IFA is not a precisely defined term and not every independent financial adviser does identical business or holds the same permission. The Overview directs firms to those parts of the Handbook that will usually be relevant to a typical IFA carrying on financial advisory business relating to investments.
The material in the Overview has been grouped into chapters covering the most frequent types of interaction with the FSA and the rules that most often apply to IFA firms. For those accessing the Overview electronically it contains hyperlinks to the FSA Handbook and to other related documents. The links to the Handbook and the pointers to other sections within the Overview itself are not intended to be exhaustive.
The purpose of the Overview is to help small IFA firms to locate the rules they need within the FSA Handbook. The Overview refers to and contains extracts from various parts of the FSA Handbook. Firms should consult the FSA Handbook in order to determine the precise wording and effect of the rules.
The Overview is current as at 30 September 2003. There is a great deal of work in the pipeline that will lead to changes to the Handbook. The Overview does not remove the need for firms to keep up-to-date with regulatory developments and to consider the potential impact on business of proposed changes, for example, the regulatory framework for mortgages and general insurance. We will regularly update the Overview.