim.”
The reply from ESMA also mentions Article 11 of the Market Abuse Regulation, which came into force in July of this year. Anneliese is the European Parliament lead on this new law, and had to fight to ensure that the record-keeping requirements set out in Article 11 were interpreted as widely as possible, to ensure that implementation of the new laws is meaningful. Article 11 specifically requires market participants to keep records of all communications they have with potential investors.
Anneliese continued: “The Market Abuse Regulation adds another layer of protection to the financial sector and ordinary investors from abusive traders. It is a sign of the good work that the European Parliament can achieve that we managed to uphold the highest possible standards for record keeping in the final legislation, in the face of attempts to water it down.”