MiFIR special report

Identifiers taking on greater importance in compliance with European MiFIR rules


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March 2016 -- sponsored by London Stock Exchange Group and SIX Financial Information

All About The Identifiers

The greatest impact of Europe's Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation (MiFIR), once it eventually takes effect in 2018 (for a take on the delay, see a Q&A with Chris Pickles), is expected to be increased centralization of data in firms and a greater focus on the quality of data relevant to compliance with the rules, according to industry executives who took part in the Virtual Roundtable in this report.

At the same time, they point to the assignment and standardization of identifiers as a big challenge that must be addressed and managed in order to be ready for 2018. HSBC's Chris Johnson points to the likelihood of a 'no LEI [legal entity identifier], no trade' rule for MiFIR reporting, and a separate identifier, the ISIN, that will be used for OTC derivatives reporting under the regulation.

Yet, as SIX Financial Information's Jacob Gertel observes, AII, MIC, CFI and FISN identifiers still carry importance. AII, the Alternative Industry Identifier, in particular, is aimed specifically at derivatives, which makes one wonder if there is something incomplete about ISINs for the purposes of MiFIR compliance.

If the LEI remains the main identifier for MiFIR compliance, the industry may not have done enough to prepare. David Nowell of UnaVista, which is part of the London Stock Exchange Group, says he has not yet seen "any major increase in the number of LEI applications ahead of MiFIR." Regardless, if firms have not obtained LEIs by 2018, "trading venues and regulators will make sure that entities have it," adds Gertel.

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