The European Securities and Markets Authority and the UK's Financial Conduct Authority are extending the closing date for responses to their consultation papers to allow firms to focus on supporting their customers during the coronavirus crisis.
ESMA said it would extend the response date for all ongoing consultations with a closing date on or after 16 March by four weeks due to the significant impact of the Covid-19 outbreak.
These include consultations on the transparency regime for non-equity instruments and the trading obligation for derivatives, the MIFIR and MIFID II regimes for third-country firms and the MIFIR transparency regime for systematic internalisers, among others.
"The outbreak of Covid-19 has impacted significantly the activities of all market stakeholders imposing a reprioritisation of efforts to address the crisis and in such circumstances, ESMA has found it appropriate to ensure that input to consultation papers is not altered by the ability of stakeholders to provide responses," ESMA said in a statement.
The European regulator has also issued a public statement addressing the challenges firms are facing to meet their reporting requirements under the Securities Financing Transactions Regulation (SFTR) before 13 April 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
ESMA said it expects national regulators to not prioritise supervisory activity towards firms’ compliance with the SFTR reporting obligation between 13 April 2020 and 13 July 2020. This also applies to the requirement for firms to report securities financing transactions under MiFIR when their counterparty is a member of the European System of Central Banks.
ESMA also confirmed it will not prioritise trade repository registration ahead of 13 April 2020, but it will ensure trade respositories are registered before 13 July 2020.
On 20 March, the FCA said it would support ESMA's statement and will not prioritise supervision of these reporting requirements until at least 13 July 2020. A month earlier, FIA, jointly with other trade associations, sent a letter to the FCA to notify the regulator that the commodity industry would require additional time to implement new reporting requirements under SFTR.
In addition, the FCA said it will postpone all non-urgent work to help firms deal with the impact of coronavirus. In an update on 17 March, the FCA said that it would be extending the closing date for responses to its consultation papers and calls for input, including the call for input on accessing and using wholesale data, to 1 October 2020.
"We are reviewing our work plans so that we can delay or postpone activity which is not critical to protecting consumers and market integrity in the short-term. This will allow firms to focus on supporting their customers during this difficult period," the FCA said.