Data could be Mifid II's sting in the tail


Advisers do not need to fear Mifid II - but they should be ready for it, a senior regulatory specialist has claimed.

Ashley Smith, senior vice-president, business development, for Silverfinch, said advisers should not fear the rash of incoming legislation from Europe, but said they should by now be well aware of their duties and obligations under Mifid II.

He told FTAdviser: "They should certainly be very paying attention to Mifid II. It is a large piece of regulation with very tight timelines for delivery and there are some new aspects of regulation around transparency, and a huge amount of this on costs and charges and target markets."

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"But afraid? No. Providing they are paying sufficient attention to their Mifid II execution programmes, I think they will be fine."

However, Mr Smith did warn there were some potential "hidden nasties", with Mifid II, especially in the form of data. 

Mr Smith explained: "There is an enormous volume of data and it is quite complex in some cases. Attention needs to go on the data. From our perspective and around the adviser community, there is a piece of the regulation that relates to sales exceptions reporting around the target market.

"This is where advisers will have to report back upstream to manufacturers if there are any exceptions to the defined target market for the manufacturers' products.

"This is a big piece of work and it requires swift attention. So potentially data could be the sting in the tail for Mifid."

When asked what advisers should have already done, and what they should do to get ready for implementation of Mifid II, Mr Smith commented that most of the work should have already been done.

He said: "Personally I would have wanted to have already assessed and understood the impact of Mifid II on my business. I would have also actively engaged in the working groups and industry body programmes around. 

"There is an an enormous amount of knowledge on Mifid II in those working groups and industry bodies. They are driving the standardisation of responses and trying to bring consistency across the industry for all of the market participants, which is a huge step to take.

"I would also engage with the product manufacturers directly. The major manufacturers have enormous Mifid II programmes and are very advanced and have a lot of knowledge which they are happy to share."

He added that many of these are actively encourage engagement from advisers and distributors to "ensure consistency of approach".