The European Securities and Markets Authorities (ESMA) updated its question and answers (Q&A) section today regarding transparency and market structures issues under the Market in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II) and Regulation (MiFIR). Of particular note was an update covering the requirement imposed on trading venues to make post-trade data available free of charge 15 minutes after publication.
ESMA defines a trading venue as being an organized trading facility (OTF), multilateral trading facility (MTF) or a regulated market – a multilateral system operated and/or managed by a market operator.
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Making information easy to access
Today’s update noted that data published by trading venues must be machine readable. This means that data cannot be published as an image or in any other form that would not enable the public to use and copy it. Moreover, trading venues are prohibited from putting up any paywall, even if it is a third-party putting up the pay-wall, that would require users to pay to access published data.
Published information must also be easy to read and access. This means that firms must have clear instructions on their website that shows how to access the data. Firms cannot set up their published data so that it must be reached via a search engine. It must also be provided in a format that ‘can be understood by the average reader’ – what exactly this means remains unclear.
Data should also be kept on the firm’s website for a reasonable period. The regulator stated in the updated Q&A section today that firms should leave data up on their websites for a minimum of 24 hours.