What is happening? On 3 July 2016, the Market Abuse Regulation (Regulation (EU) No 596/2014) (MAR) will take effect in the UK and across Europe, repealing and replacing the existing Market Abuse Directive (Directive 2003/6/EC) (MAD). MAR will broaden, and to an extent strengthen, the current EU market abuse regime; it aims to bring the regime up to date and was developed in parallel with the revised Markets in Financial Instruments legislative package, MiFID II, to ensure consistency in the scope of EU markets legislation.

Authors: Tim Dolan

Because MAR takes the form of a regulation rather than a directive, Member States have very limited discretion as to how they implement MAR domestically; one specific aim of the reform is to create a more harmonised market abuse regime across the EU. Although this means that extensive UK implementing measures are not required, MAR will result in substantive changes to UK legislation, and regulatory rules and guidance, to ensure that nothing in the UK regime is inconsistent with MAR. The practical impact is that market participants need to be prepared for changes to the location of the rules, as well as their content.