ESMA’s report reveals only €1.8m in sanctions under MiFID II imposed in 2019

Maria Nikolova

The report shows only half of member states imposed such sanctions with most of these not including a fine.

MiFID II implementation likely to be set back even further

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the EU’s securities markets’ regulator, today published its report on the sanctions and measures imposed under the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II) by National Competent Authorities (NCAs).

The report shows that the NCAs in 15 (out of 30) EU/EEA Member States imposed such sanctions last year. Most of these sanctions did not include a fine. For instance, in Luxembourg, there were 83 sanctions. Only one violation resulted in an administrative fine of EUR 50,000, while the remaining violations were sanctioned by injunctions (that may give raise to administrative fine if the entities do not rectify the deficiencies that have been identified during on-site inspections).

Portugal imposed fines of EUR 750,000 last year, being the EU/EEA Member State that imposed the biggest volume of fines under MiFID II last year.

In 15 Member States, NCAs imposed sanctions and measures which resulted in a total of 371 sanctions and measures. Those totalled EUR 1,828,802. The comparison between the 2019 and 2020 reports shows an increase in the number of Member States where sanctions and measures were applied, the total number of sanctions and measures reported and the aggregated amount of administrative sanctions imposed.

ESMA believes that (i) as MiFID II/MiFIR has been applicable for two years and due to the considerable time that enforcement processes take from the beginning to their conclusion; and (ii) the differences between the requirements of the MiFID II framework and national legislation on sanctions and measures highlighted above the data does still not allow to determine clear trends or tendencies in the imposition of sanctions and measures, nor to provide the basis for detailed statistics or clear comparisons across Member States.

If an NCA reported that “no/zero” sanctions and measures were imposed in 2019, this does not necessarily mean that the NCA did not take any enforcement action of MiFID II rules. Instead, a NCA’s report of no imposed MiFID II related sanctions and measures in 2019, may also stem from practical factors, such as the considerable time that enforcement processes take from the beginning to their conclusion. This may have led to sanctions and measures or criminal proceedings ongoing in 2019, being pushed beyond the cut-off date of the reporting period (i.e. 31 December 2019).

Read this next

Digital Assets

Alameda sues Voyager Digital to recover $445 million

FTX’s failed trading arm, Alameda Research, asked a court to claw back $445 million from Voyager Digital, which it said SBF’s empire paid to the crypto lender before collapsing into bankruptcy.

Metaverse Gaming NFT

Toyota taps Astar Network to explore Web3 in grand style

Although the crypto ecosystem has faced its fair share of bumps, Japanese automaker Toyota is seemingly bullish about the space and continue to look at Web3 as a promising opportunity.

Digital Assets

Bitcoin dominates inflows into crypto funds, AuM hits $28B

As the price of bitcoin continues to consolidate around recent highs, investors expand their positions in funds designed to profit from further appreciation in the cryptocurrency.

Institutional FX

Fiserv secures major payment institution licence in Singapore

Brookfield-based financial services technology provider Fiserv Inc has obtained nod for a Major Payment Institution license in Singapore.

Institutional FX

Finalto expands NDFs line-up with Taiwanese dollar

Finalto announced today that it has expanded its non-deliverable forwards (NDFs) offering with the addition of Taiwan’s dollar to its trading platform.


It’s time for FX to Harness Crypto’s Potential

Jonathan Cumberlidge, FX Sales Director for BVNK, makes the case for cryptocurrencies in improving the efficiency and flexibility of foreign exchange trading.

Digital Assets

Owner of OptionMint, OptionKing, and OptionQueen gets 30 months in prison

A US federal judge has sentenced Ohio resident Jared Davis, who was found guilty for his participation in a multi-million fraud scheme carried out by Israeli-run binary options websites.

Executive Moves

iS Prime co-founders Raj Sitlani and Jonathan Brewer leave, but “business as usual”

“For our clients and teams at iS Prime, iS Risk and iS Prime Hong Kong, it is business as usual. We will be increasing our investment in our technology and staff, putting our clients first as we drive the business forwards to maintain our market leadership position.”

Digital Assets

Germany-focused DekaBank taps METACO for digital asset custody offering

“Digital assets are a critical part of the future, a radical new way for how assets will be represented, from currencies to real estate.”