July CPD Newsbrief — Financial services regulation and ethics
Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II
The Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II (MiFID) is on its way. The original MiFID was implemented in 2007 and sought to promote a single market for wholesale and retail transactions in financial instruments.
MiFID promoted competition and brought lower prices for investors, but it needed updating to bring greater transparency to markets and strengthen investor protection. So MiFID II will cover such matters as limitations on inducements, controls for independent advice and product governance and improved information requirements on costs and charges that will be applied to clients. Many of these proposals mirror those already introduced in the UK by the Retail Distribution Review.
In addition, MiFID II includes revisions following the significant developments to financial markets in the past few years as the result of rapid technological changes (e.g. the growth of automated trading). MiFID II’s proposals are an essential part of ongoing structural reforms in the aftermath of the financial crisis.
MiFID II was formally approved by the European Council in May 2014, and it is expected to come into force in June 2014. Member states will have to implement MiFID II by the start of 2017. However, while MiFID II has been passed in principle, much of the technical work to make it operational still needs to be done. The European Securities Markets Authority (ESMA) has therefore launched a 533-page consultation paper and a 311-page discussion paper on MiFID II (which will provide the basis for a further consultation paper), as a first step in the process of translating MiFID II’s primary rules into practically applicable rules and regulations.
Market participants have until 1 August 2014 to respond to the vast number of complex proposals as to how to deal with the numerous challenges of making MiFID II operational.
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