EMEA Centre for Regulatory Strategy in Financial Services UK
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New investor protection rules under MiFID II are set to reshape investment managers’ product and distribution strategies in Europe. As the impact of the changes will vary across countries and distribution channels, there is no single optimal approach for firms to adopt. Investment managers distributing funds across the EU will need to think carefully about their strategy in each market. Innovative solutions around online platforms and robo-advice may offer some answers. While the final details of the rules are still pending, policymakers are considering a potential delay of the MiFID II go-live date until 2018. But firms still need to prepare now to be ready in time.
Just in time for Christmas, the EBA published its long-awaited report setting out recommendations for a review of the current prudential regime for investment firms. Produced at the request of the European Commission, and in cooperation with ESMA, the report identified a number of issues in the current application of the CRD/CRR requirements to investment firms (including a lack of adequate risk sensitivity and the complexity of the framework stemming from the current categorisation of firms based on MiFID definitions) and suggested a new approach to their categorisation. The latter would distinguish between systemic and "bank-like" investment firms, to which full CRD/CRR requirements should apply, and other investment firms namely those that are not considered ‘systemic’ or ‘interconnected’. For the ‘non-systemic’ firms, the EBA recommended that requirements should be tailored to reflect the risks specific to their activities.
It is striking, and perhaps not entirely coincidental, that since the start of November two very senior regulators have each used examples from maritime history in their speeches about the future of bank capital regulation. Neither example is a happy one. Stefan Ingves, Governor of the Swedish Riksbank and Chair of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS), referred to the fate of the Vasa. The Vasa when it was completed in 1628 was the most impressive vessel in the Swedish navy. But it sank on its maiden voyage, a casualty of significant design flaws. Nobuchika Mori, Commissioner of the Japan Financial Services Agency, drew on another tragic tale. The SS Eastland sank on Lake Michigan in 1915, having overloaded itself with life rafts to meet a regulation that had been introduced after the sinking of the Titanic. 841 lives were lost, more than on the Titanic itself.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published terms of reference on 18 November 2015 for its market study into asset management. The study will focus on: (i) how asset managers compete to deliver value for money; (ii) whether asset managers are willing and able to control costs and quality along the value chain; and (iii) the effect of investment consultants and other advisers on competition for institutional asset management. Across these topics, the FCA will also consider whether any barriers to innovation or technological improvements are preventing investors from getting better value for money.
Global systemically important banks (G-SIBs) will be required to meet a new prudential requirement – Total Loss-Absorbing Capacity (TLAC) – by 2019, in line with a new global standard published by the Financial Stability Board (FSB).
November 4, 2014 marked a turning point in European banking supervision. It was the day the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) took over responsibility for banking supervision in the Eurozone. Compared to many other European endeavours, the SSM was set up quickly; the vision for the Banking Union, of which the SSM is a part, was created only in 2012. During this period a whole new organisation had to be made operational, with supervisory approaches and processes drawn from best practices across Europe, and staffing and governance adapted to the new arrangements. On its first birthday, how is the SSM getting on?
The first year of the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) was a busy one for banks – and for supervisors. There is much still to do, but even as they continue to tackle the near-term challenges, many banks are asking what the SSM will look like in the future, and what the implications will be for their business models, and for the banking industry more broadly.
MiFID II will have significant and wide-ranging implications for the strategy, operations, conduct and governance of a broad range of firms in Europe. It raises many important questions for the investment management industry. What are the key challenges and implications of MiFID II? How can investment managers gain a competitive advantage? And how much progress have investment managers made in implementation? We discussed these questions with 15 investment managers and two independent external experts to inform our new paper Navigating MiFID II - Strategic decisions for investment managers. The key findings are highlighted below.