On 16 May 2008, the European Savings Banks Group, the European Association of Cooperative Banks and the European Association of Public Banks (together the Federations) sent a letter to the Committee of European Securities Regulators (CESR) criticising the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) Q&A which CESR launched in April 2008. The Federations' key concern was that when drafting responses in the MiFID Q&A, CESR was only consulting industry on an ad hoc basis.

CESR has now published its response to the Federations and the key points are:

  • The main purpose of the CESR MiFID Q&A is to address issues of practical application where a formal consultation is considered unnecessary.
  • The process used for preparing answers for the CESR MiFID Q&A ensures that they are in line with national requirements and the competent authorities' interpretation of them.
  • The answers, which are not legally binding, are intended to give firms clarity on MiFID’s requirements, rather than create an extra layer of requirements that have to be complied with.
  • It is not CESR's intention that all questions received will be answered without being subject to appropriate screening. When the new CESR website is launched, further guidance will be given to users of the CESR MiFID Q&A on how questions will be processed.
  • Although few questions have been received by CESR, in some cases, it has concluded that the Q&A is not the best mechanism to respond to a particular query.
  • CESR guidance will always be subject to a regular consultation process, whether it is issued as a Level 3 measure or as a Q&A.

View CESR responds to the Federations on the CESR MiFID Q&A, 4 September 2008