By Huw Jones
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain will scrap a rule inherited from the European Union that aimed to open the listed derivatives market to more competition, saying it was not appropriate for Britain to implement it alone.
Britain had championed the “open access” rule that allows buyers and sellers of derivatives listed on exchanges across the EU to choose where they clear their contracts, rather than be locked into using a clearer owned by the exchange.
In the EU, the introduction of open access, which aimed to keep clearing fees competitive, has been delayed due to the impact on markets from the COVID-19 pandemic. The move has also been opposed by some European exchanges which own clearing houses.
In a sign of how Brexit is releasing Britain from complying with EU rules, the finance ministry said it had concluded that open access, originally designed to improve cross-border capital markets in the EU, was not suitable if Britain acted on its own.
“The government therefore intends to permanently remove the open access regime for exchange traded derivatives when parliamentary time allows,” the ministry said.
The decision has no bearing on Britain’s support for choice in clearing stocks and off-exchange traded derivatives “which will continue to operate as normal”, the ministry added.
(Reporting by Huw Jones; Editing by Edmund Blair)