By Rob Daly

Firms More Sanguine on MiFID II

With less than three months until MiFID II goes into force, attitudes towards industry preparedness have grown more positive, according to a recent informal poll conducted by the London Stock Exchange Group.

Of approximately 1,000 attendees of an LSEG-hosted webinar on MiFID II concerns, 57% expect that they “will probably be okay” to meet the regulation’s January 3, 2018, deadline while 27% of the audience expressed nervousness in meeting the deadline. A slim 11% of the respondents said they were “very confident” in their ability to be ready for the regulation’s rollout. Only 3% of those surveyed acknowledged that they were not going to be ready.

“‘We will probably be okay,’ is a question mark: Will we be 100% compliant or not,” noted Manmeet Rana, director, risk advisory at Deloitte and a webinar panelist. “A lot of firms have resigned themselves to the fact that they have plans in place that may extend beyond the third of January, but they have time to get this right.”

The webinar’s moderator, Leonard Ng, a partner at Sidely LLP, attributed the audience’s positive response to regulators’ desire to see firms making progress towards being compliant. “The regulators are saying as long as you have shown good reasonable effort to be ready, no one is going to jump on you on the fourth of January,” he said.

Panelist David Nowell, head of compliance at the LSEG’s UnaVista business found the poll results heartening.

“That’s very pleasing,” he said. “We ran a poll a few months ago and got a quite distinctly different response.”

In earlier poll on how prepared were firms to meet their MiFID II transaction reporting mandate, which the LSEG conducted in mid-June, nearly half of the respondents “expected a few teething troubles,” while close to a quarter of them were “seriously nervous.” Those firms that were “quietly confident” and “raring to go” hovered around 20% and 5% respectively.

However, Deloitte’s Rana cited concern that firms may be focusing more on MiFID II’s approaching deadline than what may happen a year from now. “Some firms are putting tactical solutions where they might want to have a strategic one,” she cautioned.

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