The EU has drafted the Market in Financial Instruments Directive, designed to create a single financial services market. If adopted, the Directive will allow financial institutions to provide services in other EU countries. The Directive would also allow financial institutions to serve as intermediaries with respect to purchases and sales of stock, allowing the institutions to compete with stock exchanges.
The Directive will be reviewed over the next four months. It is expected that it will be adopted this summer, with an effective date of November 2007.