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German government steps up criticism of MiFID II

Berlin_BundestagThe wide-reaching MiFID II directive has come under further criticism from Germany’s Federal Ministry of Finance (BMF).

At a conference in Brussels on Thursday, the ministry expressed its commitment to correcting the “excesses” of the directive before representatives of the European Parliament and consumers’ rights organisations.

Its main points of criticism included the obligation to record telephone calls, the information obligations towards professional customers and the different information requirements about costs under MIFID II and Packaged Retail and Insurance-based Investment Products.

These are views frequently expressed by the funds industry, according to the German Investment Funds Association (BVI), which has commended the ministry.

Chief executive Thomas Richter said: “The directive was intended to protect consumers, but the result is that they receive excessive product information and less investment advice. MiFID II has clearly overshot its target."

At the end of August, the BMF approached the EU Commission with a position paper to discuss the revision of MiFID – set to take place next year.

The ministry had consulted investment firms, investors and other market participants. “In general, respondents to the public consultation strongly criticised the breadth of the MiFID/MiFIR provisions, the implementation costs, the short timeframe for implementation (especially for the level 2 provisions), and the insufficient coordination with other legislation (e.g. the PRIIPS),” the ministry said.

According to Richter, the paper was the first step in making the necessary changes to the directive. “Now it is a matter of finding allies in the EU Commission and the parliament for them,” he said.

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