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SIFA 1.1 Purpose of the Overview

SIFA 1.1.1G

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.

SIFA 1.1.2G

The Overview is aimed at IFA firms not holding client money or other assets that are small personal investment firms i.e. the firm is not a network, has fewer than 26 advisers or representatives, and is a Category B3 firm not within the scope of the Investment Services Directive (ISD).

SIFA 1.1.3G

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.

SIFA 1.1.4G

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.

SIFA 1.1.5G

The Overview is not formal guidance and does not have the status of guidance in the Handbook. You cannot use the Overview to counter a charge of breaking the FSA rules. In the event of any conflict between the Overview and the Handbook, the Handbook takes precedence.

SIFA 1.1.6G

The Overview uses terms that are consistent with those defined in the FSA Handbook Glossary. For your convenience, there are brief definitions of some of the more frequently used terms at Appendix 1. For the full definition firms should consult the FSA Handbook Glossary.

SIFA 1.1.7G

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.