The Chartered Institute for Securities & Investments (Cisi) has published a guidance booklet for firms seeking to meet the January 2017 deadline for European Securities and Markets Authority guidelines linked to the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II (Mifid II).
The Esma guidelines relate to the implementation of standards affecting financial services companies and staff, as laid out in the Directive process and the so-called Level 1 and Level 2 implementation stages.
The Cisi booklet addresses its own scope to provide help in areas such as qualifications, continuous professional development and business ethics – areas addressed by Esma and Mifid II in the pursuit of raising professional standards in the financial services industry, particularly for those working with consumers rather than other financial professionals.
Esma published its final report on Guidelines for the assessment of knowledge and competence in December 2015, which are set to affect financial companies’ staff “giving information” or “giving investment advice” anywhere in the EU.
“As required under Article 25(9) of Mifid II, these guidelines specify the criteria for the assessment of the necessary knowledge and competence requirements of investment firms’ staff. These guidelines have been developed to enable firms to fulfil their obligations under Articles 24 and 25 of Mifid II, such as meeting general conduct of business principles, information and reporting to clients, and suitability and appropriateness requirements, through the attainment of appropriate qualifications and appropriate experience by their staff,” Esma notes.
Kevin Moore, chartered MCSI and CISI Global Business Development director said: “We are absolutely committed to raising professional standards, in terms of knowledge, competencies and behaviour. This initiative is very much in the interests of consumers all across Europe.”
Cisi has previously worked on developing professional competency in the UK context of the Retail Distribution Review, when it worked with both the Financial Conduct Authority and its predecessor the Financial Services Authority.
While Mifid regulations are the result of many years of work across the EU, the decision through a referendum for the UK to exit the EU means that there are currently question marks over the continued use of EU standards once the exit becomes a fact.
The Institute is currently developing its further response to the Brexit question and what this means for financial practitioners, a spokesperson confirmed. Additional information on the Cisi view about what Brexit means is expected in the near future.