This guidance is issued under section 157 of the Act. It represents the FSA's views and does not bind the courts. For example, it would not bind the courts in an action for damages brought by a private person for breach of a rule (see section 150 of the Act (Action for damages)), or in relation to the enforceability of a contract where there has been a breach of section 19 (The general prohibition) or 21 (Restrictions on financial promotion) of the Act (see sections 26 to 30 of the Act (Enforceability of agreements)).
Although the guidance does not bind the courts, it may be of persuasive effect for a court considering whether it would be just and equitable to allow a contract to be enforced (see sections 28(3) and 30(4) of the Act). Anyone reading this guidance should refer to the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Regulated Activities) Order 2001 (SI 2001/544) (as amended) (the Regulated Activities Order), the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Regulated Activities) (Amendment) Order 2002 (SI 2002/682) and to the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Financial Promotion) Order 2001 (SI 2001/1335) (as amended) (the Financial Promotion Order). These should be used to find out the precise scope and effect of any particular provision referred to in this guidance, and any reader should consider seeking legal advice if doubt remains. If a person acts in line with the guidance in the circumstances mentioned by it, then the FSA will proceed on the footing that the person has complied with the aspects of the requirement to which the guidance relates.