THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION,
Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,
Having regard to Directive 2014/65/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 May 2014 on markets in financial instruments and amending Directive 2002/92/EC and Directive 2011/61/EU, and in particular the third subparagraph of Article 50(2) thereof,
Clock synchronisation has a direct impact in many areas. In particular it contributes to ensuring that post-trade transparency data can readily be part of a reliable consolidated tape. It is also essential for conducting cross-venue monitoring of orders and detecting instances of market abuse and allows for a clearer comparison between the transaction and the market conditions prevailing at the time of their execution.
The number of orders received every second by a trading venue can be very high, much higher than that of executed transactions. This may extend to several thousands of orders per second depending on the trading venue, the type of members or participants or clients of a given trading venue, and the financial instruments' volatility and liquidity. As a result, a time granularity of one second would not be sufficient for the purposes of effective market manipulation surveillance of certain types of trading activities. Therefore, it is necessary to establish minimum granularity requirements for recording the date and time of reportable events by operators of trading venues and their members or participants.
Competent authorities need to be able to reconstruct all events relating to an order throughout the lifetime of each order in an accurate time sequence. Competent authorities need to be able to reconstruct these events over multiple trading venues on a consolidated level to be able to conduct effective cross-venue monitoring on market abuse. It is therefore necessary to establish a common reference time and rules on maximum divergence from the common reference time to ensure that all operators of trading venues and their members or participants are recording the date and time based on the same time source and in accordance with consistent standards. It is also necessary to provide for accurate time stamping to allow competent authorities to distinguish between different reportable events which may otherwise appear to have taken place at the same time.
There are however, trading models for which increased accuracy might not be relevant or feasible. Voice trading systems or request for quote systems where the response requires human intervention or does not allow algorithmic trading, or systems which are used for concluding negotiated transactions should be subject to different accuracy standards. Trading venues operating those trading systems are not typically susceptible to the high volume of events that can happen within the same second, meaning that it is not necessary to impose a finer granularity to time stamping of those events since it is less likely that there would be multiple events occurring at the same time. In addition, trades on those trading venues may be agreed using manual methods which can take time to agree. In those trading venues there is also an inherent delay between the moment when the trade is executed and the moment when the trade is recorded in the trading system, meaning that applying more stringent accuracy requirements would not necessarily lead to more meaningful and accurate record keeping by the operator of the trading venue, its members or participants.
Competent authorities need to understand how trading venues and their members or participants are ensuring their traceability to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). This is because of the complexity of the different systems and the number of alternative methods that can be used to synchronise to UTC. Given that clock drift can be affected by many different elements, it is also appropriate to determine an acceptance level for the maximum divergence from UTC.
For reasons of consistency and in order to ensure the smooth functioning of the financial markets, it is necessary that the provisions laid down in this Regulation and the related national provisions transposing Directive 2014/65/EU apply from the same date.
This Regulation is based on the draft regulatory technical standards submitted by the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) to the Commission.
ESMA has conducted open public consultations on the draft regulatory technical standards on which this Regulation is based, analysed the potential related costs and benefits and requested the opinion of the Securities and Markets Stakeholder Group established by Article 37 of Regulation (EU) No 1095/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council,
HAS ADOPTED THIS REGULATION: