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Customer Categorisation Policy

What do the customer categories set out by the MiFID mean?

Each customer, before any action can be carried out by their order, or before they can acquire any investment product, is placed in one of the three categories set out by the Directive:

  • Retail customers: Individuals and Legal Entities, who shall be enjoying the greatest possible protection for investors.
  • Professional customers: Usually Institutional Investors, but also Retail customers, who have professional knowledge and experience, fulfil specific financial criteria, and who shall be enjoying limited protection for investors.
  • Eligible Counterparties: Government Agencies and Institutional Investors, who will not be covered by the protection rules for investors.

On the basis of the above categorisation, special protection is provided to "Retail customers", who do not dispose of the necessary knowledge and experience on markets and financial instruments issues and are not in a position to assess the risks they undertake. At the same time, this does not burden the activity of professional customers, who have both experience and knowledge and are in a position to make their own investment decisions.

Are there differences in the way in which customers are treated depending on which of the three categories they belong to?

The difference between the three categories focuses on the information and the level of protection offered to the customers. More specifically, retail customers are provided with complete and detailed information on every product and its features, the returns, the cost, the risks involved, etc., while for professional customers the level of information and protection is lower, as he/she is consider to be familiar with the markets and products.