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MiFID II - 40 per cent of financial services firms are not confident they will be ready for implementation

PA Consulting Group launches survey on how prepared industry is for upcoming European regulation

Despite a 12 month delay, 40 per cent of firms are still not confident they will be ready to implement MiFID II, according to a PA Consulting survey of European investment banks, asset managers and private banks.

This not only leaves firms open to fines but will leave them unable to transact for, and with, key clients in January 2018. Non-compliance could threaten the survival of financial services firms as around 35 per cent of the UK financial services industry is sold into the European Union. 

Firms are failing to acknowledge the problem 

Nearly all firms (95 per cent) agree that their business strategy will be impacted, yet over 60 per cent are yet to adjust their strategy.  60 per cent of firms also conceded that part of their MiFID II programme is on hold. Concerns around committing to activity and spending before the requirements are finalised should not hold firms back in their preparations.

David Biggin, financial services regulation expert at PA Consulting, says: “The overall picture for financial services and the wider economy is concerning. Despite having an additional 12 months to deliver the regulatory requirements, many firms are not confident they will make the implementation date. This is driven by a lack of clarity over the final requirements, other regulatory pressures and a difficult market environment. However, a wait and see approach is not the answer and firms must use working assumptions to take action now.

“Brexit makes compliance more important than ever. Although the vote to leave the European Union has increased uncertainty, UK firms need to retain passporting rights which means they will need to comply with an equally strong ruleset.”


Time is running out for firms and they must take prompt action to avoid being left behind in the post-MiFID II market.

  • Review the impact on your business strategy
    Early movers will be able to take advantage of the opportunities created by the disruption of MiFID II. Developing a centralised customer relationship management system will be key in enabling firms to service clients far more quickly and consistently.
  • Avoid a ‘wait and see’ approach and make working assumptions
    Firms must make working assumptions to make progress. Maintaining a record of those assumptions will be useful evidence during post-implementation reviews by regulators.
  • Maintain senior business engagement
    The scale of change will have a significant impact on many different businesses across sell- and buy-side firms. Senior stakeholder engagement will be key to ensuring successful implementation of the new requirements.
  • Ramp-up programme teams as the final rules are being released
    Firms that don’t take the initiative now may find themselves operating business models that are ill-suited to a MiFID II market landscape. This will result in low margins and high compliance costs from tactical solutions and implementations.


About PA’s research

We surveyed 25 major investment banks, asset managers and private banks in the UK on the following four areas: 

•How significant is MiFID II’s impact on firms’ wider strategies?

•How confident are firms feeling about the new deadline?

•How are firms structuring their programmes?

•Are firms thinking strategically about their solutions?

To find out more about our financial services expertise please contact us now.

Contact the financial services team

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