MiFID II Regulations Prompt CySEC to Suspend ‘Fast Track’ CIF Licensing

The procedure has been popular with alternative investment fund managers and UCITS.

The implementation of the upcoming MiFID II regulatory framework in the beginning of 2018 is prompting national regulators to reassess some procedures. The latest announcement from the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) is focusing on the fast track process of licensing Cyprus Investment Firms (CIFs).

The watchdog has published a communique on its website informing prospective licensees that it is suspending its ‘fast track’ process. The CySEC announced this back in 2015, but it wasn’t relevant to brokers. The process was popular amongst alternative investment fund managers (AIFs) and undertakings for collective investments in transferable securities (UCITS).

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As highlighted, the scheme is not intended for use by brokers and as such doesn’t have any direct impact on CIFs that are focused on the FX space.

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Changes associated with MiFID II implementation are starting to get ramped up before its implementation on the 2nd of January 2018. Cypriot authorities are highlighting that firms that have already submitted their ‘fast track’ examination applications will be reviewed in time.

The process will be affected only for companies that are looking to get authorized as CIFs. All other ‘fast track’ examinations will remain unaffected. The regulator appears to be expecting to relaunch the process at a later date, and will specify should a decision in relation to Cyprus Investment Firms be reached.

MiFID II implementation across the EU remains a risk to the stability of the financial system in the coming months. Retail brokers have been particularly worried about a provision that allows local regulators to suspend the offering of certain products for a period of time.

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