On 1 November 2007 a new act on securities transactions came into effect in Iceland, Act no. 108/2007. The new act incorporates two European Union directives into Icelandic legislation: the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive, also known as MiFID; and the Transparency Directive. The new act heralds changes to various important regulations on trading with financial instruments (this term includes shares, bonds, units trust certificates and derivatives).
The objective of the change in legislation is to increase consumer protection for investors. It takes into account the experience and knowledge of parties engaged in trading on the financial markets. Consumer protection for investors varies in scope and decreases the greater investors' experience and knowledge of trading with financial instruments is considered to be.
Managing conflicts of interest is all part of delivering the best possible service to clients. This is done through the segregation of employees who have conflicting roles within Arion Bank.
We will disclose to clients cases where there is a danger that this cannot be fully achieved. Additional information on conflicts of interests can be provided to clients upon request.
Arion Bank has always strived to give our clients the best possible result for their orders. With MiFID achieving this goal has been put into a more rigid legal framework. We will provide retail and professional clients with our order execution policy, which will offer clients some insight into how we select venues to execute their orders. “Best possible result” means that Arion Bank will take into account certain factors such as price, cost and speed of execution when processing orders.
One of the main changes due to MiFID is the requirement to know our clients and subsequently categorise them according to a standard set of criteria. Most clients will receive the default rating of retail client, which gives them the most protection. Larger institutions and companies and companies that have received licences from the Financial Supervisory Authority are classified as professionals giving them less protection, as they are able to make their own investment decisions and assess investment risks on their own. Clients have the option to request a different categorisation, higher or lower providing they fulfil certain MiFID requirements. Clients who request a higher categorisation should be aware that the change in categorisation will lead to a lower client protection. Finally there is the eligible counterparty.
Arion Bank has adopted AML rules in accordance with Act No. 64/2006, on Measures to Prevent Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing, which is based on Directive 2005/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council and FATF’s 40 Recommendations and 9 Special Recommendations.
The objective of the rules is to seek to prevent the use of the operations and activities of Arion Bank, or those of its subsidiaries, for the purpose of money laundering or terrorist financing.
In adopting the rules, the Bank seeks to fulfil in all respects the strictest requirements made domestically and internationally of the Bank with regard to money laundering and terrorist financing.
For further information please contact Hákon Már Pétursson, Compliance Officer.