European Union Directive on financial instrument markets

As part of the growing complexity of the financial products and services available on the market, on November 1, 2007, the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) came into force, which implements innovative regulation of the requirements and formalities that must be respected by financial institutions when providing investment services and offering financial products to their customers and represents one of its core objectives: contributing to strengthen the rules that protect investors.

This directive, by regulating the method by which financial institutions must provide investment services to their customers, determines the obligation of breaking them down into three categories: Non-professional (unqualified), professional (qualified), and Eligible Counterparty. Customers' assignment to one category or another will determine the way in which financial institutions must provide them their investment services and contract financial products.