ESMA highlights areas for improvement in firms’ disclosure of cost and charges under MIFID

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the EU’s financial markets regulator and supervisor, today publishes a Statement on its 2022 Common Supervisory Action (CSA) and on the mystery shopping exercise regarding compliance with disclosure requirements for costs and charges under MIFID II.

Overall, firms comply with most of the elements of the ex-post cost and charges requirements under MiFID II. This level of compliance varies across Member States. The CSA exercise revealed certain shortcomings in information provided to retail clients and suggests areas for improvement regarding both disclosure format and content.

The identified shortcomings concern:

significant differences across firms and Member States in the format and content of ex-post disclosures
differing practices and sometimes no disclosure of information on inducements
lack of disclosure of implicit costs to clients
lack of consistency in the way firms illustrate the cumulative impact of the costs and charges on the return of the investment
disclosing cost figures only in nominal amounts and not also the corresponding percentages
Concurrently with the CSA, ESMA coordinated and ran its first mystery shopping exercise on the ex-ante cost and charges information provided to retail clients. In most cases, mystery shoppers received information about costs and charges before the investment service was provided, however the quality and the timing of the information provided differed between firms.

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