As of 1 November 2007, the EU Directive on Markets in Financial Instruments (MiFID) was implemented into Austrian law. The MiFID defines a uniform set of rules for investment services for the European Economic Area. The main objectives of the MiFID are to heighten market transparency, to strengthen competition among providers of financial services and thus improve investor protection.
The directive has led to a greater integration on EU financial markets. However, rapid technological progress, complexity and change of financial markets as well as experiences during the financial crisis gave rise to an extensive review. It led to the adoption of MiFID II (Markets in Financial Instruments Directive – Directive 2014/65/EU) and MiFIR (Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation – VO 600/2014) in 2014. Apart from a more efficient and more resistant design of market structures and an increase of transparency, investor protection is also further improved. The new directive had to be implemented by Member States until July 2017 and shall be applied from January 2018 onwards. MiFIR shall apply in all Member States as of 3 January 2018. In Austria, in order to implement the new regulations, a new Stock Exchange Act 2018 and a new Securities Supervision Act 2018 have been adopted. Both shall apply as of 3 January 2018.