Related provisions for PERG 8.14.32
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The exemptions in Part VI apply to different types of financial promotion, and the exemption available may be based on a number of facts. These may be the identity of the maker of the financial promotion, the identity of the recipient of the financial promotion, the subject matter of the financial promotion or the nature of the financial promotion itself. Some of these exemptions apply to non-real time financial promotions, others to solicited real time financial promotions and
Article 28 exempts financial promotions, other than unsolicited real time financial promotions, which are one-off in nature. Whether or not any particular financial promotion is one-off in nature will depend upon the individual circumstances in which it is made. Article 28(3) sets out conditions which, if all are met, are conclusive. Otherwise they are indicative. Even if none are met the exemption may still apply. This makes it clear that the overriding issue is whether the financial
The FSA considers the effect of each of the conditions in PERG 8.14.3G (1) to PERG 8.14.3G (3) to be as follows.(1) The first condition requires the financial promotion to be made, so ruling out any financial promotions which are directed at persons. The effect of article 6(b) and (e) of the Financial Promotion Order is that a communication is made to a person when it is addressed to him and that person to whom the financial promotion is addressed is its recipient. This means
In the FSA's opinion, the indicators referred to in PERG 8.14.4 G suggest that there are two essential elements of a one-off financial promotion. These are that it is tailored to the circumstances of the recipient and that it is individual in nature (in that it is not simply a personalised letter sent out as part of a general mailshot). Apart from this there is no need for the communication to be an isolated instance. For example, the fact that there may be a considerable number
A financial promotion may fail to satisfy all of the indicators referred to in PERG 8.14.4 G because it is addressed to more than one recipient and they are not persons who will engage in investment activity jointly. In the FSA's view, such a financial promotion is capable of being one-off where the persons are to enter into the same transaction and the promotion is tailored to their individual circumstances. This may typically happen during negotiations for the sale of a company
The fact that a financial promotion may be made following an organised marketing campaign does not mean that it must automatically be regarded as part of the campaign or that it cannot be one-off. For example, after a person has responded to a general promotion, an investment manager may make financial promotions to him and tailor them to his individual objectives. Such subsequent financial promotions can be one-off. Similarly, a person who provides corporate finance services
In the FSA's view, a person such as an investment manager or adviser is not conducting an organised marketing campaign purely because he regularly provides a particular client with financial promotions as part of his service. Neither is such a person conducting an organised marketing campaign purely because he may have several clients whose personal circumstances and objectives may suggest that a particular investment opportunity may attract them. If he considers the individual
In the FSA's view, a person will not be making one-off financial promotions simply by sending out a series of letters to a number of customers or potential customers where a few details are changed (such as the name and address) but the bulk of the letter is standard. Such letters would be likely to be part of an organised marketing campaign.
Article 28A exempts one-off unsolicited real time financial promotions provided that the person making the financial promotion believes on reasonable grounds:1(1) that the recipient understands the risks associated with engaging in the investment activity to which the financial promotion relates; and(2) (at the time the communication is made) that the recipient would expect to be contacted by him about the investment activity to which the financial promotion relates.
In the FSA's view, the article 28A exemption should provide scope for persons such as professional advisers to make unsolicited real time financial promotions in various situations. For example, when approaching persons with whom their clients are proposing to do business or those persons’ professional advisers. The exemption will not apply where the financial promotions are part of an organised marketing campaign (see PERG 8.14.4G (3)). So, in cases where a professional adviser
Whether or not it would be reasonable to believe that any person understands the risks associated with the investment activity covered in a financial promotion or would expect to be contacted about it must be judged on the particular circumstances. In the FSA's opinion, the exemption requires that the recipient has the required understanding of risk at the time the promotion is made to him. However, it would be reasonable to believe that a person understands the risk involved
There are a number of exemptions in the Financial Promotion Order relating to financial promotions sent into the United Kingdom by an overseas communicator who does not carry on certain controlled activities in the United Kingdom. These exemptions apply in addition to any other exemptions which may apply to any particular financial promotion by an overseas communicator.
Article 30 exempts any solicited real time financial promotion made by an overseas communicator in the course of or for the purposes of certain controlled activities which he carries on outside the United Kingdom. This enables an overseas communicator, for example, to respond to an unprompted telephone enquiry made by a person in the United Kingdom or an enquiry which follows a financial promotion made by the overseas communicator and which was approved by an authorised perso
In order to make an unsolicited real time financial promotion, an overseas communicator must rely on either article 32 or article 33. Article 32 provides an exemption for unsolicited real time financial promotions made by an overseas communicator to persons who were previously overseas and were a customer of his then. This is subject to certain conditions, including that, in broad terms, the customer would reasonably expect to be contacted about the subject matter of the financial
Article 31 exempts non-real time financial promotions made to previously overseas customers and subject to certain conditions. Again, to satisfy this exemption, the communicator must be based overseas and must be communicating with a person who was previously a customer of his while that person was overseas.
This exemption allows a person in another EEA State who lawfully carries on a controlled activity in that State to promote into the United Kingdom. The terms of the exemption are that the promotion must comply with the rules in COB 3 or MCOB 3 (as relevant). Care should be taken as any failure to satisfy any of the relevant requirements of these rules may mean that this exemption is not satisfied and that the financial promotion may breach section 21 if it has not been approved
Article 39 of the Financial Promotion Order exempts a financial promotion that:(1) is communicated by one participator or potential participator in a joint enterprise to another; and(2) is in connection with or for the purposes of that enterprise.A joint enterprise means, in general terms, arrangements entered into by two or more persons for commercial purposes related to a business that they carry on. The business must not involve a controlled activity. The term ‘participant’
This exemption disapplies the restriction in section 21 of the Act from non-real time financial promotions or solicited real time financial promotions which are made to a person who the communicator believes on reasonable grounds to be a certified high net worth individual and which relate to certain investments. These investments must be either;(1) shares in or debentures of an unlisted company; or(2) warrants,certificates representing certain securities, options, futures or
A certified high net worth individual is an individual who has signed a statement in the form prescribed in Part I (Statement for certified high net worth individuals) of Schedule 5 to the Financial Promotion Order. This requires the individual to certify that he has earned at least £100,000 or have held net assets to the value of more than £250,000 throughout the financial year before the date of the certificate. Where the financial promotion is an outgoing electronic commerce
In addition, the financial promotion must be accompanied by:(1) a warning in the terms prescribed in article 48(5) and which satisfies certain conditions regarding its form as set out in article 48(6) – this warning must either be given in legible form at the time the communication is made or given orally at that time and a copy in legible form sent to the recipient within two business days; and(2) certain indications as set out in article 48(7).
A person seeking to make a financial promotion to another person may wish to make enquiries of that person to establish whether he is certified. Unless another exemption applies or the financial promotion is approved by an authorised person, such enquiries will not be possible if the enquiry communication is an inducement or invitation to engage in investment activity. In the FSA's view, a communication which is merely an enquiry seeking to establish that a person holds a current
This exemption works on a different basis to that for high net worth individuals. There is no requirement for a certificate or statement to be signed. Instead, the person making the promotion must believe on reasonable grounds that the recipients are high net worth companies, unincorporated associations or trusts or be reasonably regarded as directing the financial promotion only at such persons. A high net worth company, unincorporated association or trust is a person who satisfies
Article 49(4) gives the list of conditions which, if all are met, is proof that the financial promotion is directed at relevant persons. It is not necessary for all or any of the conditions to be met for a financial promotion to be regarded as directed at relevant persons. Ultimately the matter will be one of fact to be determined by taking account of the circumstances in which the financial promotion is made. In the FSA's opinion, it is not necessary for a financial promotion,
To be a sophisticated investor for the purposes of article 50, the recipient of a financial promotion must have a current certificate from an authorised person stating that he has enough knowledge to be able to understand the risks associated with the description of investment to which the financial promotion relates. Where the financial promotion is an outgoing electronic commerce communication3, the certificate may be signed by a person who is entitled, under the law of an EEA
The exemption also requires that certain warnings are given to the potential investor. In this respect, article 50(3)(d) provides that the financial promotion must state that there is a significant risk of losing all monies invested or of incurring additional liability. In the FSA's view, these are alternative statements and whichever is the relevant statement should be included. If there is no risk of incurring additional liability the statement may simply say that there is a
The second exemption in article 50A disapplies the restriction in section 21 of the Act from any financial promotions4 which are made to a person who the communicator believes on reasonable grounds to be a self-certified sophisticated investor and which relate to one or more of the specified investments in PERG 8.14.21G (1) to (3) (Certified high net worth individuals (article 484)).44
For the exemption to apply, the certificate must have been signed within twelve months of the date on which the communication is made. The validity of the statement is not affected by a defect in its wording or form provided the defect does not alter its meaning or involve failure to place certain paragraphs in bold.
In addition, the financial promotion must be accompanied by:(1) a warning in the terms prescribed in article 50A(5) and which satisfies certain conditions regarding its form as set out in article 50A(6) – this warning must either be given in legible form at the time the communication is made or given orally at that time and a copy in legible form sent to the recipient within two business days; and(2) certain indications as set out in article 50A(7).
1(1) This exemption allows a non-real time or solicited real time financial promotion to be made to an association with a particular membership. Membership of this association must be reasonably believed to be wholly or predominantly made up of1 certified high net worth individuals, high net worth companies or unincorporated associations or trusts, or certified or self-certified1 sophisticated investors. The financial promotion must not relate to an investment under the terms
Article 52 concerns non-real time and solicited real time financial promotions about offers of shares or debentures of a company. The offers must be made only to or be reasonably regarded as only directed at certain persons. These persons must belong to an identified group of persons who, when the financial promotion is made, might reasonably be regarded as having an existing and common interest with each other and the company.
The exemption is subject to certain conditions. In broad terms, these are that the financial promotion must be accompanied by an indication:(1) that the directors or promoters of the company have taken all reasonable care to ensure that the financial promotion is true and not misleading;(2) that the directors or promoters have not limited their liability;(3) that any person who is in doubt about the investment should consult an authorised person; and(4) that:(a) the directors
The exemption in article 62 of the Financial Promotion Order applies to any financial promotioncommunicated by or on behalf of a body corporate, a partnership, an individual or a group of connected individuals. The financial promotion must relate to a transaction which is one to acquire or dispose of shares in a body corporate and either:(1) it is the case that:(a) the shares, in addition, where appropriate, to any shares already held by the buyer, amount to 50% or more of the
In the FSA's view, a main aim of the exemption (see PERG 8.14.35G (1)) is to remove from the scope of section 21 a financial promotion concerning the sale of a corporate business by a person who, either alone or with others, controls the business to another person who, either alone or with others, proposes to control the business.
In the FSA's opinion, provided that the purpose of the transaction is for the buyer to acquire the necessary control, it is irrelevant who is the seller. The exemption specifically applies to financial promotions which are communicated on behalf of the parties or potential parties to the transaction. The Treasury, in its consultative document “Financial Services and Markets Act two year review: Changes to secondary legislation Proposals for change, February 2004” proposed changes
1Article 72 exempts any financial promotion made by an employer to an employee in relation to a group personal pension scheme or a stakeholder pension scheme. This is subject to certain requirements as follows:(1) the financial promotion must inform the employee that the employer will make a contribution to the pension that the employee will receive from the pension scheme to which the financial promotion relates in the event of the employee becoming a member;(2) the employer
1Article 73 exempts any financial promotion made by a person in the course of carrying out his duties as an adviser for, or employee of, an advice centre. This is provided the financial promotion relates to:(1) a home finance transaction; or2(2) rights under, or rights to or interests in rights under, a life policy; or(3) a child trust fund within the meaning of section 1(2) of the Child Trust Funds Act 2004.
The exemptions for bearer instruments (articles 41 and 42 of the Financial Promotion Order) relate to financial promotions made to or directed at persons entitled to bearer instruments. For clarity, the FSA takes the view that persons who hold bearer instruments through a clearing system such as Euroclear or Clearstream are persons entitled to those instruments for the purposes of articles 41 and 42.
The exemption applies whether or not the financial promotion is made from the United Kingdom. However, there is the exception that, if it is an unsolicited real time financial promotion, it must be made from a place outside the United Kingdom and be for the purposes of a business carried on entirely outside the United Kingdom. To give effect to the principle of country of origin regulation of information society services as required by the E-Commerce Directive, article 12(7) of
Articles 12(3) and (4) of the Financial Promotion Order (subject to article 12(5) – see PERG 8.12.8 G) have the effect that, where a financial promotion is directed from a place outside the United Kingdom, it will be conclusive proof that it is not directed at persons in the United Kingdom even if it is received by a person in the United Kingdom, if:(1) the financial promotion is not referred to in or directly accessible from another communication (for example, an advertisement
There is no definition in the Financial Promotion Order of what ‘proper systems and procedures’ are, and the matter will ultimately be for the courts to determine. This is unsurprising as systems and procedures may take many different forms depending upon the precise circumstances in which financial promotions are made. But it is clear that persons seeking conclusive proof that the exemption applies must consciously make arrangements to prevent their dealing with certain recipients
Where a financial promotion is directed from within the United Kingdom, articles 12(3) and (4) also state (subject to article 12(5) – see PERG 8.12.8 G) that there can be conclusive proof that the financial promotion is directed only at persons outside the United Kingdom. This will be the case if, in addition to the conditions referred to in PERG 8.12.5G (1) and PERG 8.12.5G (2), the financial promotion is accompanied by an indication that:(1) it is directed only at persons outside
In any case, some but not all of the conditions referred to in PERG 8.12.5G (1) to PERG 8.12.5G (2) and PERG 8.12.7G (1) to PERG 8.12.7G (2) (or the additional condition that the communication is included in a website, newspaper or periodical publication which is principally accessed in or intended for a non-UK market or in a radio or television broadcast or teletext service transmitted principally for reception overseas) may be met. In these cases, those conditions being satisfied
Financial promotions made by a prospective customer to a person who supplies a controlled investment or services comprising controlled activities with a view to his acquiring the investment, or receiving the services or receiving information about those investments or services, are exempted. This exemption will only be of relevance to corporate customers or others who are acting in the course of business. Other types of customers will not be subject to section 21 to begin wit
Financial promotions other than unsolicited real time financial promotions are exempt where they follow up an earlier financial promotion which, in compliance with another exemption (such as that for promotions made to high net worth individuals or sophisticated investors – see PERG 8.14.21 G and PERG 8.14.27 G), contains certain indications or information. This is provided the financial promotion:(1) is made by the person who made or directed the earlier financial promotion;(2)
This exemption applies to any financial promotion that is made with a view to or for the purposes of introducing the recipient to certain kinds of person. These are authorised persons who carry on the controlled activity to which the financial promotion relates, or exempt persons where the financial promotion relates to a controlled activity that is also a regulated activity in relation to which he is an exempt person. This is subject to the requirement that:11(1) the person making
This exemption covers twodistinct situations. Article 16(1) applies to all exempt persons where they make financial promotions for the purpose of their exempt activities. These persons would include appointed representatives, recognised investment exchanges, recognised clearing houses and those who are able to take advantage of the Exemption Order. So, it allows exempt persons both to promote that they have expertise in certain controlled activities and to make financial promotions
Article 16 (2) applies to unsolicited real time financial promotions made by an appointed representative in carrying on the business:(1) for which his principal has accepted responsibility for the purposes of section 39 of the Act (Exemption of appointed representatives); and(2) in relation to which the appointed representative is exempt under section 39.In addition, the financial promotion may only be made in the circumstances in which it could be made by the appointed representative'sprincipal
Under this exemption, the financial promotion itself must not relate to a controlled investment provided by a person who is identified in it, nor must it identify any person as someone who carries on any controlled activity. So, it will apply where there is a financial promotion of a class of products. For example ‘ISAs are great’ or ‘buy into an investment trust and help the economy’. Such financial promotions may be made by a person such as a trade association which is not itself
The exemption can also be used in certain circumstances where an intermediary is advertising its services as an intermediary. This is because advising on and arranging deposits and contracts of insurance other than life policies are not controlled activities. This means that an unauthorised intermediary offering to find the best rates on deposits may identify himself in the financial promotion as he will not be carrying on a controlled activity. This is provided that the financial
Other persons may be able to take advantage of the exemption. For example, a person making a generic financial promotion may identify himself, whether he may carry on a controlled activity or not. This is provided that the financial promotion does not (directly or indirectly) identify him as someone who carries on a controlled activity.
Journalists may be able to take advantage of this exemption when writing about investments generally. But the exemption would not apply if the financial promotion recommends the purchase or sale of particular investments such as XYZ Plc shares. This is because it will be identifying XYZ Plc as a person who provides the controlled investment (being its shares) and as a person who carries on the controlled activity of dealing in securities and contractually based investments (by
The purpose of these 1exemptions1 is to ensure that, subject to certain conditions, the restriction in section 21 of the Act does not apply to those who merely transport the financial promotions of other persons. Obvious examples here are postal and Internet service providers, courier companies and telecommunications companies. PERG 8.6.5 G explains that such persons may not be regarded as communicating a financial promotion simply because they have distributed it. Article 18
The conditions in article 18(2) include a requirement that the person making the financial promotion does not select, modify or otherwise exercise control over its content before it is transmitted or received. Article 18(3) provides that a person is not selecting, modifying or exercising control merely as a result of having power to remove material which is illegal, defamatory or in breach of copyright or at the request of a regulatory body or where the law requires him to do
The conditions in article 18 also require that the person acting as the mere conduit must communicate in the course of an activity1 carried on by him the principal purpose of which is transmitting or receiving material provided to him by others. In the FSA's view, what matters is that the person is carrying on an activity1 which has the required principal purpose. Such an activity1 might represent but a part of a person’s overall business1 activities (however small), so long as
Financial promotions made only to or directed only at certain types of person who are sophisticated enough to understand the risks involved are exempt. These are:(1) authorised persons;(2) exempt persons (where the financial promotion relates to a controlled activity which is a regulated activity for which the person is exempt);(3) governments and local authorities; and(4) persons whose ordinary business involves carrying on a controlled activity of the kind to which the financial
Article 19(4) sets out conditions which, if all are satisfied, offer conclusive proof that a financial promotion is directed only at investment professionals. These conditions relate to indications accompanying the financial promotion and the existence of proper systems and procedures. The guidance about proper systems and procedures in PERG 8.12.6 G applies equally to article 19. Article 19(6) specifically states that a financial promotion may be treated as made only to or directed
The broad scope of the restriction in section 21 of the Act will inevitably mean that it will, from time to time, apply to journalists and others who make their living from commenting on news including financial affairs (such as broadcasters). This is liable to happen when such persons offer share tips or recommend the use of a particular firm for investment purposes. Such tips or recommendations are likely to amount to inducements to engage in investment activity.
The Treasury, in making the Financial Promotion Order, noted that financial journalism has an important part to play in increasing consumer awareness of financial services and products. It further observed the need to strike the right balance between protecting consumers and ensuring that the level of regulation is as light as possible, while respecting the principle of the freedom of the press.
With this objective in mind, the exemption in article 20 applies to any non-real time financial promotion the contents of which are devised by a person acting as a journalist where the financial promotion is in:1(1) a newspaper, journal, magazine or other periodical publication;(2) a regularly updated news or information service (such as a website or teletext service); or(3) a television or radio broadcast or transmission.In addition, the publication, service or broadcast must
Provided the conditions in PERG 8.12.25 G are met, the exemption in article 20 applies to any non-real time financial promotion. However, there is an additional condition where the subject matter of the financial promotion is shares or options, futures or contracts for differences relating to shares and the financial promotion identifies directly a person who issues or provides such an investment. In such cases, the exemption is subject to a disclosure requirement which is itself
The exceptions to the disclosure requirement are where the financial promotion is in either:(1) a publication, service or broadcast which has proper systems and procedures which prevent the publication of communications without disclosure of financial interests; or(2) a publication, service or broadcast which falls within the remit of:(a) the Code of Practice issued by the Press Complaints Commission; or(b) the OFCOM Broadcasting1 Code; or11(c) the Producers’ Guidelines issued
The effect of PERG 8.12.27G (2) is that financial promotions made by journalists in publications, services or broadcasts to which one of the codes or the guidelines apply are not subject to the disclosure requirement. This is so even if a financial promotion is made in breach of the codes or guidelines. Such financial promotions would remain to be dealt with by the body responsible for the code or guidelines and the publisher concerned. The code or guidelines may, of course, themselves
The effect of PERG 8.12.27G (1) is that a journalist will not breach section 21 by not disclosing a financial interest, providing that the publication, service or broadcast concerned operates proper systems and procedures. As with the exemption in article 12 of the Financial Promotion Order (see PERG 8.12.6 G), what proper systems and procedures are will be a matter ultimately for the courts to determine and may vary according to the medium used. It will depend upon all the circumstances
It appears to the FSA, however, that there will be situations when it may not be practical for the persons who are responsible for a publication, service or broadcast to apply proper systems and procedures to every person who may, whilst acting in the capacity of a journalist, communicate a financial promotion. For example where persons are asked to stand in at the last moment. In such cases, it is the FSA's opinion that the benefit of the exclusion will not be lost as respects
Article 20A provides a further exemption for certain financial promotionscommunicated by means of a service or broadcast which satisfies the principal purpose test in article 54 of the Regulated Activity Order (see PERG 8.12.25 G and PERG 7). Readers of this section should also refer to the guidance on company statements in PERG 8.21.1
The main purpose of the exemption appears to be to guard against the possibility that, during the course of a broadcast interview or a live website presentation, a financial promotion is made inadvertently by a director or employee of a company or other business undertaking when he is not acting in the capacity of a journalist (see PERG 8.12.25 G). The exemption applies if the financial promotion relates only to:(1) shares of the undertaking or of another undertaking in the same
The exemption applies where the financial promotion:(1) comprises words which are spoken by the director or employee and not broadcast, transmitted or displayed in writing; or(2) is displayed in writing only because it is part of an interactive dialogue to which the director or employee is a party and in the course of which he is expected to respond immediately to questions put by a recipient of the communication.This is provided that the financial promotion is not part of an
The first part of the exemption (referred to in PERG 8.12.34G (1)) specifically precludes any form of written communication. However, the FSA understands that the Treasury did not intend to prohibit the use of written words in the form of subtitling. These may be an aid to those with hearing difficulties or to interpret a foreign language, or the use of captions which supplement a spoken communication by highlighting aspects of it without introducing anything new. The FSA cannot
The second part of the exemption (referred to in PERG 8.12.34G (2)) envisages that the director or employee will be holding the equivalent of a conversation conducted in writing. Typically this will involve the exchange of e-mails. It is possible that this part of the exemption could be used by companies making so-called webcasts over the Internet. However, this would only be the case if the service through which the webcast is provided is a regularly updated news or information
There is a general concern that the practice of companies issuing statements and giving briefings may involve a financial promotion. These arise sometimes as a result of requirements imposed by a listing authority or an exchange or market, PERG 8.4.14 G offers guidance on when such statements or briefings may amount to or involve an inducement to engage in investment activity. It indicates that whilst statements of fact alone will not be inducements, there may be circumstances
It is common practice for listed companies to brief analysts, usually at the time of the company's preliminary, interim and, if applicable, quarterly results and after the information has been issued to the market as a whole. Briefings may be made personally to a small or large number of analysts in a meeting or through a conference call. It is increasingly becoming the practice for listed companies to make their briefings available live to journalists and the general public on
PERG 8.21.4 G to PERG 8.21.21 G set out the FSA's views on the potential relevance of certain exemptions to company statements and briefings. The exemptions are referred to in the same order as the Financial Promotion Order. In the FSA's view, these exemptions (whether alone or, where applicable, in combination) should enable most statements and briefings which involve financial promotions to be made by the company concerned without the need for approval. In particular, the FSA
Any statement or briefing which did not identify the company as an issuer of securities (for example, by referring to its securities) and which does not identify any other particular investment or provider of investments or investment services will be exempt as a generic promotion (see PERG 8.12.14 G). In practice, it will be unlikely that such a statement or briefing would involve a financial promotion but the article 17 exemption may be useful where any doubt arises.
Where statements or briefings are only available to analysts who are, or who work for, authorised persons (including overseas persons who would need to be authorised if they were conducting their business in the United Kingdom), article 19 will exempt any financial promotion that may be made (see PERG 8.12.21 G). Furthermore, where a financial promotion is made in the course of an interactive dialogue with an analyst and is addressed to him, the financial promotion will be regarded
PERG 8.12.32 G contains detailed guidance on the exemption in article 20A. The exemption is capable of applying to financial promotions in a company statement or briefing where they are communicated through a webcast if the website is a regularly updated news or information service. For this to be the case, the website must be a service provided to persons who use it (so it must not, for example, simply be an advertising vehicle) and that service must be one of providing news
Article 28 applies to one-off non-real time and solicited real time financial promotions. Article 28A applies to one-off unsolicited real time financial promotions. It is possible that articles 28 or 28A could apply to financial promotions in company statements or briefings if they were to be made other than to an analyst or journalist. In this respect, the comments made in PERG 8.14.3 G about one-off financial promotions are relevant.
Article 43 applies to non-real time and solicited real time financial promotions made by, or on behalf of,1 a company ('C') to persons who, in broad terms, are:(1) members or creditors of C or a group member of C ('G');(2) entitled to a relevant investment issued by C or G;(3) entitled to become a member of C or G;(4) entitled to have transferred to them title to a relevant investment issued by C or G.The financial promotion must relate only to relevant investments issued or to
A 'relevant investment' in article 43 means:(1) shares or debentures; and(2) warrants and certificates representing certain securities relating to (1) and issued by G or a person acting on behalf of or under arrangements made with C.Article 43 allows a company to communicate a financial promotion to its shareholders about rights issues or a cash offer by a third party for their shares. It also allows a company to communicate with its creditors about restructuring debt obligations.
Article 47 will exempt financial promotions in company statements or briefings where they are made to members of the press and may be combined with article 19 (Investment professionals). This means that companies will only need to look for other exemptions where the recipients of their financial promotions are persons other than analysts or journalists or both.
Article 59 is capable of applying to financial promotions in company statements and briefings where they are accompanied by:(1) the whole or any part of the annual accounts of the company (provided it is not an open-ended investment company); or(2) any report prepared and approved by the directors of such a company under section 234 and 234A of the Companies Act 1985 or corresponding legislation in Northern Ireland or in another EEA State.In this respect, the FSA considers that
Article 59 imposes certain conditions.(1) The financial promotion must be an inducement and not be an invitation or amount to advice to acquire or dispose of an investment.(2) The inducement must not relate to any investment other than shares or debentures issued, or to be issued, by1 the company making the financial promotion (or a member of its group) or warrants relating to or certificates representing such shares or debentures.(3) If the financial promotion contains any reference
Article 67 exempts any financial promotion other than an unsolicited real time financial promotion which relates to shares, debentures, government and public securities, warrants or certificates representing certain securities which are permitted to be traded or dealt in on a relevant market. A relevant market for the purposes of article 67 is one which meets the criteria in Part I of, or is specified in or established under the rules of an exchange specified in Parts II or III
The reference to financial promotions which are permitted to be communicated relates, in the FSA's opinion, to something which is expressly permitted rather than simply not expressly prohibited. Article 67 itself does not specify any particular medium for communicating required or permitted material. So, it will be enough for the financial promotion to be part of a document which is itself required or permitted to be communicated (such as reports or financial statements). Market
Article 67 refers to an investment which is permitted to be traded or dealt in on a relevant market. In the FSA's opinion, this includes a situation where a class of securities is traded on a relevant market but the financial promotion relates to new securities of that class which have not yet themselves been issued or started trading. Where securities of that class have not yet been admitted to trading on a relevant market, article 68 may apply – see PERG 8.21.16 G.
Article 68 applies where the financial promotion relates to securities which have not yet been admitted to trading but for which application has been or is to be made. It exempts a non-real time or a solicited real-time financial promotion which a relevant EEA market requires to be communicated before admission to trading can be granted. A relevant EEA market for this purpose is a market with its head office in an EEA State and which meets the conditions in Part I of, or is specified
Article 69 is somewhat1 similar to article 59 in the conditions it imposes (see PERG 8.21.12 G). There1 are two main differences between article 69 and article 59.1(1) Article 69 does not apply to unsolicited real time financial promotions.(2) The requirement in article 59 that the financial promotion be accompanied by accounts or a report is replaced in article 69. It is replaced by a requirement that shares or debentures of the company or another body corporate in its group1
In the FSA's opinion, companies whose securities are permitted to be traded or dealt in on a relevant market should be able to make good use of the article 69 exemption. But such companies will need to ensure that they meet the specific requirements in article 69(3). In very general terms, a financial promotion will comply with these requirements if:1(1) the only reason it is a financial promotion is that it contains or is accompanied by1 an inducement about certain investments
Article 702applies to a non-real time financial promotion included in:2(1) listing particulars1; or21(2) supplementary listing particulars1; or21(3) a prospectus or supplementary prospectus approved in line with Prospectus Rules or by the competent authority of another EEA State (provided the requirements of section 87H of the Act are met) – including part of such a prospectus or supplementary prospectus2; or2112(4) any other document required or permitted to be published by listing
A requirement common to the exemptions in articles 59, 67 and 69 is that the financial promotions must not relate to investments other than those issued, or to be issued,1 by the company or a member of its group. The FSA is aware that there is concern about comments made in company statements or briefings. This is that they may be held to be inducements to acquire or dispose of, or exercise rights conferred by, an investment issued by a third party. For example, traded options
The rules in SYSC 3 and SYSC 4 require a firm that communicates with a client in relation to designated investment business, or communicates or approves a financial promotion, to put in place systems and controls or policies and procedures in order to comply with the rules in this chapter.
(1) Before a firmapproves a financial promotion for communication by an unauthorised person, it must confirm that the financial promotion complies with the financial promotion rules.(2) If, at any time after a firm has complied with (1), a firm becomes aware that a financial promotion no longer complies with the financial promotion rules, it must withdraw its approval and notify any person that it knows to be relying on its approval as soon as reasonably practicable.(3) When approving
(1) Section 21(1) of the Act (Restrictions on financial promotion) prohibits an unauthorised person from communicating a financial promotion, in the course of business, unless an exemption applies or the financial promotion is approved by a firm. Many of the rules in this chapter apply when a firmapproves a financial promotion in the same way as when a firmcommunicates a financial promotion itself.(2) A firm may also wish to approve a financial promotion that it communicates itself.
If a firmapproves a financial promotion in circumstances in which one or more of the financial promotion rules, or the prohibition on approval of promotions for collective investment schemes in section 240(1) of the Act (Restriction on approval), are expressly disapplied, the approval must be given on terms that it is limited to those circumstances.
If an approval is limited, and an unauthorised personcommunicates the financial promotion to persons not covered by the approval, the unauthorised person may commit an offence under the restriction on financial promotion in the Act (section 21). A firm giving a limited approval may wish to notify the unauthorised person accordingly.
(1) A firm (A) will not contravene any of the financial promotion rules if it communicates a financial promotion which has been produced by another person and:(a) A takes reasonable care to establish that another firm (B) has confirmed that the financial promotion complies with the financial promotion rules;(b) A takes reasonable care to establish that it communicates the financial promotion only to recipients of the type for whom it was intended at the time B carried out the
The Act does not contain any definition of the expressions ‘invitation’ or ‘inducement’, leaving them to their natural meaning. The ordinary dictionary entries for ‘invitation’ and ‘inducement’ offer several possible meanings to the expressions. An ‘invitation’ is capable of meanings ranging from merely asking graciously or making a request to encouraging or soliciting. The expression ‘inducement’ is given meanings ranging from merely bringing about to prevailing upon or persuading.
The Treasury, responding to consultation on the draft Financial Promotion Order, stated its intention that only communications containing a degree of incitement would amount to ‘inducements’ and that communications of purely factual information would not. This is provided the facts are presented in such a way that they do not also amount to an invitation or inducement. This was made clear both in the Treasury’s consultation document on financial promotion and during the passage
The FSA recognises that the matter cannot be without doubt. However, it is the FSA's view that the context in which the expressions ‘invitation’ or ‘inducement’ are used clearly suggests that the purpose of section 21 is to regulate communications which have a promotional element. This is because they are used as restrictions on the making of financial promotions which are intended to have a similar effect to restrictions on advertising and unsolicited personal communications
Such advertisements are almost invariably intended to create awareness, hopefully generating future business. So they may or may not be inducements. This depends on the extent to which their contents seek to persuade or incite persons to contact the advertiser for details of its services or to do business with it. Merely stating past achievements with no contact details will not be enough to make such an advertisement an inducement. Providing contact details may give the advertisement
Journalism can take many forms. But typically a journalist may write an editorial piece on a listed company or about the investments or investment services that a particular firm provides. This may often be in response to a press release. The editorial may or may not contain details of or, on a website, a link to the site of the company or firm concerned. Such editorial may specifically recommend that readers should consider buying or sellinginvestments (whether or not particular
These will be advertisements that contain encouragement to contact the advertiser. They are likely to be inducements to do business with him or to get more information from him. If so, they will be inducements to engage in investment activity if they seek to persuade or incite persons to buy or sell investments or to get investment services. See PERG 8.4.7 G for more guidance on preliminary communications and whether they are a significant step in the chain of events which are
(1) Introductions may take many forms but typically involve an offer to make an introduction or action taken in response to an unsolicited request. An introduction may be an inducement if the introducer is actively seeking to persuade or incite the person he is introducing to do business with the person to whom the introduction is made. So it may fall under section 21 if its purpose is to lead to investment activity. For example, if a person answers the question ‘do you or can
A person may be distributing financial promotions which have been issued or approved by an authorised person. This may be by displaying copies or delivering them or handing them out whether or not on request. PERG 8.6 explains when such a person will be communicating the financial promotions. Where this is so, the exemption for mere conduits in article 18 of the Financial Promotion Order may apply (see PERG 8.12.18 G). But article 18 will not apply if the distributor creates his
Trading methods and techniques, such as traded options training courses and software-based or manual trading tools will, in many cases, be too remote from any eventual investment dealing activities to be inducements to engage in investment activity. Promotions of such things will be inducements (or invitations) to receive training and general trading tips and techniques. However, such things may be sold on the basis that they are almost certain to produce profits from the trading
These are clearly invitations or inducements. Whether they will involve invitations or inducements to engage in investment activity rather than to attend the meeting or receive the call or visit, will depend upon their purpose and content. PERG 8.4.7 G discusses communications which are a significant step in the chain of events leading to an agreement to engage in investment activity. The purpose of the meeting, call or visit to which the invitation or inducement relates may be
An explanation of the terms of an agreement or of the consequences of taking a particular course of action can be merely factual information unless it includes or is accompanied by encouragement to enter into the agreement or take the course of action. The mere fact that the explanation may present the investment in a good light or otherwise influence the recipient will not make it an inducement. Where such communications are financial promotions they may fall under one of the
A person ('A') may enquire:(1) whether another person is certified as a high net worth individual or a sophisticated investor so that A may determine whether an exemption applies; or(2) whether a person has received material sent to him; or(3) how a person might propose to react to a take-over offer. Enquiries of this or a similar kind will not amount to inducements to engage in investment activityunless they involve persuasion or incitement to do so. The enquiry may be accompanied
Solicited or accompanying material which does not contain any invitation or inducement to engage in investment activity will not itself be a financial promotion. This is provided that the material is not part of any financial promotion which may accompany it. This is explained in greater detail in PERG 8.4.29 G to PERG 8.4.30 G.
Persons may sometimes be asked to send material which has not been prepared for use as a financial promotion to a person who is interested in making an investment. For example, a prospective participant in a Lloyd’s syndicate may ask for a copy of the business plan or forecast prepared by the managing agent to comply with Lloyd’s requirements. As another example, a prospective purchaser of, or investor in, a company may wish to see a valuation report, a due diligence report or
The person who responds to the request for the material in the circumstances in PERG 8.4.29 G may make a financial promotion in the form of a covering letter or oral communication ('C'). This will not mean that the material accompanying C must itself be treated as an inducement. This will depend on the circumstances. The material itself would only become an inducement if it is turned into part of the financial promotion in C. For example, C may refer to the contents or part of
A personal illustration (for instance, of the costs of and benefits under a particular investment product) may or may not be an invitation or inducement. This will depend on the extent to which it seeks to persuade or incite the recipient to invest as opposed to merely providing him with information. A personal illustration may, however, be accompanied by an invitation or inducement to buy the investment in which case the exemptions for one-off financial promotions in articles
Employers may communicate with theiremployees on matters which involve controlled investments. For example, personal pension schemes (including stakeholder schemes) and other employee benefit schemes other than occupational pension schemes. Interests under the trusts of an occupational pension scheme are not a controlled investment (see paragraph 27 (2) of Schedule 1 to the Financial Promotion Order). Such communications will only be invitations or inducements to engage in investment
The word ‘communicate’ is extended under section 21(13) of the Act and includes causing a communication to be made. This means that a person who causes the communication of a financial promotion by another person is also subject to the restriction in section 21. Article 6(d) of the Financial Promotion Order also states that the word ‘communicate’ has the same meaning when used in exemptions in the Order. Article 6(a) also states that the word ‘communication’ has the same meaning
Apart from the originators of a financial promotion, the FSA considers the following persons to be communicating it or causing it to be communicated:(1) publishers and broadcasters who carry advertisements (including websites carrying banner advertisements); and(2) intermediaries who redistribute another person’s communication probably with their own communications.
In the FSA's view, the following persons will not be causing or communicating:(1) advertising agencies and others when they are designing advertising material for originators;(2) persons who print or produce material for others to use as advertisements;(3) professional advisers when they are preparing material for clients or advising them on the need to communicate or the merits or consequences of their communicating a financial promotion; and(4) persons who are responsible for
The FSA considers that, to communicate, a person must take some active step to make the communication. This will be a question of fact in each case. But a person who knowingly leaves copies of a document where it is reasonable to presume that persons will pick up copies and may seek to act on them will be communicating them.
The Financial Promotion Order contains an exemption for mere conduits in article 18. It does not follow that all persons who provide services for facilitating the distribution of financial promotions are communicating. Where persons of this kind would normally be unaware of the fact that they may be distributing financial promotions or are indifferent as to whether they are doing so, or both, they will not be regarded as communicating them. This may, for example, include:(1) postal
A general point arises about causing and communicating on whether a particular exemption that applies to a communication made by a specified person also applies to a person who is causing that communication to be made. For example, article 551 of the Financial Promotion Order (Communications by members of professions)1 applies only to a communication by an exempt professional firm.1 This exemption may apply where a person ('P') requests an exempt professional firm ('E') to1communicate
1The position of an unauthorised person (‘U’) who, in the course of business, causes an authorised person to communicate a financial promotion is somewhat different. This is because the authorised person (‘A’) is not subject to section 21 of the Act and so will not necessarily be communicating the financial promotion in circumstances in which an exemption would apply. To avoid any doubt about the application of section 21 to U, a specific exemption is provided in article 17A of
Another general point arises about the scope of exemptions that apply only to financial promotions by a particular person. This is whether the exemption applies to the communication of a financial promotion by an unauthorised person on behalf of the person to whom the exemption applies. In the FSA's view, this will not be the case unless the exemption specifically states that it applies to a communication made on behalf of the person identified in the exemption. For example, article
Section 21(1) of the Act refers only to the communication of an invitation or inducement. It says nothing about communications being 'made to' or 'directed at' persons or about who the 'recipient' of a communication will be. These facts are determined by the following sequence:(1) section 21(13) of the Act indicates that communications are 'made';(2) article 6 of the Financial Promotion Order (Interpretation: communications) indicates that communications are made by being 'addressed
In the FSA's opinion, the matters in PERG 8.6.9 G have the following effects.(1) Any one particular communication will either be real time or non-real time but not both. This is because:(a) a real time communication is one made in the course of an interactive dialogue (see PERG 8.10.2 G for guidance on the meaning of real time);(b) those exemptions which concern real time communications apply only to communications which are made to persons and not those which are directed at
Although the restriction in section 21 addresses all forms of financial promotion, it is necessary to distinguish between particular types of financial promotion as these are treated differently under the Financial Promotion Order. This regime recognises two types of financial promotion. These are real time and non-real time financial promotions. Real time financial promotions are then divided into solicited or unsolicited real time financial promotions.
The terms real time financial promotion and non-real time financial promotion are defined in article 7 of the Financial Promotion Order (Interpretation: real time communications). Article 7(1) defines a real time financial promotion as a financial promotion made in the course of a personal visit, telephone conversation or other interactive dialogue. A non-real time financial promotion is one that is not a real time financial promotion. Article 7(5) states that financial promotions
In the FSA's view, the fact that scope for interaction is essential if a financial promotion is to be real time leads to the following conclusions.(1) Most communications made in written or pictorial form will not offer scope for interaction. The most likely exception to this is where persons are expected to respond immediately. This situation may arise, for example, where the equivalent of a telephone conversation is conducted by e-mail. This is the basis of the exemption in
Article 8(3) of the Financial Promotion Order also has the effect in broad terms that financial promotions made during a visit, call or dialogue will be solicited only if they relate to controlled activities or controlled investments of the kind to which the recipient envisaged that they would relate. In determining whether this is the case, account must be taken of all the circumstances when the call, visit or dialogue was requested or initiated. For example, a person may ask
PERG 8.6.9 G explains that article 6 of the Financial Promotion Order has the broad effect that a communication is made to another person where it is addressed to a particular person or persons. It also states that a ‘recipient’ of a communication is the person or persons to who it is made (that is to whom it is addressed). This takes on importance where certain exemptions which apply to real time financial promotions made to a person are concerned. It appears to the FSA that,
There will be occasions when financial promotions are received by persons other than those in PERG 8.10.11G (1) or PERG 8.10.11G (2) who will not have solicited them. For example, a more distant relative or friend ('F') who acts as a support to the person who is to engage in investment activity ('P') or P’s professional adviser ('A'). As explained in PERG 8.6.10 G, in such cases the financial promotion will not be made to F or A unless it is also addressed to them. And it will
In the FSA's view, the mere fact of a person accepting an invitation to attend a meeting does not automatically mean that he has initiated any dialogue which may take place during the meeting and which may amount to a financial promotion. This will depend on the facts of each case and such matters as the manner in which the invitations are made, the arrangements for acceptance and how the meeting is conducted. For example, the fact that investments or investment services will
Article 55 of the Financial Promotion Order contains a specific exemption for professional firms allowing them to make solicited or unsolicited real time financial promotions. This is provided the financial promotion is made:(1) by a person who carries on a regulated activity without needing authorisation under the Part XX exemption; and(2) to someone who has already (that is, before the financial promotion is made) engaged the person making the financial promotion to provide
The article 55 exemption also requires that:(1) the financial promotion relates to an activity to which the Part XX exemption applies or which would be a regulated activity but for the exclusion in article 67 of the Regulated Activities Order (Activities carried on in the course of a profession or non-investment business) which concerns activities which are a necessary part of professional services; and(2) the activity to which the financial promotion relates would be undertaken
The FSA considers that, to satisfy the condition in PERG 8.15.2G (2) that an activity be incidental to the provision of professional services, regulated activities cannot be a major part of the practice of the professional firm. The FSA also considers that the following further factors are relevant.(1) The scale of regulated activity in proportion to other professional services provided.(2) Whether and to what extent services that are regulated activities are held out as separate
One of the effects of the requirements in PERG 8.15.2 G concerns financial promotions which relate to an activity which is not a regulated activity as the result of an exclusion in the Regulated Activities Order. In this case, a professional firm using the Part XX exemption cannot make a real time financial promotion relying on article 55 of the Financial Promotion Order unless the exclusion is provided by article 67 of the Regulated Activities Order. Neither can a professional
Article 55A of the Financial Promotion Order exempts non-real time financial promotions where the financial promotion:1(1) is made by a person who carries on a regulated activity without needing authorisation under the Part XX exemption (referred to in PERG 8.15.6 G and PERG 8.15.7 G as ‘Part XX activities’); and(2) contains a specified statement and is limited in its content to the matters referred to in PERG 8.15.6 G.
A financial promotion made under article 55A must contain a statement in the following terms: “The [firm/company] is not authorised under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 but we are able in certain circumstances to offer a limited range of investment services to clients because we are members of [relevant designated professional body]. We can provide these investment services if they are an incidental part of the professional services we have been engaged to provide".
The article 55A exemption should enable professional firms to issue brochures, websites and other non-real time financial promotions without any need for approval by an authorised person. This is provided the financial promotion does not also contain an invitation or inducement relating to regulated activities other than those covered by the Part XX exemption. In this respect, it should be noted that, unlike article 55, the article 55A exemption does not extend to activities which
1This chapter applies to a firm:(1) communicating with a client in relation to its designated investment business;(2) communicating or approving a financial promotion other than:(a) a financial promotion of qualifying credit, a home purchase plan or a home reversion plan; or(b) a financial promotion in respect of a non-investment insurance contract; or(c) a promotion of an unregulated collective investment scheme that would breach section 238(1) of the Act if made by an authorised
A firm is required to comply with the financial promotion rules in relation to a financial promotioncommunicated by its appointed representative even where the financial promotion does not require approval because of the exemption in article 16 of the Financial Promotion Order (Exempt persons).[Note: see section 39 of the Act]
(1) In COBS 4.3.1 R, COBS 4.5.8 R and COBS 4.7.1 R, the defined terms "financial promotion" and "direct offer financial promotion" include, in relation to MiFID or equivalent third country business, all communications that are marketing communications within the meaning of MiFID.(2) In the case of MiFID or equivalent third country business, certain requirements in this chapter are subject to an exemption for the communication of a third party prospectus in certain circumstances.
Approving a financial promotion without communicating it (which includes causing it to be communicated)3 is not MiFID or equivalent third country business. Communicating a financial promotion to a person, such as a corporate finance contact or a venture capital contact, who is not a client within the meaning of COBS 3.2.1 R (1), COBS 3.2.1 R (2) or COBS 3.2.1 R (4) in respect of the MiFID or equivalent third country business to which the financial promotion relates,3 is also not
(1) In relation to communications by a firm to a client in relation to its designated investment business this chapter applies in accordance with the general application rule and the rule on business with UKclients from an overseas establishment (COBS 1 Annex 1 Part 2 paragraph 2.1R).(2) In addition, the financial promotion rules apply to a firm in relation to:(a) the communication of a financial promotion to a person inside the United Kingdom;(b) the communication of a cold call
(1) The EEA territorial scope rule modifies the general territorial scope of the rules in this chapter to the extent necessary to be compatible with European law. This means that in a number of cases, the rules in this chapter will apply to communications made by UK firms to persons located outside the United Kingdom and will not apply to communications made to persons inside the United Kingdom by EEA firms. Further guidance on this is located in COBS 1 Annex 1.(2) One effect
In addition to the general application rule for this sourcebook, this section applies to the communication, or approval for communication, to a person in the United Kingdom of a financial promotion of a non-investment insurance contract unless it can lawfully be communicated by an unauthorised communicator without approval.
(1) Before a firmapproves a financial promotion it must take reasonable steps to ensure that the financial promotion is clear, fair and not misleading.(2) If, subsequently, a firm becomes aware that a financial promotion is not clear, fair and not misleading, it must withdraw its approval and notify any person that it knows to be relying on its approval as soon as reasonably practicable.
(1) This guidance applies in relation to a financial promotion that makes pricing claims, including financial promotions that indicate or imply that a firm can reduce the premium, provide the cheapest premium or reduce a customer's costs.(2) Such a financial promotion should:(a) be consistent with the result reasonably expected to be achieved by the majority of customers who respond, unless the proportion of those customers who are likely to achieve the pricing claims is stated
The ordinary business of a publisher or broadcaster can involve him in publishing or broadcasting financial promotions (for example, advertisements) on behalf of authorised or exempt persons. Journalists who write about investments or financial services may promote the services of an authorised or exempt person. In the FSA's opinion, such persons would not normally be regarded as making arrangements under article 25(2). This is the case even if any arrangements they may have made
The Regulated Activities Order contains an exclusion (article 27: Enabling parties to communicate) to bring a degree of certainty to this area. This applies to arrangements which might otherwise fall within article 25(2) merely because they provide the means by which one party to a transaction (or potential transaction) is able to communicate with other parties. In the FSA's view, the crucial element of the exclusion is the inclusion of the word ‘merely’. So that, where a publisher,
For example, in the FSA's view a publisher or broadcaster would be likely to be making arrangements within the meaning of article 25(2) and be unable to make use of the exclusion in article 27 if:(1) he enters into an agreement with a provider of investment services such as a broker or product provider for the purpose of carrying their financial promotion; and(2) as part of the arrangements, the publisher or broadcaster does one or more of the following:(a) brands the investment
It would also be an indicator that a publisher or broadcaster might be making arrangements falling within article 25(2) if he receives a commission or other form of reward based on the amount of regulated business done as a result of his carrying the promotion. This would be on the basis that the existence of the financial interest will inevitably have a bearing on the purpose for which the arrangements are viewed as having been made by him. However, the article 27 exclusion will
The mere provision by a website operator of a bulletin board or chat room ought not to amount to making arrangements under article 25(2) unless making such arrangements is the specific purpose of the facility. However, operators of websites with such facilities will clearly need to be aware of potential implications (such as the service being used by unauthorised persons to give advice or make financial promotions or to make misleading statements with a view to manipulating market
Section 21(2) of the Act sets out two circumstances in which a financial promotion will not be caught by the restriction in section 21(1). These are where the communicator is an authorised person or where the content of the financial promotion has been approved for the purposes of section 21 by an authorised person. Where approval is concerned it must be specifically for the purposes of enabling the financial promotion to be communicated by unauthorised persons free of the restriction
Where an authorised person makes a financial promotion, he is not subject to the restriction in section 21. So, the communication of the financial promotion by the authorised person will not be a criminal offence under the provisions of section 25 of the Act (Contravention of section 21) and any resulting contract will not be unenforceable under section 30 of the Act (Enforceability of agreement resulting from unlawful communications). However, the appropriate financial promotion
An unauthorised person may wish to pass on a financial promotion made to him by an authorised person. In this case, the fact that the financial promotion was made to him by an authorised person will not be enough for the restriction in section 21 not to apply to him. The authorised person must also both have approved its content and have done so for the purpose of section 21 of the Act. If an authorised person wishes to ensure that an unauthorised person can communicate a financial
With approval generally, issues may arise as to what would be subject to the restrictions in section 21 where an invitation or inducement to engage in investment activity is made through a publication, broadcast or website or is accompanied by other material. In any such instances, it is necessary to consider the circumstances in which the financial promotion is made. For example, where a financial promotion takes the form of an advertisement or advice in a newspaper, broadcast
The various exemptions in the Financial Promotion Order are split into three categories:(1) exemptions applicable to all controlled activities (Part IV of the Order);(2) exemptions applicable only to controlled activities concerning deposits and contracts of insurance other than life policies (Part V of the Order); and(3) exemptions applicable to any other types of controlled activity (Part VI of the Order).
Each individual exemption indicates the type of financial promotion (for example, non-real time) to which it relates. PERG 8.36.6 G contains a table showing this breakdown. Each exemption also indicates whether it applies to any communication or only to those made to or directed at persons.
In a few instances, the requirements of a particular exemption may affect the practicality of its being combined with another. These are article 12 (Communications to overseas recipients) and article 52 (Common interest group of a company). Article 12, for example, requires that financial promotions must be made to or directed only at overseas persons and certain persons in the United Kingdom. This presents no difficulty with article 12 being combined with other exemptions in
A number of exemptions require that a financial promotion must be accompanied by certain indications. Article 9 of the Financial Promotion Order states that indications must be presented in a way that can be easily understood and in such manner as is ‘best calculated’ to bring the matter to the recipient’s attention. In the FSA's opinion, the expression ‘best calculated’ should be construed in a sensible manner. It does not, for instance, demand that the indication be presented
Some exemptions are based on the communicator believing on reasonable grounds that the recipient meets certain conditions. For example, articles 19(1)(a), 44, 47 and 49. What are reasonable grounds for these purposes will be a matter for the courts to decide. In the FSA's view, it would be reasonable for a communicator to rely on a statement made by a potential recipient that he satisfies relevant conditions. This is provided that there is no reason to doubt the accuracy of the
Controlled activity and controlled investment are defined in Schedule 1 to the Financial Promotion Order and are listed in PERG 8.36.3 G and PERG 8.36.4 G. Broadly speaking, controlled activities and controlled investments are similar to regulated activities and specified investments under the Regulated Activities Order. However, with controlled activities, the exclusions set out in the Regulated Activities Order do not, in most cases, apply. It is important to note, however,
The overall effect is that a financial promotion must relate in some way to a controlled investment and may be summarised as the communication, in the course of business, of an invitation or inducement to:(1) acquire, dispose of or underwrite certain investments or exercise rights conferred by such an investment for such purpose or for the purpose of converting it; or(2) receive or undertake investment services such as dealing in investments as principal or as agent, managing
So a financial promotion will not include an invitation or inducement to:(1) refrain from doing any of the things in PERG 8.7.3 G; or(2) exercise rights conferred by an investment other than to acquire, dispose of, underwrite or convert an investment.This means that most invitations or inducements to exercise voting rights will not be financial promotions.
In the FSA's opinion, section 21 will apply to a communication (made in the course of business) if it contains an invitation or inducement to engage in investment activity which is addressed to a particular person or to persons generally. Where this is the case, it will not matter that the communication may be physically delivered to someone other than the person who is intended to engage in investment activity. PERG 8.6.10 G gives more guidance on this.
The effect of section 21 of the Act (Restrictions on financial promotion) is that in the course of business, an unauthorised person must not communicate an invitation or inducement to engage in investment activity unless either the content of the communication is approved for the purposes of section 21 by an authorised person or it is exempt. Under section 25 of the Act (Contravention of section 21), a person commits a criminal offence if he carries on activities in breach of
An authorised person will not breach section 21 when communicating a financial promotion. Nevertheless, this guidance may be relevant where an authorised person needs to know whether the financial promotion rules apply1 to a particular communication. For example, to find out if the communication would be subject to an exemption if it were made by an unauthorised person (for example, see COB 3.2.4 R and COB 3.2.5 R (2)).1
A person who is concerned to know whether his communications will require approval or, if he is an authorised person, whether the appropriate financial promotion rules1 will apply to his communications will need to consider the following:1(1) am I making a communication or causing a communication to be made? (see PERG 8.6);(2) if so, is it an invitation or inducement? (see PERG 8.4);(3) if so, does the invitation or inducement relate to a controlled investment? (see PERG 8.7);(4)
If the answer to PERG 8.2.4G (8) is yes then the appropriate financial promotion rules1 will apply (subject to additional exemptions in, for example, COB 3.2.5 R). If the answer is no, then the promotion must be approved by an authorised person if it is a non-real time financial promotion. Authorised persons are not allowed to approvereal time financial promotions (see COB 3.12.2 R). PERG 8.36.1G contains a flowchart explaining these steps.1
The restriction in section 21 applies to all forms of communication such as advertising, broadcasts, websites, e-mails and all other forms of written or oral communication whether sent to one person or many. However, the restrictions only apply to a communication made in the course of business and not, for example, to personal communications between individuals.
(1) A firm must ensure that a communication or a financial promotion is fair, clear and not misleading.(2) This rule applies in relation to:(a) a communication by the firm to a client in relation to designated investment business other than a third party prospectus;(b) a financial promotioncommunicated by the firm that is not:(i) an excluded communication;(ii) a non-retail communication;(iii) a third party prospectus; and(c) a financial promotion approved by the firm.[Note: article
A firm should ensure that a financial promotion:(1) for a product or service that places a client's capital at risk makes this clear;(2) that quotes a yield figure gives a balanced impression of both the short and long term prospects for the investment;(3) that promotes an investment or service whose charging structure is complex, or in relation to which the firm will receive more than one element of remuneration, includes the information necessary to ensure that it is fair, clear
COBS does not apply to an authorised professional firm with respect to its non-mainstream regulated activities, except that:(1) the fair, clear and not misleading rule applies;(2) the financial promotion rules apply as modified below;(3) COBS 7 (Insurance mediation) applies but only if the designated professional body of the firm does not have rules approved by the FSA under section 332(5) of the Act that implement articles 12 and 13 of the Insurance Mediation Directive and that
The financial promotion rules do not apply to an authorised professional firm in relation to the communication of a financial promotion if:(1) the firm's main business is the practice of its profession (see IPRU(INV) 2.1.2R(3));(2) the financial promotion is made for the purposes of and incidental to the promotion or provision by the firm of its professional services or its non-mainstream regulated activities; and(3) the financial promotion is not communicated on behalf of another
The basic restriction on the communication of financial promotions is in section 21(1) of the Act. Sections 21(2) and (5) disapply the restriction in certain circumstances. Their combined effect is that a person must not, in the course of business, communicate an invitation or inducement to engage in investment activity unless:(1) he is an authorised person; or(2) the content of the communication is approved for the purposes of section 21 by an authorised person; or(3) the communication
Section 21 of the Act does not itself (other than in its heading and side-note) refer to a ‘financial promotion’ but rather to the communication of ‘an invitation or inducement to engage in investment activity’. References in this guidance to a financial promotion mean an invitation or inducement to engage in investment activity.
The test for whether the contents of a particular website may or may not involve a financial promotion is no different to any other medium. If a website or part of a website, operated or maintained in the course of business, invites or induces a person to engage in investment activity, it will be a financial promotion. The FSA takes the view that the person who caused the website to be created will be a communicator. So, any software engineers that may or may not have been involved
The Internet also allows hypertext links, where two different sites in the Internet can be connected almost instantaneously by simply clicking on the link. The FSA's views on the position of hypertext links (which should be read with the remainder of PERG 8, especially PERG 8.4 (Invitation or inducement)) are as follows.(1) A hypertext link may or may not be a financial promotion in itself. This will depend on the nature of the hypertext link and the context in which it is placed.
Section 21(3) of the Act states that, in the case of a communication originating outside the United Kingdom, the restriction in section 21(1) applies only if it is capable of having an effect in the United Kingdom. In this respect, it is irrelevant whether the communication has an effect provided it is capable of doing so.
This appears to give a potentially broad jurisdictional scope to section 21. It seems clear that a communication which originates overseas will be capable of having an effect in the United Kingdom if it is an invitation or inducement to engage in investment activity which is communicated to a person in the United Kingdom. It would seem that communications made in other circumstances may also be capable of having an effect in the United Kingdom. However, the exemption for communications
Where communications by persons in another EEA State are made to or directed at persons in the United Kingdom account must be taken of the effect of any relevant EU Directives. For example, the E-Commerce Directive will, with limited exceptions, prevent the United Kingdom from imposing restrictions on incoming financial promotions in information society services. The Treasury has given effect to this through the Financial Promotion Order (see1PERG 8.12.38 G). Other potentially