The extent to which a person can rely on individual guidance given to him will depend on many factors. These could include, for example, the degree of formality of the original query and the guidance given, and whether all relevant information was submitted with the request. Individual guidance is usually given in relation to a set of particular circumstances which exist when the guidance is given. If the circumstances later change, for example, because of a change in the circumstances of the person or a change in the underlying rule or other requirement, and the premises upon which individual guidance was given no longer apply, the guidance will cease to be effective.
Rights conferred on third parties (such as a firm'sclients) cannot be affected by guidance given by the FCA. Guidance on rules, the Act or other legislation represents the FCA view, and does not bind the courts, for example in relation to an action for damages brought by a private person for breach of a rule (section 138D of the Act (Actions for damages)) or in relation to enforceability of a contract if the general prohibition is breached (sections 26 and 27 of the Act (Enforceability of agreements)). A person may need to seek his own legal advice.