Talking Point 

Mifid II is a help not hindrance to advisers

Mifid II is a help not hindrance to advisers

The majority of advisers think Mifid II will help improve standards in the industry.

A poll carried out by FTAdviser among readers this month showed 72 per cent of those who took part believed it would be a help and only 28 per cent of those who voted said it would be a hindrance.

A breakdown showed 39 per cent think it will help improve industry standards, while another 33 per cent said it would be good for clients.

Mifid II comes into force on 3 January 2018.

Linda Gibson, director of regulatory change and compliance risk at BNY Mellon’s Pershing, said: "Mifid II heralds change and change brings opportunity. Firms have a significant opportunity to overhaul their operations and improve efficiency, risk management and client outcomes. 

"Compliance initiatives should be streamlined and sustainable, but leave room for innovation.”

Jackie Beard, director of manager research services for Morningstar in EMEA, suggested the new regulation would push asset management firms to check their funds are fit for purpose and that they offer value.

She said: "Asset managers will need to ensure that their products function as intended to avoid any potentially detrimental consequences for investors.

"As well as a regular review, they will be obliged to review their products when they become aware of an event that could materially affect the potential risk to investors.

"We think the industry developments brought about by Mifid II will be good for investors. 

"High fund fees and value for money will be brought to the forefront of attention, and asset managers will no longer be able to ignore the continued existence of funds that have lost their way."

But the poll also revealed 17 per cent think the new standards are a hindrance because they are unnecessary, while 11 per cent believed the high costs made it a hindrance.

Scott Gallacher, chartered financial planner at Rowley Turton, said generally regulation is a good thing.

But he added: "There is an argument that perhaps there is too much regulation and a danger that the regulators and government seek to over-regulate the industry on the grounds that it is viewed as a free lunch.

"It is not a free lunch.

"It takes time from advisers when they could arguably be advising clients. Given there is a shortage of advisers, that is counter productive."

Some regulation made financial advice less efficient, according to Mr Gallacher, in the sense if there is over-regulation it would increase the costs to advisers.

Industry polls have found some asset managers and advisers firms admitted they were not prepared for the implementation of Mifid II.

In November, platform provider Nucleus published a guide to Mifid II for adviser firms after it surveyed advisers and found less than half were confident or very confident they would be ready for the regulation when it came in next year.