GEN 2.2.14 R (References to writing) has the effect that electronic media may be used to make communications that are required by the Handbook to be 'in writing' unless a contrary intention appears. In MCOB, the use of an electronic medium is restricted in certain circumstances to a durable medium as required by the Distance Marketing Directive.
have in place appropriate arrangements, including contingency plans, to ensure the secure transmission and receipt of the communication; it should also be able to verify the authenticity and integrity of the communication together with the date and time sent and received; the arrangements should be proportionate and take into account the different levels of risk in a firm's business;
be able to demonstrate that the customer wishes to communicate using this medium; and
if entering into an agreement, make it clear to the customer that a contractual relationship is created that has legal consequences.
the firm must, at the retail customer's request, provide a paper copy of the contractual terms and conditions of the regulated mortgage contract, home purchase plan or services being provided by the firm; and33
the firm must comply with the customer's request to change the means of distance communication used, unless this is incompatible with the regulated mortgage contract, home purchase plan or service being provided by the firm.3
supply a service to a retail customer without a prior request on his part, when this activity includes a request for immediate or deferred payment; or
enforce any obligations against a retail customer in the event of unsolicited supplies of services, the absence of a reply not constituting consent.
Paragraph (1) applies in relation to mortgage mediation activities, entering into a regulated mortgage contract, home purchase mediation activities or entering into a home purchase plan3 under an organised distance sales or service-provision scheme run by the firm or by an intermediary, who, for the purpose of that supply, makes exclusive use of one or more means of distance communication up to and including the time at which the services are supplied.23