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MiFID II

Revamping EU capital markets

· Regulatory update,Regulation

The FCA has confirmed that Brexit will not affect implementation so it is full steam ahead...

MiFID II has been delayed by a year but investment firms shouldn't interpret that as a reason to relax. There is a lot of work to prepare businesses to being compliant by the end of 2017.

Quick Snapshot

Stands for: Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II

Implementation: 3 January 2018

Who's affected: Investment firms across Europe, from asset managers, advisers, capital raisers to crowdfunding platforms

The background

In 2007 MiFID I came into force. Its aim was to create a single market in the EU for investment services and activities. The impact on UK firms was significant with much work needing to be done to bring operations up to standard. But the harmonisation enabled firms to conduct their MiFID services across Europe, through cross border and branch passports.

MiFID II has been brought in to improve on MiFID I, closing loopholes and reacting to new technology in the market.

The impact

MiFID II is much longer and detailed than its predecessor which indicates the scope and depth of what it covers. Although all firms will be affected, the degree of the impact will vary on the type of activities, clients and instruments that form your business. As a minimum there will be many small changes to firms' operational procedures but even these are likely to amount to a sizeable project.

Themes:

  • Fewer exemptions from MiFID
  • More detailed protection for consumers, and not just for retail clients but also for professional and eligible counterparties 
  • Prescriptive standards for product design and distribution plus product banning provisions
  • Extending telephone recording requirements
  • Fees and commission restrictions
  • Enhanced reporting, transparency and information provision
  • Best execution, suitability and appropriateness requirements
  • Creation of Organised Trading Facilities (OTFs) to catch trades that were not already executed on a regulated market

Action to take

Right now you should be planning your MIFID II project, but not necessarily starting it. Focus on setting aside the human, time and financial resource you'll need to help with designing, delivering and embedding new policies and processes.

Planning the detail of your project will be easier once the FCA finishes outlining how MiFID II will be translated in the UK, and therefore the extent of changes required. The 1st part of the FCA consultation was released in December 2015, and the 2nd part is likely to be released over summer 2016.

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