Washington/London — The US securities and exchange commission (SEC) will blunt the impact of new European financial rules on Wall Street after American brokerages warned the changes threatened their investment research businesses. The SEC took the unusual step of providing formal assurances for 30 months to an entire industry that it won’t object if firms break out the cost of market analysis for their European clients, rather than bundling it together with trade execution services as many currently do. Europe requires that brokers charge separately for research from January, but doing so conflicts with US regulations. "Today’s no-action relief was designed with input from a range of market participants to reduce confusion and operational difficulties that might arise in the transition to the revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive’s (MiFID II) research provisions," said SEC chairperson Jay Clayton. "These steps should preserve investor access to research in the near term...

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