Four major financial trade associations in the UK have established a joint industry-driven programme to help firms implement the European Union's Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID).
The Association of Private Client Investment Managers and Stockbrokers (Apcims), the British Bankers' Association (BBA), the Futures and Options Association (FOA) and the International Capital Market Association (ICMA) have established a joint programme aimed at reducing the legal risk and simplifying the implementation of MiFID for member firms.
The four associations are working with international law firm Clifford Chance and have embarked on a five-stage programme, which includes developing a set of industry guidelines to assist firms with high risk areas of MiFID implementation and producing specimen documentation necessary to comply with the new requirements.
A "survival guide" will be published, the first part of which (to be issued in Q1 2006) will comprise a timetable and strategy for firms to manage progressively a programme of implementation. The second part (to be issued in Q4 2006) will comprise a tick box checklist covering all the changes that firms will be expected to introduce by the final date of implementation.
A series of implementation courses and specialist workshops on the practical problems and issues surrounding implementation of MiFID will also be provided throughout 2006, along with periodic releases and updates covering timelines and regulatory progress towards finalising the new requirements.
Commenting on the joint programme, Ian Mullen, chief executive, BBA, says: "In taking a collegiate trade body approach, developing a set of clear industry guidelines and providing courses and workshops, we provide a sound base for members, ensuring they meet these new standards."
Angela Knight, chief executive, Apcims, adds: "MiFID will impact right across the financial industry and will result in changes to almost every area from wholesale trading through to individual investor agreements. Uniquely, every member of these associations and their clients and customers will be affected by these changes. This project is about practitioners getting the implementation right from a practical and operational perspective neither lowering standards nor gold-plating."
The joint group of associations will also work with the recently formed MiFID IT Joint Working Group - established by FIX Protocol Ltd, ISITC Europe, the Reference Data User Group (RDUG) and SIIA/FISD - to develop IT solutions to MiFID implementation issues.
Research published by the MiFID Joint Working Group (JWG) last month (MiFID Readiness Survey
) 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.