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Status: You are viewing the version of the handbook as on 2009-03-31.

PERG 2.3 The business element

PERG 2.3.1GRP

Under section 22 of the Act (Regulated activities), for an activity to be a regulated activity it must be carried on 'by way of business'.

PERG 2.3.2GRP

There is power in the Act for the Treasury to change the meaning of the business element by including or excluding certain things. They have exercised this power (see the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Carrying on Regulated Activities by Way of Business) Order 2001 (SI 2001/1177), the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Regulated Activities) (Amendment) (No.2) Order 2003 (SI 2003/1476) and the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Carrying on Regulated Activities by Way of Business) (Amendment) Order 2005 (SI 2005/922) . The result is that the business element differs depending on the activity in question. This in part reflects certain differences in the nature of the activities:

  1. (1)

    The activity of accepting deposits will not be regarded as carried on by way of business by a person if he does not hold himself out as accepting deposits on a day-to-day basis and if the deposits he accepts are accepted only on particular occasions. In determining whether deposits are accepted only on particular occasions, the frequency of the occasions and any distinguishing characteristics must be taken into account.

  2. (2)

    Except as stated in PERG 2.3.2G (2A) and PERG 2.3.2G (3), the business element is not to be regarded as satisfied for any of the regulated activities carried on in relation to securities or contractually based investments (or for those regulated activities carried on in relation to 'any property') unless a person carries on the business of engaging in one or more of the activities. This also applies to the regulated activities of advising on a home finance transaction and arranging a home finance transaction1. This is a narrower test than that of carrying on regulated activities by way of business (as required by section 22 of the Act), as it requires the regulated activities to represent the carrying on of a business in their own right.

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  1. (2A)

    A person who carries on an insurance mediation activity will not be regarded as doing so by way of business unless he takes up or pursues that activity for remuneration. PERG 2.3.3 G gives guidance on the factors that are relevant to the meaning of 'by way of business' in section 22 of the Act. PERG 5.4 (The business test) gives further guidance on the business element as applied to insurance mediation activities.

  2. (3)

    A person managing assets on a discretionary basis while acting as trustee of an occupational pension scheme may in certain circumstances be regarded as acting by way of business even if he would not, in the ordinary meaning of the phrase, be regarded as doing so. The Financial Services and Markets Act (Carrying on Regulated Activities by Way of Business) Order 2001 (as amended) contains some exceptions from this (see article 4).

  3. (4)

    The business element for all other regulated activities is that the activities are carried on by way of business. This applies to the activities of effecting or carrying out contracts of insurance, certain activities relating to the Lloyd's market, entering as provider into a funeral plan contract and entering into a home finance transaction or administering a home finance transaction1.

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PERG 2.3.3GRP

Whether or not an activity is carried on by way of business is ultimately a question of judgement that takes account of several factors (none of which is likely to be conclusive). These include the degree of continuity, the existence of a commercial element, the scale of the activity and the proportion which the activity bears to other activities carried on by the same person but which are not regulated. The nature of the particular regulated activity that is carried on will also be relevant to the factual analysis.