EU laggards face prosecution for MiFID failures

EU laggards face prosecution for MiFID failures

EU internal markets commissioner Charlie McCreevy has threatened infringement proceedings against 24 European member states that have yet to implement the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) in national law.

In letters to the Ministers of Finance concerned, the Commissioner expresses "deep concern" about delays in implementation in national law, for which the deadline elapsed on 31 January 2007. To date only the UK and Romania have formally ratified the MiFID rulebook.

Ideally, market participants should have an additional nine months – from 31 January 2007 until 1 November 2007 – to prepare their systems and organisation in line with MiFID requirements.

Further delays in implementation of national legislation will give firms less time to prepare for a completely new regulatory environment, says McCreevy, and could endanger the proper functioning of the MiFID 'passport' for cross-border servicing. This raises the risk that member states could face legal action by private parties who might claim damages for losses incurred because of late implementation of national legislation.

Says McCreevy: "I urge member states to keep to the timetable that they themselves have agreed. Further delays could well expose Europe's firms and banks to serious competitive disadvantage."

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