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SEC Extends Temporary Relief for MiFID II’s Research Provisions

SEC staff issued an extension of an Oct. 26, 2017 no-action letter  to assist market participants regarding their U.S.-regulated activities as they seek to comply with the research provisions of MiFID II. Under the extension of the temporary no-action letter, SEC staff would not recommend enforcement action to the Commission against broker-dealers receiving payments in hard dollars or through research payment accounts from clients subject to MiFID II. This no-action letter, which was set to expire July 3, 2020, has been extended until July 3, 2023. Separately, the extension letter notes the continued ability of broker-dealers to receive payments for research under section 28(e) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 through client commission arrangements (CCAs) and that the use of CCAs does not affect whether the exclusion for broker-dealers from the definition of “investment adviser” under the Advisers Act may be available. “Today’s extension will allow our staff to continue to monitor the evolving impact of MiFID II and evaluate whether any additional guidance or Commission action is appropriate. In this regard, our staff is focused on ensuring that market participants have flexibility and choice in how they pay for research,” said SEC Chairman Jay Clayton.

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