EU watchdog says recording trades 'not always practicable'

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LONDON (Reuters) – The European Union’s markets watchdog said it may not be “practicable” to record all telephone calls for trading securities because of the coronavirus epidemic.

Under EU law, traders must record calls when trading but banks have shut down their main trading floors, forcing dealers to work from back-up sites or even from home, making it harder to record all calls.

“ESMA reminds firms of the MiFID II requirements in this area,” ESMA said in a statement on Friday in reference to EU securities rules.

“ESMA also recognizes that, considering the exceptional circumstances created by the COVID-19 outbreak, some scenarios may emerge where, notwithstanding steps taken by the firm, the recording of relevant conversations required by MiFID II may not be practicable.”

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