Introduction to Securities Markets Regulation 

Securities markets regulation is concerned with overseeing the circulation of information about securities that are traded, monitoring the market for the abuse of information or financial resources to manipulate market and prices and supervising the corporate governance of organised markets.

The purpose of securities markets regulation is to promote an efficient and fair securities market.

In Ireland, the legal framework for securities markets regulation is based closely on EU law and a number of EU Directives – the Prospectus Directive, the Market Abuse Directive, the Transparency Directive and the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive – have been transposed into Irish law. The Short Selling Regulations and Regulation 648/2012 on OTC Derivatives, Central Counterparties and Trade Repositories ("EMIR") are also directly applicable in Ireland.

The Central Bank of Ireland has been appointed competent authority for most of this law. 

The Markets Directorate of the Central Bank of Ireland has responsibility for the competent authority securities markets functions arising from these EU Directives.  In this capacity, it has issued Prospectus, Market Abuse and Transparency Rules.

With regard to the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive, the Securities and Markets Supervision Division is responsible for the securities markets related competent authority functions therein e.g. the prudential supervision of the Irish Stock Exchange Limited (the ISE). 

Under the European Communities (Markets in Financial Instruments) Regulations 2007, the Main Securities Market of the ISE is a Regulated Market and the ISE is the Market Operator of the Main Securities Market and other markets which are Multilateral Trading Facilities (MTFs).

The Central Bank of Ireland is responsible for approving the rules of an investment firm or market operator that operates an MTF. 

The Central Bank of Ireland has developed guidelines for investment firms that intend to establish an MTF in Ireland.  These Guidelines can be found in the Authorisation Process for MIFID Firms section of this website.

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