Banking and Financial Services
Last updated: 16 March 2018

Bird & Bird's EU Legislation Tracker highlights Regulations and Directives scheduled to take effect or to be implemented by Member States in the period prior to the UK's departure from the EU. It does not provide an exhaustive survey. Instead, we have sought to summarise some of the key legislation, both draft and finalised, which we are tracking in the run up to Brexit and which are likely to be of interest to companies which do business in the UK and/or elsewhere in Europe.

The Tracker includes a short commentary on the substance of each of the measures identified, and a timeline for their known or likely effective dates (for Regulations) or implementation deadlines (for Directives). These are colour coded by reference to the likely date of Brexit.

For the purposes of the Tracker, we have assumed that the UK will exit the EU two years from its service of the Article 50 notice (i.e. on 29th March 2019). However, a transitional period is expected to follow, until the end of 2020, during which the UK will be required to continue to align its laws with those of the EU Single Market and Customs Union. It is currently expected that the EU Withdrawal Bill will be enacted with effect from the exit date and that the resulting Act will retain all EU Regulations (and statutory instruments implementing EU Directives) in UK domestic law. However, the Act is also expected to enable amendments to such Regulations by statutory instruments during a two-years period, and this process will determine the final form, in UK domestic law, of such legislation now summarised in our Tracker.

Implementation status 
  Implementation deadline/effective date likely to be pre-Brexit
  Implementation deadline/effective date likely to be post-Brexit
 Timeline  EU legislation

Implemented on

26 June 2017

Fourth Money Laundering Directive (MLD4) ((EU) 2015/849)
  • The fourth piece of EU legislation on the prevention of the use of the EU financial system for money laundering and terrorist financing, which seeks to bring the EU regime in line with Financial Action Task Force standards. The EU's new anti-money laundering legislation.
  • MLD4 does not apply solely to financial services institutions, but extends to auditors, accountants, tax advisers, legal professionals, trust & company service providers, estate agents, gambling service providers, and traders of goods of EUR 10,000 or more.

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Implementation deadline:


  Fifth Money Laundering Directive (MLD5) ((EU) 2016/208)
  • The EU Commission has published a proposal for a Fifth Money Laundering Directive ("MLD5") to amend and expand upon MLD4.
  • Under MLD5, virtual currency exchange platforms and custodian wallet providers are to be brought within the scope of MLD4.

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