Related provisions for COBS 6.2A.14
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5When a firm considers whether a platform service provider's selection of retail investment products is based on an unbiased analysis of the relevant market, a firm should take into account any fees, commission or non-monetary benefits the platform service provider receives in relation to those retail investment products.
(1) A firm must include the term “independent advice” or “restricted advice” or both, as relevant, in the disclosure.(2) If a firm provides independent advice in respect of a relevant market that does not include all retail investment products, a firm must include in the disclosure an explanation of that market, including the types of retail investment products which constitute that market.(3) If a firm provides restricted advice, its disclosure must explain the nature of the
A firm may meet the disclosure requirements in the rule on describing the breadth of a firm's advice service (COBS 6.2A.5 R) and the rule on content and wording of disclosure (COBS 6.2A.6R) by using a services and costs disclosure document or a combined initial disclosure document (COBS 6.3 and COBS 6 Annex 1G or COBS 6 Annex 2).
In order to satisfy the rule on firms holding themselves out as independent (COBS 6.2A.3 R) a firm should ensure that it is not bound by any form of agreement with a retail investment product provider that restricts the personal recommendation the firm can provide or imposes any obligation that may limit the firm's ability to provide a personal recommendation which is unbiased and unrestricted.
A firm may be owned by, or own in whole or part, or be financed by or provide finance to, a retail investment product provider without contravening the ‘unbiased, unrestricted’ requirement provided the firm ensures that that ownership or finance does not prevent the firm from providing a personal recommendation which is unbiased and unrestricted.
In providing unrestricted advice a firm should consider relevant financial products other than retail investment products which are capable of meeting the investment needs and objectives of a retail client, examples of which could include national savings and investments products and cash deposit ISAs.
A firm may provide a personal recommendation on a comprehensive and fair analysis basis required by the rule on firms holding themselves out as independent (COBS 6.2A.3 R) by using ‘panels’. A firm would need to ensure that any panel is sufficiently broad in its composition to enable the firm to make personal recommendations based on a comprehensive and fair analysis, is reviewed regularly, and that the use of the panel does not materially disadvantage any retail client.
If a firm chooses to use a third party to conduct a fair and comprehensive analysis of its relevant market, the firm is responsible for ensuring the criteria used by the third party are sufficient to meet the requirement. For example, criteria which selected retail investment product providers on the basis of payment of a fee (or facilitation of adviser charges), whilst excluding those not paying a fee (or such a facilitation) would not meet the comprehensive and fair analysis