The European Commission has pushed back the publication of the final draft of the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) to January, having originally timetabled a pre-Christmas release.
The delay will leave IT directors with even less time to begin making detailed preparations for the European directive, which is due to become law in November 2007.
MiFID will create a single European market for financial instruments and includes legislation to enforce best-execution principles and make traders publish all dealing prices in real time.
The implications for IT in the financial services sector are far-reaching, and tomorrow (Wednesday) the Committee of European Securities Regulators is due to host a roundtable in Paris to discuss the likely impact on one area that will see profound change – that of published market data.
Chris Pickles, chair of the London-based industry body the MiFID Joint Working Group, said the meeting was needed because MiFID will create many more trading exchanges across Europe, and the circulation of market data generated by that enlarged group of exchanges will need to be consolidated to ensure full visibility for investors.
“There is a need for a level playing field in the distribution of market data, otherwise exchanges are liable to dominate”, said Pickles.
“That is what this week’s meeting is all about. Among the IT issues that will need to be aired is the fact that currently all of the major exchanges publishing market data use different protocols. That is just one barrier to market data consolidation, but it is a big one.”