Revised Mifid deadline confirmed as January 2018

Widely expected statement confirms Mifid II is simply too complex to implement in 2017.

The European Commission has confirmed it is extending the compliance deadline for Mifid II by one year until 3 January 2018.

In a statement released today, the Commission said the extension was to “take account of the exceptional technical implementation challenges faced by regulators and market participants.”

The revised timeline had been widely expected, with the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) and European Parliament both having previously expressed support for delaying implementation beyond the original January 2017 deadline.

The Commission added that a significant amount of complex infrastructure needs to be setup for Mifid II to work effectively. ESMA will need to collect data from 300 trading venues regarding approximately 15 million financial instruments, and informed the Commission that the national regulators it works with and the firms they regulate would have the systems ready by next January.

Jonathan Hill, commission of financial services, financial stability and capital market union, said: “Given the complexity of the technical challenges highlighted by ESMA, it makes sense to extend the deadline for MiFID II. We will therefore give people another year to prepare properly and make the necessary changes to their systems. Meanwhile, we are pressing ahead with the level II legislation to implement MiFID II and expect to announce those measures shortly.”

The Commission has come under fire recently due to its delays in approving technical standards for Mifid II, which are required for firms to begin implementing some aspects of the regulation. The delay will give the industry some breathing room.