MiFID II rules too costly and invasive, says German bank lobby

FRANKFURT/LONDON, Oct 18 (Reuters) - A major German banking lobby said on Wednesday new European regulations aimed at protecting consumers were too costly and too invasive.

The European Union rules, known as MiFID II, were born in the wake of the financial crisis and change how stocks and bonds are traded by increasing transparency.

Michael Kemmer, general manager of the Association of German Banks, said the 1 billion euro ($1.2 billion) cost of implementing the rules had gotten “out of hand”.

“The banks could put that money to good use elsewhere,” he said.

Kemmer also complained about rules that require the recording of telephone conversations of customers seeking investment advice.

“Such broad requirements to record telephone conversations help nobody and certainly aren’t in the customer’s interest,” he said. “They merely undermine the trust between customer and bank. This aspect of MiFID II needs to be reviewed and adjusted.”

MiFID II is a package of new EU security rules aimed at improving transparency in financial markets with the goal of reducing costs for investors. It includes forcing banks to report more data to regulators and develop a clearer pricing system for their different products rather than lumping charges together in trading fees.

Banks say they have been given too little time to implement rules from January that were only completed by EU regulators in recent months. The regulators say the rules have already been delayed by a year to give industry more time and the general shape of them has been known for a long time.

On Tuesday, the EU’s financial services chief ruled out a further delay to the regulations.

The new rules could trigger some glitches, but broader disruption is not anticipated, the bloc’s securities watchdog said last month.

$1 = 0.8513 euros Reporting by Tom Sims in Frankfurt and Huw Jones and Rachel Armstrong in London; Editing by Mark Potter