New research published by the MiFID Joint Working Group (JWG) has found that more than two-thirds of London-based investment firms do not have - or do not know if they have - a framework in place for complying with the directive.
The survey, which is sponsored by Standard & Poor's, Oracle UK and BT Radianz, is the first conducted by the JWG to assess the readiness of firms to comply with the forthcoming Directive On Markets in Financial Instruments, which is now expected to come into force on 1 November 2007.
The new directive will enable banks to offer financial products across all 25 EU member states. Banks across the EU will be able to trade shares internally, off an exchange, but will be required to publish the prices of intended trades to the rest of the market beforehand.
But the poll of 35 London-based investment houses found that the vast majority of participants - 80% - do not even know if they have a technology strategy in place appropriate for pre- and post-trade processing of shares traded outside the regulated markets.
Furthermore, over two-thirds of firms are unsure how they are going to handle obligations for publishing pre- and post-trade data as required by MiFID articles 27 and 28.
But on a more positive note, almost half of respondents said they had started budgeting for MiFID technology projects in 2006 and 60% of participants have assigned full time staff to work on developing MiFID compliance frameworks.
Bob Fuller, co-chair of the IT subject group of the MiFID JWG, says: "The findings of our first survey demonstrate that getting ready for MiFID is far from 'job done' and the more one looks into the detail the more questions are raised as to what being ready really involves.
"However it is encouraging that firms are already thinking about the next steps by allocating resources to tackle the technology challenges posed by this directive."
The JWG says it plans to conduct similar research amongst hedge funds, tier two and three broker/dealers and market participants across the EU.
To see the full report, go to: Preparing for MiFID