PS23/11: Guidance on the trading venue perimeter

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Policy Statement

We are issuing new guidance on the regulatory perimeter for trading venues. The guidance provides greater clarity on when firms may be operating a multilateral system and so require authorisation as a trading venue. 

Read PS23/11 (PDF)

What we are changing

We are issuing new guidance in the Perimeter Guidance manual (PERG) of our Handbook in the form of Q&As. The guidance in Q24C – Q24L of PERG 13.3 clarifies our interpretation of the different elements of the definition of a multilateral system and how it applies to specific types of arrangements in financial markets.

Following issuance of our guidance, Q&As 7, 10, 11 and 12 in section 5 of the European Securities and Markets Authority's Q&As on MiFID II and MiFIR market structures topics will no longer form part of our supervisory expectations, reflecting the fact that these have now been superseded in domestic guidance.

To interpret the perimeter, we will continue to focus on the substance of the activity in question, rather than how it is labelled or whether the system operator complies with the requirements applicable to trading venues.

We are also updating the definition of a service company in the Glossary of our Handbook, so that it reflects current client categorisation terminology.

Who this applies to

The Policy Statement and final guidance will primarily be of interest to: 

  • trading venues 
  • service companies 
  • investment-based crowdfunding firms operating in primary and/or secondary markets
  • interdealer brokers
  • broker dealers
  • portfolio managers
  • technology firms offering platforms and systems for trading
  • firms providing communications systems or bulletin board services
  • arranging firms, including appointed representatives, providing or using communications systems or bulletin board services, and their principals

Next steps

Our guidance will come into force on 9 October 2023.

Ahead of this date firms should satisfy themselves that they hold the correct regulatory permissions and may wish to seek professional advice to inform this assessment.

If a firm decides that it wishes to adjust its regulatory permissions, we encourage that firm to engage with its relevant supervisor at an early stage. We will then work with firms on a case-by-case basis to ensure an orderly transition.


Further clarity about the perimeter will provide greater certainty to firms about their regulatory status. It will also help promote a level playing field in the market, while allowing firms to innovate and develop new technologies.

In CP22/18 we consulted on new guidance on the regulatory perimeter for trading venues to clarify what we mean by a multilateral system and how this relates to different types of arrangements in financial markets. 

This Policy Statement summarises the feedback received to CP22/18 and sets out our commentary on these responses, as well as the changes we are making to the guidance we consulted on.

This Policy Statement is part of the Wholesale Markets Review, the review of the UK wholesale markets we have been conducting with HM Treasury. It is also relevant to our Business Plan commitment of strengthening the UK’s position in global wholesale markets.

Page updates

: Information changed Consultation closed
: Information changed consultation period extended to 25 November