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Guidance on the Glossary of definitions

1. The rules and guidance for interpreting the Handbook are to be found in GEN 2 (Interpreting the Handbook)

2. The guidance in the following paragraphs reminds the reader of some practical points for interpreting Handbook text.

3. Each sourcebook or manual has a reference code of two or more letters, usually a contraction or abbreviation of its title (for example, GEN stands for the General Provisions and COBS for the Conduct of Business sourcebook). The meaning of each of these codes is given in the Glossary.

4. Expressions used in the Handbook which are defined in the Glossary appear in the text in italic type (GEN 2.2.7 R (1) (Use of defined expressions)). An expression which is not shown in the text in italics has its natural meaning unless the context otherwise requires (GEN 2.2.9 G).

5. An expression which appears in the text in italics, but is not itself defined in the Glossary, should be read in the same sense as the expression to which it relates (for example, "advice on investments" and "advise on investments" are related to "advising on investments", so the reader should refer to the definition of "advising on investments" for their meaning). (GEN 2.2.7 R (2) and GEN 2.2.8 G).

6. The words "in writing", unless the contrary intention appears, mean in legible form and capable of reproduction on paper; they include electronic communication (GEN 2.2.14 R (References to writing)).

7. The Interpretation Act 1978 applies to the Handbook, so (unless the contrary intention appears): (1) the singular includes the plural, and the plural the singular (GEN 2.2.12 G (3)); (2) the masculine includes the feminine (GEN 2.2.12 G (3)); (3) a reference to a statutory provision is a reference to it as amended from time to time (GEN 2.2.12 G (2)); under GENPRU 2.2.13 G (Cross-references in the Handbook) the same applies to a provision in the Handbook.

8. Many of the defined expressions in the Glossary are used or defined in the Act or in a statutory instrument made under it. In these cases, the Glossary refers to the statutory provision which is the source of the Handbook definition. Where there is a short statutory definition, the Glossary sets out the definition in full. Where the statutory definition is long, the Glossary gives a summary of it, and states that it is a summary.