MiFID II hits Gina Miller legal hurdle, what hurdles await GDPR?

The second version of The Markets in Financial Instruments Directive, or MiFID II, was formally launched on the second working day of this year.

The regulation is designed to create transparency to act in the interests of the customer. Rules include banks not being able to provide free research to clients, and the time stamping of high-frequency trading.

But it is proving tricky to implement.

But is the UK regulator, The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), being more sympathetic to larger firms struggling to implement MiFID II rules?

These are the accusations from Gina Miller, the lawyer who set up the ‘True and Fair Campaign’ with the aim to "limit the possibility of future mis-selling or financial scandals through greater transparency” and became famous after she took the UK government to court over its plans to bypass parliament in Brexit negotiations.

Ms Miller alleges that the FCA is being softer on larger companies and that thanks to this, companies that have been slower to implement GDPR are at a financial advantage.

Ms Miller said: “The FCA needs to put a hard date in the sand [for firms to comply] or start fining people.”

But might this also be a dress rehearsal for what will happen when the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), becomes enforceable on May 25th this year?

Will the regulator in this case, the ICO, also go soft, as companies struggle to come to grips with GDPR?

GDPR imposes strict rules on the protection of individual’s data. And fines to organisations that do not comply could be as much as four per cent of turnover or 20 million euros?

In fact, there is a good chance that one of the means employed by the regulator to garner greater awareness of GDPR is by the implementation of fines.

The FCA may or may not have gone softly, softly with MiFID II, but the odds of this happening with GDPR are slim, companies need to work on the assumption that they have until May 25th to be GDPR ready.

To find out more about GDPR check out the next GDPR Summit London