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MiFID II: Definition, Regulations, Who It Affects, and Purpose


MiFID II, or Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II, is a legislative framework set by the European Union aimed at strengthening investor protection and improving the functioning of financial markets. It imposes stricter transparency regulations and requirements upon financial organizations, including investment firms and banks. This framework primarily affects these institutions, traders, and investors within the EU by reshaping how assets are traded and providing enhanced protection to investors.


Keyword: MiFID IIPhonetics: /ˈmaɪfɪd tu:/Definition: It refers to the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II. MiFID II is a legislative framework instituted by the European Union to regulate financial markets in the bloc and improve protections for investors.Regulations: Its measures include requirements for trading venues, transaction reporting, market transparency, and the protection of investors.Who It Affects: It affects all participants in the EU’s financial markets, including investment firms, banks, and the clients of these companies.Purpose: The purpose is to increase transparency across the markets in the European Union and standardize the regulatory disclosures required for specific markets. It is designed to create a more competitive and integrated financial system in the EU.

Key Takeaways

  1. Definition: MiFID II stands for Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II. It’s a legislative framework instituted by the European Union to regulate financial markets with the goal of increasing efficiency, improving financial transparency, and protecting consumers. It came into effect on 3 January 2018, replacing the original Directive from 2004.
  2. Regulations: MiFID II puts forth many regulations, including new requirements for reporting transactions, mandated transparency for equity and non-equity instruments, and stricter rules around trading via electronic platforms. It also requires firms to record telephone conversations and electronic communications related to transactions, even if those transactions don’t end up being concluded.
  3. Who it Affects and Purpose: MiFID II affects virtually all participants in the EU financial markets including banks, brokers, and financial advisers. The main purpose of MiFID II is to increase transparency and consumer protection in the financial markets. It creates conditions for fairer, safer, and more efficient financial markets and ensures greater transparency for all participants.


MiFID II (Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II) is a comprehensive regulatory framework instituted by the European Union to improve the functioning of financial markets in response to the 2008 financial crisis. It aims to increase transparency, bolster investor protection, and shift trading towards ‘regulated platforms’. It is crucial because it affects a broad range of firms in the finance sector, including banks, brokers, and investment firms. The regulations encompass organizational requirements for investment firms, regulated markets, data reporting services providers, and third-country firms providing investment services or activities. Manipulation of benchmarks is also explicitly prohibited under MiFID II, encouraging higher standards of honesty and fairness. Overall, its importance lies in its focus on market stability and integrity, consumer protection, and increased competition in financial markets.


MiFID II, which stands for Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II, is a legislative framework instituted by the European Union (EU) intended to offer greater protection for investors and inject more transparency into all asset classes; from equities to fixed income, exchange traded funds and foreign exchange. Introduced in January 2018, MiFID II’s key purpose can be summarized in three words: transparency, protection, and efficiency. Its rules are designed to reduce systemic risk and to make sure investment firms act in the best interests of their clients. MiFID II implicates various sectors of the financial world including investment banks, interdealer brokers, high-frequency trading firms, asset managers, exchanges, and data centers, to name a few. It significantly increases the scope of previous regulations under MiFID I by bringing new trading venues within scope, extending reporting obligations, improving the operating conditions for organized trading platforms and revising the use of third-party data vendors. The aim is to establish a more integrated and efficient European financial system. Overall, MiFID II is a core pillar of Europe’s Financial Market Reforms, promoting fair, transparent, efficient and integrated financial markets.


MiFID II, short for the second Markets in Financial Instruments Directive, is major regulatory framework legislation in the European Union (EU) that is designed to provide greater transparency across all asset classes in order to ensure the fairness of the market. The legislation directly impacts almost every participant engaged in Financial Instruments trading.Here are three real-world examples:1. Barclays Bank: UK-based Barclays Bank adjusted its trading platforms and operations, spending millions in the process, to comply with MiFID II directives. The changes implemented included more detailed reporting mechanisms and transparency in its equity, bonds, and derivates trading to meet the transparency and investor protection requirements of MiFID II.2. Fidelity Investment’s UK business: This company had to adjust how they were charging their clients for research. Before MiFID II, asset managers, like Fidelity, often bundled the cost of research in with transaction fees. MiFID II requires that companies make distinct charges for transactions and investment research to ensure that investment firms act in the best interests of their clients and to improve competition in the market for research.3. BlackRock: Being the world’s largest asset manager, BlackRock was greatly impacted by the MiFID II. One of the main effects of the regulation was that it became more detailed and rigid with reporting trades to ensure full transparency. This made BlackRock invest in extensive system changes to be able to record all conversations and electronic communications that were intended to lead to trades, so they could be reported to the clients and authorities.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is MiFID II?

MiFID II, or the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II, is a legislative framework instituted by the EU to regulate financial markets in the union and improve protections for investors. It became effective in January 2018.

What is the purpose of MiFID II?

The primary purpose of the MiFID II is to increase transparency across the financial markets in the European Union and standardize regulatory disclosures for particular markets.

What regulations are implemented by MiFID II?

MiFID II implements rules that increase transparency, enforce a robust market structure, limit commodity position, implement algorithmic trading, protect investors and enhance the conduct of business rules.

Who does MiFID II affect?

MiFID II affects financial institutions operating in the EU including investment firms, banks, and exchanges. It also affects non-financial entities like software and IT providers who must adapt their systems to meet the new reporting requirements.

How did the MiFID II improve from the original MiFID?

MiFID II is an expansion and strengthening of the original MiFID legislation. It expands on the types of business and financial products the legislation covers, improves the transparency of the financial markets, and increases the protection for investors.

Does MiFID II apply to firms based outside the EU?

Yes, MiFID II can apply to firms based outside of the EU. If a firm from outside the EU provides financial services to clients within the scope of MiFID II in the EU, they are required to adhere to its regulations.

How does MiFID II influence market transparency?

MiFID II requires increased pre-trade and post-trade transparency. This means that detailed information about the terms and conditions of the transaction, such as price, volume and time of the transaction must be made public to ensure a fair market environment.

Is MiFID II applicable only to equities?

No, MiFID II applies to a wide array of financial instruments which includes equities, fixed income, derivatives and commodities among others.

Related Finance Terms

  • Financial Instrument Reference Data System (FIRDS): An infrastructure introduced under MiFID II for reporting and publication purposes.
  • Investor Protection: One of the key goals of MiFID II is to enhance investor protection and generate improved market transparency.
  • Transaction Reporting: MiFID II requires firms to report detailed information about transactions to national competent authorities (NCAs).
  • Product Governance: Under MiFID II, a new set of rules was established to ensure that firms which manufacture and distribute financial instruments act in the client’s best interests.
  • Double Volume Cap (DVC): A limit introduced under MiFID II that restricts the amount of trading under certain equity waivers.

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