Brussels moves closer to MiFID II delay

The European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee on Thursday voted to accept a proposed delay in the implementation of the package of regulatory changes to existing laws known as MiFID II, which would see the date of the legislation’s coming into force pushed back by a year to January 2018.

The full European Parliament must now approve the proposed delay, which a spokesperson for the Economic Affairs committee said is expected in the next few months.

This comes after the European Commission in February proposed a delay in the implementation of the changes to the original, 2007 legislation known as the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID), citing a growing concern that European companies affected by the updated regulations weren’t yet ready to comply with them.

Paul Stanfield, chief executive of the Federation of European Independent Financial Advisers and secretary-general of FECIF (the Fédération Européenne des Conseils et Intermédiaires Financiers), said: “It is encouraging to see that we are obtaining clarification on the start date of MiFID II, and even more pleasing to see that further delays are highly unlikely.

“The industry needs a definite timescale in which to meet the new requirements and consumers need the protections that this legislation brings to be in place as soon as possible.”

Also on Thursday, the European Commission proposed that asset managers be required to show a clear separation between their research operations and trading businesses, in order to provider greater fee transparency.

This was seen as an endorsement of earlier advice from the European Securities and Markets Authority that the fees institutions charge for research and trading should be “unbundled”. Traditionally, asset managers have provided research as a free service to their clients, who paid for it in the fees they paid for the trading services they received.

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