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SUP 10A.10 Customer-dealing functions

Introduction

SUP 10A.10.1R

SUP 10A.10 applies with respect to activities carried on from an establishment maintained by the firm (or by its appointed representative) in the United Kingdom.

SUP 10A.10.2G

Without SUP 10A.10.1 R, the description of the customer function would extend to this function wherever it was performed. The effect of SUP 10A.10.1 R is that the description is limited, in relation to regulated activities with an overseas element, in a manner which is broadly consistent with the scope of conduct of business regulation.

SUP 10A.10.3G

The customer function has to do with giving advice on, dealing and arranging deals in and managing investments; it has no application to banking business such as deposit taking and lending, nor to general insurance business or credit-related regulated activity1.

The basic rule about the customer function

SUP 10A.10.4R

The customer function is one which comes within the definition of a customer-dealing function.

SUP 10A.10.5R

The3 customer-dealing function, in relation to the carrying on of a regulated activity by a firm ("A"), means a function that will involve the person performing it in dealing with:3

  1. (1)

    customers of A; or

  2. (2)

    property of customers of A;

SUP 10A.10.6G

The FCA interprets the phrase “dealing with” as including having contact with customers and extending beyond “dealing” as used in the phrase “dealing in investments”. “Dealing in” is used in Schedule 2 to the Act to describe in general terms the regulated activities which are specified in Part II of the Regulated Activities Order.

Customer function (CF 30)

SUP 10A.10.7R

The customer function is the function of:

  1. (1)

    advising on investments other than a non-investment insurance contract (but not where this is advising on investments in the course of carrying on the activity of giving basic advice on a stakeholder product) and performing other functions related to this such as dealing and arranging;

  2. (2)

    giving advice to clients solely in connection with corporate finance business and performing other functions related to this;

  3. (3)

    giving advice or performing related activities in connection with pension transfers, pension conversions 2 or pension opt-outs 2for retail clients;

    2
  4. (4)

    giving advice to a person to become, or continue or cease to be, a member of a particular Lloyd's syndicate;

  5. (5)

    dealing, as principal or as agent, and arranging (bringing about) deals in investments other than a non-investment insurance contract with, for, or in connection with customers where the dealing or arranging deals is governed by COBS 11 (Dealing and managing);

  6. (6)

    acting in the capacity of an investment manager and carrying on functions connected to this;

  7. (7)

    in relation to bidding in emissions auctions, acting as a ‘bidder’s representative’ within the meaning of subparagraph 3 of article 6(3) of the auction regulation.

SUP 10A.10.8R

The customer function does not extend to an individual who is performing the functions in SUP 10A.10.7R (1) to SUP 10A.10.7R (2) or SUP 10A.10.7R (5) to (7) and who is based overseas and who, in a 12-month period, spends no more than 30 days in the United Kingdom to the extent that he is appropriately supervised by a person approved for this function.

SUP 10A.10.9G

The FCA would expect an individual from overseas to be accompanied on a visit to a customer. TC 2.1.9 R (2) provides that the firm will have to be satisfied that the individual has at least three years of up-to-date, relevant experience obtained outside the United Kingdom. However, the remaining provisions of TC 2.1.9 R (2) are disapplied in these circumstances (except for an individual who gives advice to retail clients on retail investment products, gives advice on P2P agreements to retail clients4 or is a broker fund adviser). The effect of this is that such individuals need not attain the relevant regulatory module of an appropriate qualification (see TC 2.1.9 R (2)).

SUP 10A.10.10G

The customer function in SUP 10A.10.7R (5) does not extend to the individual who, on the instructions of the customer, simply inputs the customer's instructions into an automatic execution system where no discretion is or may be exercised by the individual performing the activity. Nor does it extend to merely introducing a customer to a firm or distributing advertisements.

SUP 10A.10.11G

An individual may advise on investments prior to being assessed as competent in accordance with the rules in the Senior Management Arrangements, Systems and Controls sourcebook (SYSC) and, where relevant, the Training and Competence sourcebook (TC). The firm should record when that person subsequently becomes competent.