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A MiFID Christmas and a Happy New Year

Deadline Day. What now for our Compliance teams?

Many people up and down the country will have planned their annual leave to give them a long Christmas break. While the most taxing decision they had to make was what they could do with the leftover turkey, if you work in Compliance it’s likely you were at your desk in a final gallant push to meet the MiFID II deadline.

Now that the deadline has finally arrived, what does this mean for our Compliance teams?

This isn’t like an assignment you can hand in, breathe a sigh of relief and walk away from. Many people have come to accept this deadline as the first furlong in a long race. It simply acts as a point to show that teams have taken the regulation seriously and put clear plans and processes in place, but such is the nature of the beast, it will require further development and continuous attention.

If you feel like you aren’t 100% ready, you’re not alone. It seems that while teams have made their best endeavour to meet the requirements, realistically, many know they haven’t covered it all in its entirety. After being delayed a year, the hard deadline ESMA might have hoped would have been a ‘Big Bang’ may in fact be a medium one.

Interpretation is a word Compliance teams would have heard time and time again of late. So much of the regulation is left to a team’s understanding and how comfortable they feel being able to justify their response. Inevitably there will be variation in this and how far some firms are willing to take grey areas for competitive edge and potential to increase market share.

ESMA’s Q&A will bring clarity to these grey areas and there will be a need for those at the more relaxed or competitive end of the spectrum to adapt to avoid polite notices of shortfalls turning into fines further down the line. Then, invariably MiFID III will arrive to address the exposed loop-holes and the fun begins again.

So, there won’t be a mass ‘downing of tools’ today. Teams will be returning to the areas they hadn’t initially prioritised and revisiting and questioning the position their response puts them in from both a competitive and compliant perspective as scrutiny tightens.

From what will have dominated the schedules of many Compliance teams for some time now, the hours dedicated to this cause will start to decrease in time leaving capacity for other projects. With new waves of regulation being a fact of life in our ever changing environment and Brexit on the horizon they have a busy and interesting year ahead.

We have a team of MiFID II experts that can assess and safeguard your response and advise how the regulation can work best for you. We can provide a higher quality of practitioner at a far more competitive rate – and quickly. Please get in touch to find out more about our consulting services.

T: +44 (0) 20 7371 8332 E: dspearman@danosassociates.com

Denis Spearman

Partner, EMEA Head of Compliance & Financial Crime Practice

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