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MiFID 2: promoting trust-based relationships with investment clients

The Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) 2, in effect since January 3, aims to improve the investment services offered by financial institutions. With the client always at the center of its concerns, BNP Paribas has made it a top priority to implement this new regulatory framework.

More transparency, control and responsibility 

MiFID 2 applies to securities accounts, setting out more stringent regulations that aim to strengthen investor protections. It aims to govern the services rendered to these investors, improving their profiling and ensuring the suitability of investment recommendations, as well as the transparency of transactions and their associated costs. In this way, investors benefit from improved support and gain a more detailed understanding of their investment. 

MiFID 2 ensures the highest level of service, as well as traceability of transactions and training for private bankers. These rules concern all European Union countries, and they apply to any financial instrument advice, excluding life insurance. 

Restoring investors' confidence

Since the 2007-2011 financial crisis, investors have faced tremendous uncertainty combined with low performance, higher volatility and a general lack of confidence. With MiFID 2, the European regulator aims to restore this confidence by increasing transparency, control and responsibility when investing. The directive follows MiFID 1 (2007), which ended the monopoly of market companies and allowed competition in stock markets, where orders are executed. 

One of the directive’s major impacts is that we will now be able to ensure that clients with the right profile will invest in the right product, at the right price” says Olivier Maugarny, Head of Offering and Sales & Marketing Transversal Mission at BNP Paribas Wealth Management (unavailable link). That means more regular and more in-depth analysis of each investment client profile (financial knowledge, risk appetite and investment objectives). Product managers will have to define the target client for each product they develop. 

As a distributor, the private bank will be responsible for verifying that each recommended investment is suitable for the client profile. In addition, the detailed costs will be sent to the client before any transaction and new service.

One of the directive’s major impacts is that we will now be able to ensure that clients with the right profile will invest in the right product, at the right price

What’s at stake for industry players?

As transparency standards are tightened, there are many corresponding changes for investment companies and insurance intermediaries. Notably, new terms will be included for providing investment advice. To improve protections for investment clients, MiFID 2 means more interactions between the bank and its clients. Examples include revising risk profiles, ensuring that products continue to meet client needs, and detailing the costs of each transaction. The bank may also ask its clients for additional information to better understand their personal situation and investment goals. 

All banks will need to contractualize with the client before delivering investment recommendations, in order to clarify the service that clients will receive. Professionals from financial institutions are also subject to greater controls regarding what they know about clients. 

“ MiFID 2 implicates a lot of investments to ensure its application in the best conditions. As a result, some players have already adapted their investment advice strategies, choosing to exit some markets, or deciding to focus on very specific client segments”

Olivier Maugarny

Head of Offering and Sales & Marketing Transversal Mission - BNP Paribas Wealth Management

MiFID 2, a client satisfaction tool for BNP Paribas

"We believe that MiFID 2 may help us boost client satisfaction. We’ve heavily invested in digital solutions, staff training and client awareness, so that we can turn this directive into an opportunity” Olivier Maugarny says. 

A key part of this directive is contractualization with the client, which forms the basis of BNP Paribas’s model. By relying on our recognized expertise, we highlight our personalized approach to better protect our investment clients and improve our transparency to better serve them.” 

Main changes regarding Advisory Services:

  • Existing documents providing information on clients’ personal details are maintained and, if necessary, adapted to the new regulations: financial profile, risk profile, Private Banking convention, etc.
  • Transactions involve more paperwork with the suitability statement between the client profile and the investment advice.
  • Information on the characteristics of financial instruments and investment information is accessible, completed and provided before every transaction: Key Investor Information Documents (KIID) make it possible to compare investment products whose performance depends on underlying assets. All recommended financial instruments are monitored constantly by BNP Paribas experts and known by our private bankers.
  • Traceability of information is improved with a systematic order reporting covering all transactions executed by all BNP Paribas Private Banking clients.
  • Transparency of costs is ensured throughout transactions, along with an estimate of costs and fees issued before implementing Advisory Services for any transaction. All costs and fees linked to investment services are summarized in an annual report. 
  •  For several years, BNP Paribas Private Banking has launched several extended training and assessment programs of its bankers, subject to AMF certification and an internal certification accredited by the EFPA (European Financial Planning Association).
“ MIFID II WAS designed by the eUROPEAN LEGISLATOR TO IncreasE investor protection”

Sofia Merlo

Co-CEO of BNP Paribas Wealth Management

Main changes regarding Discretionary Portfolio Management :

  • Knowledge of the personal situation of investment clients is taken into account and adapted through the financial profile and risk profile, as is the case with Advisory Services . 
  • Transparency of costs and fees when subscribing to a mandate and a detailed annual reporting
  • Distributors no longer receive any retrocession from fund managers
  • Information on the evolution of portfolio management mandates is more frequent: the management report will be sent on a quarterly basis starting in 2018. 

Photos ©I Believe I Can Fly  / ©yotrakbutda / ©littleny

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