Four major industry associations – FIX Protocol Ltd, ISITC Europe, the Reference Data User Group (RDUG) and SIIA/FISD – have formed a Joint Working Group to address the compliance requirements created by the European Union (EU) Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID).
MiFID aims to create greater market transparency and to ensure 'best execution' for investors, whether trading occurs on-exchange or off-exchange.
Scheduled for implementation in 2007, the draft Directive remains the subject of much horse trading between EC bureaucrats, securities regulators and industry participants. Once the rules are finalised, investment firms, exchanges, trading platforms and market data vendors will be expected to adapt their business processes and their IT systems in order to comply with MiFID.
Barry Marshall, co-chair of the FPL Europe regional committee, says MiFID is the biggest change to affect the European financial services industry since the Investment Services Directive in 1993.
"It will have a massive impact on all participants in the industry, he says. "It is vital that appropriate messaging standards are developed and applied that allow cost-effective MiFID compliance."
Stuart McKinley, chairman of ISITC Europe, says the aim of the Joint Working Group is to deliver industry best-practice and standards recommendations to help market participants meet their technology-related MiFID compliance requirements within the two-year deadline.
The four industry associations have nominated Chris Pickles, co-chair of the FPL Global Education & Marketing Committee, to act as chairman of the Joint Working Group.
The first meeting of the Group is set to take place in early May 2005.