Related provisions for COBS 9.6.17
1 - 9 of 9 items.
(1) 1This section applies to a firm which makes personal recommendations to retail clients in relation to retail investment products12or P2P agreements.1111(2) This section does not apply to a firm giving advice, or providing services, to an employer in connection with a group personal pension scheme or group stakeholder pension scheme.2
8Guidance on the regulated activity12of advising in relation to a new or existing investment can be found in PERG 8.24 to PERG 8.29. Although the guidance in PERG 8.29.7 G relates to advising on investments (except P2P agreements)12under article 53(1) 12of the Regulated Activities Order, exactly the same answers apply to a personal recommendation because the examples given relate to the relationship between a firm and a particular client and advice given to that specific client.
Except as specified in COBS 6.1A.4A R, COBS 6.1A.4AB R, COBS 6.1A.4AC G11 and COBS 6.1A.4B R, a firm must:6(1) only be remunerated for the personal recommendation (and any other related services provided by the firm) by adviser charges; and(2) not solicit or accept (and ensure that none of its associates solicits or accepts) any other commissions, remuneration or benefit of any kind in relation to the personal recommendation or any other related service, regardless of whether
6A firm and its associates may:(1) solicit and accept a commission, remuneration or benefit of any kind in the circumstances set out in COBS 6.1A.4 R if:(a) the personal recommendation was made on or before 30 December 2012;(b) the solicitation and acceptance of the commission, remuneration or benefit of any kind was permitted by the rules in force on 30 December 2012;(c) the contract under which the right to receive the commission, remuneration or benefit of any kind was entered
(1) 8A firm may continue to accept a commission, remuneration or benefit of any kind after 30 December 2012 if there is a clear link between the payment and an investment in a retail investment product which was made by the retail client following a personal recommendation made, or a transaction executed, on or before 30 December 2012. This is the case even if the firm makes a personal recommendation to the same retail client after 30 December 2012 to the extent that the continued
11A firm and its associates may solicit and accept a commission, remuneration or benefit of any kind from a discretionary investment manager in the circumstances in COBS 6.1A.4 R if:(1) the firm or its associates recommended the discretionary investment manager to a retail client on or before 30 December 2012;(2) the solicitation and acceptance of the commission, remuneration or benefit of any kind was permitted by the rules in force on 30 December 2012;(3) the contract under
(1) 11If a firm makes a recommendation of a discretionary investment manager to a retail client and wishes to:(a) receive remuneration for that recommendation in addition to any commission, remuneration or benefit of any kind it receives in the circumstances contemplated by COBS 6.1A.4AB R; or(b) be paid additional amounts for any actions linked to a new amount invested by the retail client through the same discretionary investment manager;it should only be paid those additional
6If a retail client chooses to become a client of a firm and that firm or its associate enters into an arrangement in COBS 6.1A.4AR (2), the firm must:(1) before the arrangement is entered into, disclose to the retail client that the transfer of the commission, remuneration or benefit of any kind will be requested by the firm or its associate;(2) throughout the period during which the firm or its associate receives the commission, remuneration or benefit of any kind, provide the
7‘Related service(s)’ for the purposes of COBS 6.1A includes:(1) arranging or executing a transaction which has been recommended to a retail client by the firm, an associate or another firm in the same group or conducting administrative tasks associated with that transaction; or(2) managing a relationship between a retail client (to whom the firm provides personal recommendations on retail investment products or P2P agreements) 12and a discretionary investment manager or providing
11‘Other services’ in COBS 6.1A.6R (3) includes:(1) providing information relating to retail investment products, P2P agreements or operators of electronic systems in relation to lending12 to the retail client, for example, general market research; or(2) passing on information from the discretionary investment manager to the retail client.
Examples of payments and benefits that should not be accepted under the requirement to be paid through adviser charges include:(1) a share of the retail investment product charges or platform service provider's charges, or5retail investment product provider’s or platform service provider's5 revenues or profits; 125(2) a commission set and payable by a retail investment product provider or an operator of an electronic system in relation to lending12 in any jurisdiction12; and(3)
If the firm or its associate is the retail investment product provider, platform service provider14 or operator of an electronic system in relation to lending12, the firm must ensure that the level of its adviser charges is at least reasonably representative of the cost of the14 services associated with making the personal recommendation (and related services).
An adviser charge is likely to be reasonably representative of the cost of the14 services associated with making the personal recommendation if:(1) the total14 expected14 costs associated with making a personal recommendation and distributing the retail investment product will:14(a) be recovered through adviser charges; and14(b) not be recovered by charges for, or profits from, other services (such as manufacturing and administering the retail investment product);14(2) the14adviser
In determining its charging structure and adviser charges a firm should have regard to its duties under the client's best interests rule. Practices which may indicate that a firm is not in compliance with this duty include:(1) varying its adviser charges inappropriately according to provider or, for substitutable and competing retail investment products, the type of retail investment product; or(2) allowing the availability or limitations of services offered by third parties
9A firm must not make a personal recommendation to a retail client in relation to a retail investment product or P2P agreement12if it knows, or ought to know, that:(1) the product’s charges,12 the platform service provider's charges or the operator of the electronic system in relation to lending’s charges 12are presented in a way that offsets or may appear to offset any adviser charges or platform charges that are payable by that retail client; or(2) the product’s charges or other
A firm is likely to be viewed as operating a charging structure that conceals the amount or purpose of its adviser charges if, for example:(1) it makes arrangements for amounts in excess of its adviser charges to be deducted from a retail client's investments from the outset, in order to be able to provide a cash refund to the retail client later; or(2) it provides other services to a retail client (for example, advising on a home finance transaction or advising on an equity release
In order to meet its responsibilities under the client's best interests rule and Principle 6 (Customers’ interests), a firm should consider whether the personal recommendation or any other related service7 is likely to be of value to the retail client when the total charges the retail client is likely to be required to pay are taken into account.
In order to meet the requirement in the rule on information disclosure before providing services (COBS 2.2.1 R), a firm should ensure that the disclosure of its charging structure is in clear and plain language and, as far as is practicable, uses cash terms. If a firm's charging structure is in non-cash terms, examples in cash terms should be used to illustrate how the charging structure will be applied in practice.
A firm is unlikely to meet its obligations under the fair, clear and not misleading rule and the client's best interests rule unless it ensures that:(1) the charging structure it discloses reflects, as closely as is practicable, the total adviser charge to be paid; for example, the firm should avoid using a wide range; and(2) if using hourly rates in its charging structure, it states whether the rates are indicative or actual hourly rates, provides the basis (if any) upon which
A firm must not use an adviser charge which is structured to be payable by the retail client over a period of time unless (1) or (2) applies:(1) the adviser charge is in respect of an ongoing service for the provision of personal recommendations or related services and: (a) the firm has disclosed that service along with the adviser charge; and6(b) the retail client is provided with a right to cancel the ongoing service, which must be reasonable in all the circumstances, without
6To comply with the rule on providing a retail client with the right to cancel an ongoing service for the provision of personal recommendations or related services without penalty (COBS 6.1A.22R (1)(b)) a firm should:(1) ensure that any notice period of the retail client's right of cancellation is reasonable; (2) not make any charge in respect of cancellation of the ongoing service except for an amount which is in proportion to the extent of the service already provided by the
(1) A firm must agree with and disclose to a retail client the total adviser charge payable to it or any of its associates by a retail client.(2) A disclosure under (1) must:(a) be in cash terms (or convert non-cash terms into illustrative cash equivalents);(b) be as early as practicable;(c) be in a durable medium or through a website (if it does not constitute a durable medium) if the website conditions are satisfied; and(d) if there are payments over a period of time, include
3If the price of the retail investment product may vary as a result of fluctuations in the financial markets and the adviser charge is expressed as a percentage of that price, a firm need not disclose to the retail client the total adviser charge payable to the firm or any of its associates by the retail client until after execution of the transaction, provided it then does so promptly.
To comply with the rule on disclosure of total adviser charges (COBS 6.1A.24 R) and the fair, clear and not misleading rule, a firm's disclosure of the total adviser charge should:(1) provide information to the retail client as to which particular service an adviser charge applied to;(2) include information as to when payment of the adviser charge is due; (3) inform the retail client if the total adviser charge varies materially from the charge indicated for that service in the
A firm must keep a record of:(1) its charging structure;(2) the total adviser charge payable by each retail client; and(3) if the total adviser charge paid by a retail client has varied materially from the charge indicated for that service in the firm's charging structure, the reasons for that difference.
(1) 1This section applies to a firm that either:(a) makes a personal recommendation to a retail client in relation to a retail investment product; or(b) provides basic advice to a retail client.(2) This section does not apply to a firm when it makes a personal recommendation or provides basic advice to an employee, if that recommendation or advice is provided under the terms of an agreement between the firm and that employee’s employer which is subject to the rules on consultancy
(1) A firm must not hold itself out to a retail client as acting independently unless the only personal recommendations in relation to retail investment products it offers to that retail client are:(a) based on a comprehensive and fair analysis of the relevant market; and(b) unbiased and unrestricted.(2) Paragraph (1) does not apply to group personal pension schemes if a firm discloses information to a client in accordance with the rule on group personal pension schemes (COBS
(1) A firm that provides both independent advice and restricted advice should not hold itself out as acting independently for its business as a whole. 6(1A) 6A firm that offers an unlimited range of regulated mortgage contracts, or gives advice in relation to contracts of insurance on the basis of a fair analysis, but offers restricted advice on retail investment products should not hold itself out as acting independently for its business as a whole, for example by holding itself
5In complying with COBS 6.2A.3 R, a firm which: (1) holds itself out to a retail client as acting independently; and(2) relies upon a single platform service to facilitate the majority of its personal recommendations in relation to retail investment products;must take reasonable steps to ensure that, as appropriate, the platform service provider bases its selection of retail investment products on a comprehensive, fair and unbiased analysis of the relevant market.
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 relevant market can be limited by the investment needs and objectives of the retail client. For example, ethical and socially responsible investments or Islamic financial products could both be relevant markets. However, a firm would be expected to consider all retail investment products within those investment parameters.
A personal recommendation on a retail investment product that invests in a number of underlying investments would not of itself meet the requirements for providing unbiased and unrestricted advice even if the retail investment product invests in a wide range of underlying investments.
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
(1) Firms are reminded of the systems and controls requirements in SYSC.(2) A firm providing restricted advice should take reasonable care to establish and maintain appropriate systems and controls to ensure that if there is no retail investment product in the firm's range of products which meets the investment needs and objectives of the retail client, no personal recommendation should be made.(3) A firm specialising in a relevant market should take reasonable care to establish
When a firm provides basic advice it must:1(1) explain why it chose the stakeholder products and stakeholder product providers that appear in the relevant range; and1(2) give the client a list of the stakeholder products and stakeholder product providers that appear in that range;1if the client asks it do so.1
When a firm first has contact with a retail client with a view to giving basic advice on a stakeholder product, it must give the retail client:1(1) the basic advice initial disclosure information (COBS 9 Annex 1), in a durable medium, together with an explanation of that information, unless:1(a) it has already done so and the basic advice initial disclosure information is likely still to be accurate and appropriate; or1(b) the contact is not face to face and is using a means of
3A firm will meet the requirements in respect of its obligation to provide written disclosure in the rules on describing the breadth of advice (COBS 6.2A.5 R) and content and wording of disclosure (COBS 6.2A.6 R) by providing its basic advice initial disclosure information (in COBS 9 Annex 1 R).
If a firm's first contact with a retail client is not face to face, it must:1(1) inform the client at the outset:1(a) (if the communication is initiated by or on behalf of a firm), of the name of the firm and the commercial purpose of the communication;1(b) [deleted]33(c) that the firm will provide the retail client with basic advice without carrying out a full assessment of the retail client's needs and circumstances; and1(d) that such information will be confirmed in writing;
When a firm gives basic advice it must not:1(1) describe or recommend a stakeholder product outside the firm'srange; or1(2) describe or recommend a smoothed linked long term stakeholder product; or1(3) describe fund choice, or recommend a particular fund, if a stakeholder product offers a choice of funds; or1(4) recommend the level of contributions required to be made to a stakeholder pension scheme to achieve a specific income in retirement; or1(5) recommend or agree that a client
(1) If a firm starts the sales process for a stakeholder product that is not a deposit-based stakeholder product, it must not depart from that process unless it has advised the retail client that it will not provide basic advice on stakeholder products during the period of departure. A firm that does that must not provide basic advice during the departure period.1(2) Before a firm returns to the sales process for stakeholder products, it must tell the retail client that that process
1A firm must only recommend a stakeholder product to a retail client if:(1) it has taken reasonable steps to assess the client's answers to the scripted questions and any other facts, circumstances or information disclosed by the client during the sales process;(2) (unless the relevant product is a deposit-based stakeholder product) having done so, it has reasonable grounds for believing that the stakeholder product is suitable for the client; and(3) the firm reasonably believes
1If a firm giving basic advice recommends to a retail client to acquire a stakeholder product, it must ensure that, before the conclusion of the contract, its representative:(1) (unless the relevant product is a deposit-based stakeholder product) explains to the client, if necessary in summary form, but always in a way that will allow the client to make an informed decision about the firm's recommendation:(a) the nature of the stakeholder product; and(b) the "aims", "commitment"
1A firm must ensure that none of its representatives:(1) is likely to be influenced by the structure of his or her remuneration to give unsuitable basic advice on stakeholder products to a retail client; or(2) refers a retail client to another firm in circumstances which would amount to the provision of any fee, commission or non-monetary benefit.
(1) 1A firm must make an up-to-date record of:(a) its scope of basic advice, and the scope of basic advice used by its appointed representatives (if any); and(b) its range (or ranges) of stakeholder products, and the range (or ranges) used by its appointed representatives (if any).(2) Those records must be retained for five years from the date on which they are replaced by a more up-to-date record.
This section applies to a firm when it makes a personal recommendation on a retail investment product or P2P agreement11and where a retail investment product for which it is the retail investment product provider or P2P agreement which it facilitates as the operator of an electronic system in relation to lending11is the subject of a personal recommendation made by another firm.
Except as specified in COBS 6.1B.5A R,5 a firm must not offer or pay (and must ensure that none of its associates offers or pays) any commissions, remuneration or benefit of any kind to another firm, or to any other third party for the benefit of that firm, in relation to a personal recommendation (or any related services), except those that facilitate the payment of adviser charges from a retail client's investments in accordance with this section.
5A firm and its associates may:(1) offer and pay a commission, remuneration or benefit of any kind in the circumstances set out in COBS 6.1B.5 R if:(a) the personal recommendation was made on or before 30 December 2012;(b) the offer and payment was permitted by the rules in force on 30 December 2012;(c) the contract under which the right to receive the commission, remuneration or benefit of any kind was entered into on or before 30 December 2012; (d) the terms of that contract
8A firm may continue paying commission, remuneration or benefits of any kind to another firm in relation to a personal recommendation made by that other firm in circumstances where that other firm may accept that commission, remuneration or benefit of any kind (see COBS 6.1A.4A R and COBS 6.1A.4AA G).
A firm must:(1) take reasonable steps to ensure that its retail investment product charges or its charges as an operator of an electronic system in relation to lending11are not structured so that they could mislead or conceal from a retail client the distinction between those charges and any adviser charges payable in respect of its retail investment products or investments in P2P agreements made through the system of which it is the operator of an electronic system in relation
10A retail investment product provider may maintain retail investment product charges at a level such that a cash rebate is payable to the retail client if:(1) the retail investment product transaction was agreed on or before 5 April 2014 and executed within a reasonable time of that agreement; and (2) the retail client's right to receive the cash rebate arose on or before 5 April 2014; and(3) on or after 6 April 2014 no change is made to that product, or, where there is such
10The following examples do not entail changes to the retail investment product: (1) no change is made to the retail client's investment in the relevant product or to the level of the retail client's regular contributions into that product;(2) the retail client's investment in, or regular contribution to, the relevant product is reduced: the retail investment product provider may continue to pay the cash rebate associated with the reduced investment amount;(3) the retail client's
COBS 6.1B.7 R does not prevent a firm from offering a promotional discount to a retail client in the form of extra units or additional investment, but a9firm that offers to facilitate, directly or through a third party, the payment of adviser charges, including6 by means of a platform service must:49(1) obtain and validate instructions from a retail client in relation to an adviser charge;(2) offer sufficient flexibility in terms of the adviser charges it facilitates; and(3) not
6A firm may facilitate the payment of adviser charges for the purposes of COBS 6.1B.9 R by:(1) selling all or part of the retail client'sretail investment product to pay the adviser charge; or(2) disposing of or reducing all or part of the retail client's rights under the retail investment product (for example, by way of a part disposal which creates benefits under a life policy) to pay the adviser charge; or(3) separating out an amount or amounts for the payment of the adviser
(1) 1This section applies to a firm that carries on designated investment business for:(a) a retail client; and(b) in the case of MiFID or equivalent third country business, a client.(2) If expressly provided, this section also applies to ancillary services not covered by (1), but only in the course of MiFID or equivalent third country business carried on with or for a client.
(1) A firm that holds designated investments or client money for a retail client subject to the custody chapter or the client money chapter must provide that client with the following information:444(a) if applicable,(i) that the designated investments or client money of that client may be held by a third party on behalf of the firm;(ii) the responsibility of the firm under the applicable national law for any acts or omissions of the third party; and(iii) the consequences for
(1) A firm must notify a client in good time about any material change to the information provided under this section which is relevant to a service that the firm is providing to that client.(2) A firm must provide this notification in a durable medium if the information to which it relates was given in a durable medium. [Note: article 29(6) of the MiFID implementing Directive]
(1) Except as specified in COBS 6.1D.6A R,1 a firm must not offer or pay (and must ensure that none of its associates offers or pays) any commissions, remuneration or benefit of any kind to another firm, an employee benefit consultant or to any other third party for the benefit of that firm, employee benefit consultant or third party in relation to the sale or purchase of: (a) a group personal pension scheme or group stakeholder pension scheme, whether or not that sale or purchase
In this section ‘giving advice, or providing services, to an employer in connection with a group personal pension scheme or group stakeholder pension scheme’ includes:(1) giving advice or assistance to an employer on the operation of such a scheme;(2) taking, or helping the employer to take, the steps that must be taken to enable an employee of the employer to become a member of such a scheme; and(3) giving advice to an employee, pursuant to an agreement between the employer and
4For the purpose of COBS 19.4.6R(1) where a firm provides its own statement as the fact sheet, it should include materially the same information in the Money Advice Service fact sheet about:(1) the following options for accessing pensions savings, even if they are not offered by the firm:(a) pension annuity;(b) drawdown pension; and(c) uncrystallised funds pension lump sum payments;(2) the main features, benefits and risk factors relevant to the options for accessing pensions