February 13, 2019 / 11:00 AM / 2 months ago

EU gives nod to global data swap by market regulators

The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, February 12, 2019. REUTERS/Staff

LONDON (Reuters) - A global pact to allow regulators from across the world to collaborate on tackling market abuses meets European Union standards for protecting personal data, the bloc’s data watchdog has said.

The pact or “administrative arrangement” was drafted by the bloc’s European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) and the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO).

Regulators routinely request information from each other to check on suspicious transactions and gather evidence for prosecutions, such as the attempted rigging of the Libor interest rate benchmark.

The EU introduced its General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in May last year to strengthen personal data privacy rights, giving consumers greater control over their personal information.

U.S. finance regulators have warned that the data rules have started to adversely affect the exchange of cross-border information.

The European Data Protection Board (EDPB) said in an “opinion” on Tuesday that provisions in the arrangement “ensure appropriate safeguards when personal data will be transferred” to regulators outside the bloc.

The EDPB said the agreement needs final approval from regulators at the national level.

IOSCO said it could not comment before its board discusses the EDPB opinion. ESMA had no immediate comment.

Since May regulators have had to use a “public interest” exemption to exchange information on a case-by-case basis for tackling fraud like insider trading or attempts to rig market benchmarks.

Reporting by Huw Jones; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle and Ken Ferris

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