Generic advice will not be caught by article 53. Examples of generic advice may include:
advice on the merits of investing in Japan rather than Europe;
advice on the merits of investing in investment trusts as opposed to unit trusts or unit-linked insurance; and
advice on the merits of investing offshore, or in fixed income rather than floating rate bonds.
In the FCA's view, guiding a person through a decision tree should not, of itself, involve advice within the meaning of article 53 (it should be generic advice). For example, helping a person to understand what the questions or options are and how to determine which option applies to his particular circumstances. But a recommendation that the person concerned should, if the results of using the decision tree so indicate, buy a stakeholder personal pension from a particular provider (or any other particular investment) would be advice for the purpose of article 53. An unauthorised person guiding another through a decision tree needs to make it clear that the decision tree aids generic decisions and that the person doing the guiding is not recommending any particular investment.
Examples of a particular investment include:
exchange-traded derivatives - LME Copper Grade A 3 months, LIFFE Japanese Government bond, ABC plc traded options;
contractual investments, for example, futures and other contracts having specified terms and conditions such as duration, volume, interest rate or price and which are to be entered into with a particular person;