European business under-prepared for Mifid, says KPMG

A survey by the international financial services firm KPMG has found that European executives are under-prepared for the implementation of the European Union’s Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (Mifid).

The survey interviewed 199 executives at financial services companies around Europe. It found that relatively few companies were ready for MiFID, which is scheduled to be implemented in November, 2007. Only 28% had appointed a project manager to oversee the Mifid requirements, while 30% of executives did not know what (if anything) their company had done to prepare for the directive.

Of the executives surveyed, 48% described their board's knowledge of Mifid as poor or very poor. Meanwhile, 41% said they did not expect any of the supposed benefits – better cross-border sales, Europe-wide compliance standards and increased liquidity – to affect their business.

Jonathan Jesty, a financial services partner at KPMG, commented: “It is critical that firms, the industry and regulators strive to ensure they extract the maximum benefit from Mifid in terms of simpler, better European regulation in return for the significant investment that it requires... Those companies who are yet to begin the process of implementing Mifid need to act now.”

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