The Markets in Financial Instruments Directive is the EU legislation that regulates firms who provide services to clients linked to ‘financial instruments’ (shares, bonds, units in collective investment schemes and derivatives), and the venues where those instruments are traded.

The Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) is the framework of European Union (EU) legislation for:

  • investment intermediaries that provide services to clients around shares, bonds, units in collective investment schemes and derivatives (collectively known as ‘financial instruments’)
  • the organised trading of financial instruments

MiFID applied in the UK from November 2007, and was revised by MiFID II, which took effect in January 2018, to improve the functioning of financial markets in light of the financial crisis and to strengthen investor protection.  MiFID II extended the MiFID requirements in a number of areas including:

  • new market structure requirements
  • new and extended requirements in relation to transparency
  • new rules on research and inducements
  • new product governance requirements for manufacturers and distributers of MiFID ‘products’
  • introduction of a harmonised commodity position limits regime

Level 1

MiFID II is made up of MiFID (2014/65/EU) and the Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation (MiFIR - 600/2014/EU). 

As an EU regulation, MiFIR is binding in its entirety and directly applicable, its content becomes law in the UK without the need for domestic legislative intervention. 

Level 2

MiFID II enables the European Commission to make secondary legislation in several places. That legislation takes the form of a combination of delegated acts, regulatory technical standards (RTS) and implementing technical standards (ITS). These can be accessed on the European Commission’s website.

Key publications

The Treasury legislation implementing MiFID II is set out in the following statutory instruments (links to statutory instruments relate to the instrument when made and users may need to update their searches of the relevant legislation):