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September 20, 2019updated 26 Sep 2019 10:23am

MIFID II helps UK investors save £70m

By Oliver Williams

Research from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has found that investors in UK-managed equity portfolios have saved £70 million since the introduction of MiFID II a year-and-a-half ago.

The new European trading rules forced brokers to be more transparent on costs, specifically how much is paid for research and market insights, which were previously billed together with conventional broker fees.

The FCA says this forced disclosure has resulted in asset managers slashing research budgets by between 20% and 30%.

In addition, most asset managers have chosen to pay for research from their own revenues, instead of using their clients’ funds, according to a survey of 40 asset managers conducted by the FCA.

“This has resulted in investors in UK-managed equity portfolios saving around £70m in the first six months of 2018 across a sample of firms,” a statement from the FCA said on Thursday.

Despite asset managers cutting research budgets they receive, most said they are still getting the information they need.

The FCA has kept constant track of MiFID II since it the European regulation was introduced in January 2018. In an earlier survey, it found that most firms “exceeded compliance” one year on, however, some wealth managers and other intermediaries interpreted the rules poorly “making like-for-like comparisons of costs and charges difficult”.

The FCA says it intends to carry out further work in this area in 12 to 24 months’ time to assess firms’ ongoing compliance with the rules.

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