Chris Lau
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Chris Lau in Value Stocks,

Mifid II Impairs European Banks

Tickers: $HSBC, $LYG, $SAN, $UBS, $ING, $RBS, $BCS, $CS, $DB

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- Less sell side research, as research fees can't be included anymore in transaction fees.
Not a problem for individuals as the institutional research has no guts, but a problem for most managers as they relied on it. So more ETFs.
- Tests to validate investors capabilities, but these tests don't ask relevant questions.
Result: push retail investors toward supposedly derisked products, such as government bonds (negative rate in Europe, Italy on verge of collapse à la Greece), or time deposits (think Commerzbank, Monte Paschi, etc). So in fact more systemic risk.
- More paperwork and compliance systems.
Consequence: crush the independent brokers, will enlarge the behemoths. Less flexibility to self manage (opposite to standardization).
- Backward local requirements, for example France requires all fund information to be in French. So no access to the most recent strategies (usually information is in English).
Therefore, it is a hidden European protectionism mechanism.

Basically, it is the opposite to what is needed in Europe which is already quite stodgy. Europe under-invests in start-ups, and this will ensure it goes on. Positive for its competitors, Asia and North America. After Brexit, positive for the City, but without free access to Europe.

In essence: fight short time risk, at the cost of long time risk. Retirement returns will be impaired. Very much in the political trend since WWII: people are becoming assisted government pets "for our own good". Side effect: completely unregulated products will boom (such as Bitcoin), due to boredom, if people don't commit suicide for lack of meaningful jobs, or a decent retirement.

Source: User @ out_on_a_limb