Keeping pace with all of the regulatory changes that took place as the result of Brexit was no easy task, as we discovered over the past 18 months! Now that we’ve had a chance to breathe, we thought we’d take a moment to reflect on the 6 key things that we learnt throughout this process.
1. The FCA doesn't like MICs
There is nothing we like more at FundApps then a good, solid universally-accepted identifier. We love LEIs, we love ISINs and we especially love MICs. Knowing which market your shares are listed on is THE number one determinant as to whether you are in-scope for a jurisdictions disclosure regime. So having a nice, handy 4-letter identifier is pretty useful. Just look it up against a list of a country's regulated markets and away you go! Apart from when dealing with the FCA, who stubbornly supply you with a list of names (some current, some not) of market operators and then leave you to do your own research as to whether their sub-markets are eligible or not. Trust us, we've asked them to give us all MICs, they said, no, and we are asking them again.
Come on FCA - give us some MICs!
2. And Bloomberg only likes them some of the time
You have secured a data supplier, you have created your XML, all you need to do now is sit back and watch the disclosures roll in using your favourite dinosaur-themed regulatory software. Unfortunately, your data supplier has given you a list of MICs that are... related... somehow... to your share, but perhaps not in the way you thought. The keywords "admitted to trading on an EEA regulated market" don't ever seem to line up with the list of MICs that the data providers supply.
3. Issuers really need to display their HMS loud and proud
Some say it's fantasy, but rumour has it that somewhere hidden deep in the vast halls of knowledge that is the internet, there is a metaphorical pot of gold that is a complete list of issuer Home Member States. Yet until that divine repository appears (ESMA, we're looking at you!), we are all unfortunately stuck scanning through regulator websites, market RNS feeds and truly diving into the depths of issuer websites. If you aren't conscientious enough to have yet learnt all the 24 official languages of the EU, then this can pose quite the problem, let alone be entirely time-consuming. FundApps says: get that HMS value out there - it's only two little letters, and the whole regulatory world will thank you.
Looking for Home Member State values? Then why not sign up for free access to our Global Company Database, FundApps' community-driven resource for all issuer information.
Screenshot of our Global Company Database service
4. To dual disclose or not to dual disclose
What did we actually learn here? Well, despite lots of warnings that a dual disclosure might be required, it turns out a lot of regulators just didn't want them. They just didn't decide that until some gallant disclosers actually tried to send off their positions and duly got it sent back with a note saying "Nein". Regulators could have saved us (and themselves) a lot of time by confirming this upfront - as our legal partners aosphere asked them to!
5. ESMA almost finished their register maintenance as planned
Credit where it is due, ESMA did detail pretty accurately what days they would be spending updating their registers and what disruption to expect (not a lot of detail about what to do whilst the disruption was going on, mind!). We saw FIRDS downtime as expected in the opening weeks of the year before a sudden early switch back into full operation. You may have been aware of this when suddenly a whole raft of issuers dropped in and out of scope for disclosure across Europe. Though we were left mightily stumped when FIRDS decided to break for a few days after all the maintenance had been completed! Unfortunately, in this case, they are not so forthcoming with information. We know. We asked them about it. A lot.
6. Midnight disclosures and Greenwich Meantime
We have a sneaky suspicion that the FCA almost missed some of the finer details of their own regulation. With the 11pm GMT end to the EU-based regulation on 31st December 2020, this left an entire hour where suddenly the UK post=Brexit IP regulation came into effect. How? Because in the UK, your position is counted at exactly midnight on that day. Fortunately, we managed to get this confirmed from the FCA beforehand and set all our rules up accordingly.
Looking for some further background on Brexit and the regulatory changes? Check out the earlier posts in this popular blog series.