Around 84% of European firms are on track with plans to prepare for the implementation of the EU's Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID), according to a survey by SunGard, while just 16% say they are behind schedule.
Almost half (48%) of the 230 people surveyed came from banks and broker dealers, with 20% coming from asset managers and the rump made up of exchanges or consultancies.
The research found that around 50% of firms expect to be able to carry out "best execution" for equities by the end of March 2007, with 13% not expecting to be ready by November 2007 when the MiFID directive comes into force.
The survey showed a widespread belief that MiFID will be bad news for exchanges over a ten year time horizon, with nationally focused banks and asset managers also expected to suffer. National regulators scored badly in the survey, with over half of the respondents ranking the help they were receiving from their local regulator as "bad" or "very bad".
Earlier this month US broker JPMorgan Securities warned that EUR19 billion of market capitalisation could be lost among eight top European wholesale banks as a result of MiFID.
JPMorgan said the new regulations could have a negative earnings per share impact of as much as seven per cent on European investment and wholesale banks, and it has cut valuation estimates on a number of firms due to increasing uncertainty.