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Status: Please note you should read all Brexit changes to the FCA Handbook and BTS alongside the main FCA transitional directions. Where these directions apply the 'standstill', firms have the choice between complying with the pre-IP completion day rules, or the post-IP completion day rules. To see a full list of Handbook modules affected, please see Annex B to the main FCA transitional directions.

You are viewing the version of the document as on 2016-10-03.

Status: In this content, we have included all amendments made by EU exit-related instruments up to end September 2020. There will be more amendments to be made later this year, further to the September QCP.

COBS 18.1 Trustee Firms


COBS 18.1.1RRP
  1. (1)

    1This section applies to the MiFID or equivalent third country business carried on by a trustee firm.

  2. (2)

    It does not apply to a trustee firm when acting as:

    1. (a)

      a depositary; or

    2. (b)R

      the trustee of a personal pension scheme or stakeholder pension scheme.

Application of COBS to trustee firms

COBS 18.1.2RRP

The provisions of COBS in the table do not apply to a trustee firm to which this section applies:




Adviser charging and remuneration


Retail investment product provider requirements relating to adviser charging and remuneration


Describing advice services


Disclosing information about services, fees and commission - packaged products


Disclosure of charges, remuneration and commission


Suitability reports


Special rules for providing basic advice on a stakeholder product


Guidance on contingent liability transaction


Quotations for surrender values


Life insurance contracts - communications to clients

16 Annex 1 R (1) 14

Information to be provided in accordance with COBS 16.2.1 R and 16.3

COBS 18.1.3GRP

The provisions of COBS in the table are unlikely to be relevant in relation to a trustee firm to which this section applies:




Distance communications


Preparing product information


Providing product information




Claims handling for long-term care insurance


Energy market activity and oil market activity


Corporate finance business


Stock lending activity


Pensions - supplementary provisions



Duties of trustee firms under the general law

COBS 18.1.4GRP

To the extent a rule in COBS applies to a trustee firm, that rule:

  1. (1)

    applies in addition to any duties or powers imposed or conferred upon a trustee by the general law; and

  2. (2)

    does not qualify or restrict the duties or powers that the general law imposes or confers upon a trustee; trustee firms will be under a duty to observe the provisions of their trust instrument; if its provisions conflict with any applicable rule, trustee firms will need to take advice in resolving the conflict.

Considering and complying with applicable COBS rules

COBS 18.1.5GRP

In considering and reaching decisions as to how applicable rules in COBS apply in the context of a particular trust arrangement, a trustee firm should consider the nature of that arrangement and the provisions of the relevant trust instrument.

References to "client" in applicable COBS rules

COBS 18.1.6GRP

Where an applicable rule in COBS requires the doing of any thing in relation to a client, the trustee firm should consider who, in the context of that rule and having regard to the particular trust arrangement, is the most appropriate person to treat as its client. This might, for example, be the beneficiary, another trustee or the trust, depending on the particular circumstances.