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Regulatory Trends in EMEA - Volume 1, 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic has deepened, unprecedented measures have been introduced by governments. Read our latest update for further information on these and other developments impacting the regulatory landscape across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

As the COVID-19 pandemic has deepened, unprecedented measures have been introduced by governments. The response to the economic downturn has seen important fiscal measure being introduced.

Central banks have reacted quickly by reducing interest rates to floor levels and scaling up measures of quantitative easing, the pace and scale of which are much greater than those experienced in 2008. From a financial services’ perspective, we have seen regulators focus on business continuity to ensure consumer protection and market stability.

Regulators have been providing relief to near term implementation programmes by announcing delays so banks can focus on the challenges posed by the coronavirus outbreak. Aside from COVID-19, the core trends and focus of regulators (at both a local & EU wide perspective) remains the same i.e. transparency, accountability, outsourcing oversight & an increased focus on all things ESG. It is those trends plus action around money laundering & the world’s increasingly aging population that we are still expecting most new regulation to focus on.

Brexit is still not done from the aspect of what agreement is or is not agreed between the UK and the EU at the end of the transition period. However, there is increasing pressure on the, end of 2020 date, due to the focus on coronavirus, which has slowed the planned trade talks. Not only is the withdrawal agreement absent of any detail on financial services, the core trade deal is not expected to cover the provision of services. The latter will therefore need to be complemented by further agreements likely to be decided upon post-2020. We will stay close to any developments here and keep you all updated.

Whether change is initiated locally or not, the level of regulation that must be adhered to continues to require vigilant monitoring. Northern Trust dedicates significant time to tracking and analysing the implications of regulatory change.

We are aware of a number of consultation papers (CPs) which have recently been published by ESMA, particularly impacting existing fund regulations. We continue to impact assess the implications of these CPs and will provide further updates upon publication of any relevant RTS in further communications.

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